Job Interview Question & Answer: What Do You Do Best?
Why Interviewers Ask About Your Strengths
Hiring managers want to know if an applicant will be a good fit for the team. By asking you what your strengths are, supervisors can gain insights into your personality and a better idea of what you can bring to the company. This question also reveals a candidate’s ability to recognize their own talents and how they can put those skills to use.
How to Answer “What’s Your Biggest Strength?”
When answering the question, “What is your greatest strength?” you should first consider what skills or qualities may be most valuable to the company. This question can catch interviewees off guard, so it’s a good idea to spend some time assessing your strengths before you’re in the hot seat. A few points to consider include:
- What are your best personality traits? Are you patient? Determined? Trustworthy?
- Will your education or training help you stand out? For instance, do you have advanced computer skills? Or maybe you’ve taken a few business courses?
- Do you have strong transferable skills, such as problem solving, leadership, or organization?
Once you’ve identified a few core strengths, think about how you can support your answer with real-life examples. A personal anecdote or a description of a workplace achievement can go a long way in showing interviewers what you mean.
Responses You Should Avoid
It can be tricky to come up with a well-balanced answer about your strengths. It may feel like you’re bragging, but don’t be overly humble. Managers want to see that you’re confident. Steer away from points that have little to do with the job, and avoid being vague or generic.
Examples of How to Talk about Your Strengths
While it’s important to sound natural in your job interview, a little preparation never hurts. These sample answers can help you develop your response when interviewers ask you to tell them about your strengths.
Sample Answer 1 – Department store sales associate
“I’ve always been a great organizer and multitasker. In school, I often took the lead on fundraisers and events because I could break down the necessary steps and delegate tasks to classmates. This will be a helpful skill in this position because I can prioritize my tasks for every shift and make sure I manage my duties effectively.”
Sample Answer 2 – Hotel front desk agent
“Providing exceptional customer service is my strong suit. In my last job as a cashier, I enjoyed listening to my client’s concerns and trying to find solutions for their issues. It’s easy to feel frustrated when you’re facing an angry guest, but I’ve found that addressing problems with patience and understanding is far more effective in the long run.”
Sample Answer 3 – Bank teller
“My strength is being able to adapt to change and absorb new concepts easily. A few years ago, my previous employer adopted a new computer program that required the team to retrain on all of our existing processes. I was able to learn the system quickly and ended up helping my coworkers adjust and troubleshoot throughout the change.”
Self-Awareness is Key
It can be a challenge to describe your strengths on the spot, but this is a common interview question, so it’s best to come prepared. Take some time to consider your past experiences in your personal life, work, and education. If you’re still unsure, try talking to a close friend or family member who may be able to provide some observations.
This answer was pretty good.
He was doing a practice interview for a manufacturing job and picked strengths that where appropriate to his field. However, he really just listed an array of strengths and didn’t go into much detail about them. You also probably noticed that his answer trailed off to an uncertain-sounding ending.
First and foremost, you need to sound confident about your strengths. To do this, you should identify your strengths and have them in mind prior to the interview. It’s best to have at least three strengths in mind for this question, because interviews may ask, “What are three of your strengths?”
It’s important to note that this is an open ended question, and the interviewer does not have a list of strengths that are the right answers.
Answering the question effectively is less about the particular strengths you choose and more about you being able to convince the interviewer you have the right skills for the job. To do this, you want to go into detail about how your strengths make you successful at what you do.
Here’s an example where an interviewee went into more detail about his strengths.
To really convince the interviewer about your abilities, use an example of an experience where your strengths came in handy. Have at least one experience to back up each strength you choose.
Now you have everything you need to provide a stellar answer when an interviewer asks, “What are your strengths?”
Thanks for watching.