The 5 best responses to ‘What are your strengths?’

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Imagine this: You are sitting in an interview, and you get hit with one of the most common questions that hiring managers ask their candidates. 

“What are your strengths?”

And, there are ways to answer this question to make the best impression. Answer too confidently and you might come across as arrogant. But, weak answers can indicate that you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to do the job. 

Here are the 5 best responses to that common question

1: I’m especially strong in [insert specific job skill here]

Just as tailoring your resume for the job is a good idea, so is answering this question in a way that directly addresses the job requirements.

If you are strong in several different areas, then focus on those strengths that most closely match what the employer is looking for. For example, if they are looking for a programmer who knows C++, then focus your answer on that technology first and foremost (if you know it). 

2: My greatest strength is my ability to close the sale 

Specific strengths are clear, direct, and easy to understand. For instance, “I’m great at selling” is a weaker response because “selling” is a much more open-ended phrase than closing the sale.

And, closing the sale is what all successful sales negotiations need. This specific response comes across as strong, unequivocal, and targeted.  

3: I am adept at multitasking in a constantly changing environment

Although the evidence clearly indicates that most of us are NOT great multitaskers, every organization thinks they need someone who can do just that.

Switching between tasks is a skill that is very much in demand. This is a strong and pointed way of indicating that you are comfortable in an environment that changes often which, of course, is very common in business. 

4: I have always been a natural leader

Most businesses like hearing about your ability to lead, but only when you follow up this statement with an example or two to help back up your claim.

For example, briefly describe a situation where you lead a team through a difficult situation. Or, talk about consistent promotions and how your leadership style influenced your upward mobility.

5: I am a very empathetic person and relate well to those around me

More and more employers are focusing on EQ as much as IQ. Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills are super important, especially during an interview. Use a strength like this to help persuade your interviewers that your strengths stretch beyond just your ability to do your job, but also to be a positive influence in the office. 

In a typical interview, we will all get to talk about our strengths and weaknesses. It can be nerve-racking at times, but the more we practice, the better we will be at delivering an eloquent strengths pitch during the interview. 

Be confident, yet humble. Whenever possible, tailor your pitch to the exact qualifications of the job. Know how your strengths match up with what the employer is looking for and hit on those things in the interview. This simple trick will improve your chances of getting the job.