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How To Answer “What’s Your Greatest Strength?”

Most interviews have their share of complicated questions. Even ones that seem positive can sometimes lead you into mistakes. Take the famous standard, “what’s your greatest strength?” Without a proper response, you could miss out on an opportunity and end up ruining a potential winning question.

It may seem like an easy question. It certainly doesn’t appear as tricky as its evil cousin, “what’s your biggest weakness?” However, the “biggest strength” question can pose many challenges for the unprepared candidate. It seems like a good opportunity to brag and make your case. However, handled poorly, you can end up blowing a key chance to impress.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare to list your greatest strengths:

Plan Ahead

You’re almost certain to get a question about your strengths. It might not be phrased as bluntly as “tell us about your best attributes.” But the topic represents the fundamental reason for the interview. As such, you’ll end up talking about it.

Don’t be surprised by the question. Think about it ahead of time and have an answer prepared. That way, you will include everything you want to mention, without falling into the trap of rambling.

Don’t Be Afraid to Brag…

In regular life, it’s considered rude to brag. Start listing your accomplishments to a stranger you happen to sit next to on the subway, and they are likely to give you a dirty look and change seats. However, a job interview represents a different circumstance. You’re basically there to brag.

As such, don’t get shy about discussing your successes or detailing your achievements. Make sure the interviewers know everything you can bring to the company and the value that you provide.

…But Don’t Go Overboard

While it’s true that an interview offers one of life’s few socially-acceptable times to brag, there’s still a danger of going too far. A long-winded recitation, listing triumph after triumph, is likely to get tiresome. Keep that in mind.

During your preparation process, craft a response that’s both complete and concentrated. Stay on point. A well-honed, focused response will leave a better impression than a longwinded, droning one.

Tailor Your Answer to the Position

You probably have a lot of strengths. However, many of them might not be relevant to the position at hand (an interview probably isn’t the time to bring up your hula hooping skills, for example).

Going into the interview, think about the ways your strengths may fit into the individual position. Concentrate on those attributes. You should throw in some mention of your softer skills (communication, organization, etc.). But for the most part, let the job description guide your answer.

Be Specific

One common mistake is to give the helicopter answer, providing perspective only from about 10,000 feet. People will say things like “I’m organized” or “I’m a team player.” Those are nice traits to have, sure. On the other hand, you likely share them with about a million other possible applicants.

To truly impress the interviewers, you need your answer to stand out. You can do this by providing specific detail. Show that you have a unique collection of skills, or that you outpace the competition with your achievements.

A strong interview represents a key step in landing career-building positions. However, you need to find those ideal opportunities before you get a chance to showcase your talents. Teaming with a strong recruiting partner, like Recruiting in Motion, makes that possible.

Contact Recruiting in Motion today to learn what they can do to help you find the perfect situation for your skillset.

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