Jane is interviewing for a position as a project manager. Here is how she answers this very common interview question...
"So Jane, tell me what your strengths are?"
"Sure, one of the reasons I applied for this job is that I believe my strengths are so well suited to the role.
My key strengths are budget control, delegation, communication and stakeholder management.
Just recently, on a project I was managing an issue arose that had implications for the cost and launch date.
I knew I needed to agree on a route forward as soon as possible, so rather than wait for the next project management meeting I called an urgent meeting with the stakeholders.
I presented the situation as it stood, and provided the three options available that my team had compiled for me, all of which required more money to be spent.
Whilst no one likes to spend more money than planned, a decision was made so the issue could be addressed.
After the meeting two of the stakeholders emailed me to say how much they appreciated the issue being tabled so quickly with the options clearly laid out so they could make a decision. Lack of communication had been an issue previously apparently.
I can provide other examples of where I have drawn upon my strengths if you would like?"
So why does this answer to this top interview question work well?
Jane leads in nicely
Four concrete strengths are clearly stated
The example references a recent situation
The example shows Jane took affirmative action
It showed her ability to manage stakeholders
She demonstrated she could delegate
It demonstrated a structured approach to communication
There was a positive outcome (always good!)
Refers to positive praise received from senior representatives (bonus points!)
She ends with an offer to provide more examples of her strengths
The answer was all delivered in about a minute
How can this help you?
Why not use the above example to structure an answer to this question yourself?
And record the answer in the interview practice room so you can watch it again and see the video analysis report.