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What is your greatest strength?


Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > What is your greatest strength?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also


The question

What is your greatest strength?

What are your strengths?

Tell me the top three things you are best at.

What they are looking for

With this question the interviewer is seeking to discover both your actual strengths and also what you believe to be your strengths.

When they talk about strengths, they may be seeking any combination of knowledge, skills and personal attributes.

They may also be checking what they think are your strengths with what you think. If you tell of strengths without giving evidence, then if they think they are not strengths. On the other hand, this is an opportunity to change minds.

How to answer

Whilst this is not a time to be shy, you should generally avoid excessive bragging. A neat way of answering this without appearing arrogant is to tell them in terms of what other people have told you.

I have been told several times that I am very good at influencing senior managers to get resources we need for projects.

At my last personal review, my manager told me that my written work is amongst the best in the company.

Where you can, link the strength to actual things you have done and the value that you have created. You can thus link strengths to successes.

I have been consistently successful at delivering projects on time. I believe that a key element of this is my attention to detail.

You can also focus on the prioritizing element of the question, talking about 'greatest'. In doing, so, of course, you can also talk about other strengths you have.

I have consistently out-sold the national sales benchmark and led my team to the President's award five times, but I think that my greatest strength is that I care about my customers. This is something that I believe you cannot fake and which is at the root of consistent success.

Some of the strengths that you might show include determination, pride in a job well done, teamwork, leadership, expert knowledge, working to deadlines, etc.

See also

Evidence principle

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