How to Answer Questions About Succeeding in a Job

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Recruiters will find many different ways to appraise your qualifications for a job, and one way they might go about this is by asking you about what qualifications, abilities, and strong points you have that will help you most successful in the job.

What Are Your Qualifications?

Most interviewers will probe your core strengths to determine how you might make the greatest impact if hired. You should be prepared to share the qualifications you have that will enable you to do succeed in the position along with some examples to illustrate why they are important to the job.

Your Strengths vs. Their Key Qualifications

The best way to prepare to respond is to start with a careful examination of the key qualifications that your employer is seeking. Look for an essential qualification that corresponds well with one of your most prominent assets. Often employers will list the skills they are seeking and you can use those listed to extrapolate additional relevant skills to mention. This approach is especially useful if you have those additional skills but are lacking in some of the ones they mention. 

The STAR Method

Think of a situation in which you applied that strength to the advantage of your employer and be ready to share any positive results that you generated. If possible, prepare two or three stories of how you have added value in different contexts by tapping that strength. Point out how that strength might be beneficial to the employer with whom you are interviewing. Don't expect them to make the logical leap for you; point out directly how this strength will benefit them.

A natural way to do this is the use the STAR method: describe the situation and the task that needed to be completed, explain the action you took and result generated by taking that action. Having your STAR explanations prepared for each qualification will keep you from stumbling during your interview.

Interviewers will often follow up with a question about another strength or two that has led to your success on the job. Be prepared to discuss several strengths that would be highly applicable to the job at hand and how they are beneficial to the company with whom you are interviewing. 

How to Figure out Your Core Strengths

If you're not sure what your core strengths are, now is a good time to figure them out, in advance of your interview. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Ask someone: It's often hard to assess our own strengths and weaknesses but a friend or colleague you trust should be able to shed some light on the topic for you.  
  • Check out LinkedIn: Browse the skills and endorsements on LinkedIn for people in similar roles to your own. The skills for which they are most highly endorsed are likely ones you have too.
  • Consider previous achievements and praise: When you've received feedback from your colleagues and managers, what has been said about your work? Whether the feedback came from a professor or a boss, it could be useful now in identifying what your qualifications, abilities, and strong points are.