Interview Questions About Strengths and Job Performance

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It's common, when you are interviewing for a job, to be asked about your greatest strengths and how they will help you perform on the job. Interviewers ask this question to see whether or not your skill set is a good fit for the particular position and for their company. This question also helps interviewers see whether or not you have researched the job and the company thoroughly.

Make Your Answers Specific

An effective answer to this question will demonstrate how your greatest strength, or multiple strengths, will make you an asset to the company. When you respond, specifically relate your strengths to the job description. It's a good idea to use examples from prior positions you've held to show how your abilities helped you perform successfully in the workplace.

Be sure to read the job description thoroughly in advance of the interview, noting key skills that fit your experiences. For each of these skills, think of a specific instance when you displayed that skill. Also, look closely at the responsibilities you would be assuming and any projects you might be undertaking. 

Adapt the following answers to your background and experience.

Sample Answers

  • My greatest strength is my ability to work effectively with many different people. My strong communication skills have made me an effective project manager on dozens of projects over the past five years. Because this job involves a lot of team projects, I know that my communication and interpersonal skills make me an ideal fit for the position.
  • My greatest strength is my ability to stay focused on my work and finish tasks in advance of a deadline. I'm not easily distracted, and this means my performance is very strong. This skill will come in handy because I know this is a very busy office under constant deadline pressure. My focus will allow me to meet these deadlines successfully.
  • My organizational skills and time management skills are my greatest strengths. I'm capable of juggling multiple projects at the same time. At my last job, I was typically assigned to be project manager on team assignments due to my ability to adhere to deadlines and keep track of the team’s progress. These organizational skills will allow me to effectively juggle all of the day-to-day operations of the office as your office manager.
  • My greatest strength is my listening ability. I pay careful attention to what I am being told, including specific information relating to current projects, details about future projects, and even what my colleagues did over the weekend. Being a good listener, I am highly effective at completing projects efficiently because I don't have to be told something twice. My listening skills also enable me to effectively motivate others, which would be a big part of my job as head of the department.
  • I am a very methodical and organized individual. In my previous administrative assistant position, I restructured the office filing system which made it easier, and quicker, to access client charts. These strengths mean I will be able to keep department records and files organized and structured so that departmental tasks can be completed in a shorter amount of time.
  • I think that my greatest strength, to be honest, is my curiosity! I’m fascinated by learning what makes people tick, and so I enjoy asking my clients questions about their backgrounds and hobbies as well as about their requirements. This helps me to establish a personal rapport with them, and ensures that our consultative dialogues are productive. Since I know that your company and your sales program emphasize the importance of quality relationship building, I think you’d find that I’d fit into your climate quite well.

Set the Right Tone

When you’re asked to describe your strengths, be careful to set the right tone. Some interviewers may ask you to “brag a little about yourself.” In answering, you’ll want to display a gracious self-confidence – neither “hiding your light under a bushel” nor coming off as too boastful.

The best strategy is to practice answers about your strengths before the interview, taking this time to plot out how you can “sell” this strength by also explaining how and why you think it will fill an employer’s need in a specific area. This allows you the great opportunity to redirect the focus upon the employer, demonstrating how you would be a team player