Interview Questions About Strengths and Job Performance

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When you are interviewing for a job, it's common to be asked about your greatest strengths and how they will help you perform on the job. It's always a good idea to have examples of your strengths ready to share with interviewers.

Be prepared with examples to show the interviewer how you've used your strengths to succeed on the job.

What the Interviewer Wants to Know

Interviewers ask this question to see whether or not your skillset is a good fit for the position and the company. This question also helps interviewers see whether or not you have researched the job and the company thoroughly.

How to Answer the Question

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.

Don't understate your talents, but don't come off too boastful either.

The best strategy is to practice answers about your strengths before the interview, taking time to plot out how you can sell your 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 and how you'd benefit the company.

Examples of the Best Answers

Adapt the following answers to your background and experience.

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.

Why it Works: This response relates the candidate's prior work experience to the skills the job requires, showing the employer why they are a good 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.

Why it Works: The candidate shows the hiring manager that they know this is a deadline-oriented position and they have the ability to thrive under pressure.

My time management and organizational 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.

Why it Works: This answer discusses the applicant's greatest strengths and explains how it will help them multitask to handle the job for which they are interviewing.

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 part of my job as head of the department.

Why it Works: The candidate explains how their skills can help in different facets of the job, enabling them to be successful at both motivating employees and project management.

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.

Why it Works: This response shows the interviewing, by sharing a specific example of a success story at work, how they could bring those abilities to the new employer.

I think that my greatest strength 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.

Why it Works: In this response, the applicant uses the question as an opportunity to show why they'd be a terrific fit for the company, as well as a strong candidate for the position.

Tips for Giving the Best Response

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 as they relate 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.

If you're not sure which strengths to discuss, this list of the top strengths employers look for can help you decide.

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. 

Possible Follow-Up Questions

Key Takeaways

Make a Match: Use your response to show the interviewer why you're a perfect match for the job.

Share Examples: Have examples of how you used your strengths at work to show the interviewer how you can perform successfully.

Don't Overdo It: It's fine to be proud of your accomplishments, but don't be boastful or brag about them.