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How to answer this top interview question... 'What are your strengths?'
How to answer this top interview question... 'What are your strengths?'

A structured approach to answering this top interview question

Written by Olivia
Updated over a week ago

Ok, when you get asked this question you are aiming to:

  • Clearly communicate your key strengths that are relevant for the role

  • Demonstrate you really have these strengths by providing at least one example

  • Do this in about a minute

There is a great example of how this is done which you can see here

Here's a 4 step approach you can use to create your answer...

Rephrase the question

This helps with the flow. You could start with something like... “Sure, one of the reasons I applied for this job is that I believe my strengths to be well suited to the role. My strengths are …”

State your strengths

Limit your answer to 3 or 4 (max) strengths using language that interviewers understand and that demonstrates you understand the industry.

Make sure they are authentic, and that you can demonstrate that you have these.

Be concrete rather than abstract.

Don’t confuse strengths with skills. Strengths are more about your character and experience. That said if you have a skill that is unique and really important for the job then include it.

For help on coming up with your strengths check out this article.

Give an example of one strength

We recommend you give one example without being asked rather than leaving it to the interviewer to prompt you.

You can use the STAR model to structure the example you give.

  • S - explain the situation

  • T - highlight the task you decided to undertake

  • A - detail the actions you took

  • R - end with the result

Recent examples are better than older ones.

If you can't think of a work-related example then use a personal situation. But this is really only appropriate for younger job seekers.

Wrap up by offering to provide other examples

You could say something like “I’m happy to provide examples of where I have drawn upon my other strengths if you would like to hear more.”

Then be led by what the interviewer says.

Finally... practice, practice, practice...

Practice answering this question aloud. Does it sound ok?

Record your answer in the Interview Practice Room so you can watch and listen to yourself.

We promise that after just a few practices you will be so much better prepared for this question. Best of luck in those interviews...!

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