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  • Writer's pictureBlue Bull Recruitment

What are your strengths?

You've nailed the initial telephone interview and been invited to a face to face interview (or a virtual face to face at the moment) and you know that question is coming..... What are your strengths?


It is usually a question people don't prepare for, I mean how hard can it be to tell someone how good we are at something? Well, it is more difficult than you think.


You need to answer this question confidently and with confidence and conviction. You need to also try and tailor your answer to the role you're applying for and give examples. Preparation is key as the interviewer/s may want to delve a little deeper on your strengths and may ask for examples and how you handled a certain situation.


You also need to come across in the right manner too. You don't want to seem arrogant and self centred but you also don't want to seem too humble and withdrawn.


Examples of how not to answer:

"My strengths? Well I'm just a superhero, like an Avenger! There's trouble or something needs sorting and I will come flying in sort it and it will be perfect in no time! I'm amazing at taking control of a situation and it always works out because I'm that good!"

As we're sure you are chuckling at this right now, trust us though there will be a small handful of people out there that may think this is a good answer to the Strengths questions. It seems arrogant, over-powering and will probably put off any interviewer.


Another not great answer would be:

"My strengths? Well my mum says I am really good at helping tidy up, urm yeah, I think I'm good at being tidy and helpful. I'm a good tidyer-upper"

Also not very good as you can come across as being unsure of yourself, lacking confidence and shy. If you are applying for a role in a fast-paced environment or a large office then the interviewer will think you won't be able to cope with the business and amount of poeple.

 

There are two types of skills that you can draw on to help you answer this question.


These skills are: ADAPTIVE SKILLS and TRANSFERRABLE SKILLS.


Adaptive skills are skills that help you to adjust to changing situations. They may mean one thing in one role and something different in a different role, depending on the environment. These skills will enable you to learn and grow throughout your career.


Examples of adaptive skills include:

  • Efficient

  • Confidentiality

  • Work to deadlines

  • Quick Learner

  • Analytical

  • Stakeholder management

  • Flexible

  • Attention to detail

  • Work well under pressure

Transferrable skills are a core set of skills that you possess that can be beneficial in many different roles and industries. You can pick up these skills through school, college, life experience, work or a hobby.


Examples of transferrable skills include:

  • Organisational skills

  • Multi-tasking

  • Workload balance

  • Time management

  • Computer literate

  • Verbal and written communication

You don't necessarily have to use work related experiences to prove these skills in your answer. If you have a hobby that uses these skills use that as an example. This could be anything from being a competitive show jumper to an ice hockey goal keeper. These hobbies demonstrate a number of skills like punctuality, calm under pressure, analytical, reading body language, multi tasking, organisational, adaptive to a changing situation, the list goes on.


You also have Hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are skills you have learnt from a specific job, something you aren't born with. These can be things like Coding, Profit & Loss, Designing etc. Soft skills are skills that are part of your personality, who you are. These can include communication, leadership, outgoing personality, adaptive etc. These are good skills to mention too.


We recommend you prepare for this question as much as you would for the "What do you know about our company?" question. Think about the skills you have that suit the role and then think about situations that you have used these skills. Prepare and rehearse your answer so you can answer confidently and with conviction and be prepared in case you are asked to elaborate on the situation.



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