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How to Answer: What is Your Greatest Strength?

“What is your greatest strength” is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions in the interview.

It is the easiest and the most difficult question at the same time, which confuses the job aspirants. Some candidates see it as just the right opportunity to impress the hiring manager, while others do not know exactly what should be said. So, here we have come up with the right way to answer this question. 

Candidates need to understand that this question is a “toughie” and “tricky” question, so the answer should be well.

They need to emphasize those positive qualities which matter the most for the job applied. 

How to Begin With? 

You can speak volumes about yourself when you are allowed to tell about yourself.

However, you need to understand what precisely to talk about in the given time frame. So, preparing a list and choosing the topmost one is good. 

Knowledge-based skills acquired from learning, education and experiences like certifications, technical skills, any foreign language etc.

Soft skills (creativity, analytical problem solving, networking etc.)

As you have to prove yourself a good fit for the role, you will have to ensure that you put forth only those attributes that can prove you are the most suitable candidate for the job. 

This is What Your Hiring Manager Wants To Know

You just need to keep in mind that hiring managers are on the hunt for the right candidate to fulfil the job role’s responsibilities optimally.

They want to know whether that candidate is you. You will acquire the job if your credentials and skills meet the job requirements.

For will want you to be realistic and endorse your answer with an example. 

So, whenever you mention your strength, you need to answer how you used it, what happened and how your strength proved to be a saviour.

Always remember that by asking yourself: “What is your greatest strength?” hiring managers do not want you to sing your praise.

Before you go to the interview, be prepared with the top 3 job-relevant strengths you possess and how they helped your previous company. 

Example of How You Can Answer: “What is Your Greatest Strength? 

If you are applying for the role of a “Copywriter” and are asked this question, then say:

“One of the core areas where I excel better than others is “writing”. It has become my greatest strength over a period of time. I know I can maintain the quality even under tight deadlines. I was in a similar role with my previous company once one of our most important projects was in jeopardy when a couple of mistakes were found in a publication just an hour before the publication—my most significant strength of writing seamless and quickly helped the company that time. I perfected the piece in the given time, and it was published and appreciated.”

Important to Note

Avoid answering something that can look like your greatest strength and weakness at the same time.

Do not say: “though writing is my core strength unless the marketing materials like e-mail and brochures are talked about. I cannot manage these two. 

Also, do not put your strengths randomly without endorsing them with examples like this:

Well! I guess I have too many; I am wondering where to begin. I am good at customer-care service, sales, networking and, yes, managing lower-level staff. At times, I can also manage accounts since I am good at Mathematics. These are the worse type of answers to present before the employer. 

How Can You Give the Best Response?

To give the best response to the question “What is your greatest strength?” you have to follow certain tips:

Prepare your reply beforehand: In most interviews, this question is asked. You can create a list of your strengths and then see which one matches the best with the job profiler you have applied to. 

Give a focused and relevant answer and endorse it with an example. Do not quote multiple strengths. Focus on just one and endorse it with an example. 

Back Your Answer With Specific Proof

As mentioned, you have to be focused and specific while answering the question. You should play with facts and figures while answering this question.

If you do so, the answer will appear more genuine and hence more impressive.

For instance, you can say something like this. In my previous job, I was asked to take on multiple clients’ projects at a time. In addition to that, I had to manage a team of juniors as well. Since I am good at multi-tasking, I could deliver 100% of projects on time, and 40% of them were delivered before the deadline. 

Actual results, success stories, facts and figures impress the interview, so always try to back your answer with these. 

Why Does Interviewer Ask this Question? 

When an interviewer asks what your most significant strengths is, there are a lot of things in their minds. Of course, your strengths say a lot about you and the interviewer wants to know certain things like the following. 

  • They want to know how you can be useful to the company. 
  • They want to know whether you are realistic.
  • They want to know whether your strengths are relevant to the job offered. 
  • How much and how well you have used it in your previous companies?

You should be extra cautious when you answer this question.

Just take care of supporting your answer with real-life and relevant examples.

You need to endorse your answer. Just saying that you are the most hard-working person blah blah would not help. When considering which strength you should mention, you need to know what and where the last time you used that information was. Do not make a mistake of using phrases like “I don’t know, “I am not sure”, etc. 

A student planning to do an Internship, they should back up your strength with how you have helped your colleagues, management or teaching faculty and got accolades for the same. 

“What is your greatest strength” Answer For Service Sector

If you apply for a service industry, you can quote communication skills as your strength.

You can frame your answer something like this:

“My greatest strength is communication skills. I am good at networking and building relations. I have absolutely no problem in engaging with the customers. In my previous company, I was called on to take the lead, especially during the peak season, even if I was off-duty. The last year, I was awarded the “Best communicator”, and here is the certificate.”

Avoid these mistakes

First, you should never frame your answer that shows your doubts or lack of confidence.

The second mistake that most candidates make is to sound confused and mess up with the answer by mentioning multiple things. 

Do not be humble or shy while answering this question. The more confident and well-prepared you are, the better your answer will be.

Avoid feeling anxious and confused as this will destroy your answer. 

Bottom Line

To put it long and short, you should be prepared beforehand to answer this question.

It is good to enlist 2-3 key strengths. Always endorse your answer with an example, and do not forget to mention how your strengths help the company in the past.

Also, mention and present the certifications you have got for the same.

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