Don't worry. You're not alone. Everyone has a difficult time identifying their own strengths, which makes it one of the most dreaded, yet common interview questions there is. And that's exactly why we're here to help!
In just a few short paragraphs we're going to tell you what professional strengths are, how to identify them and some stellar examples you can give in a job interview.
Think of our advice as bite-sized cue cards to get you through the big day.
Professional strengths are the skills that make you who you are. They can be hard skills, like specific qualifications, or soft skills, like communication, critical thinking and adaptability.
Your first task should always be to read the job description first to make sure your professional strengths match the job you're applying for.
Almost always. And if you aren't asked this question directly, the interviewer will always ask some variant of it like, "How do your skills match this role" or "Could you tell me about a time you demonstrated XYZ?"
Our advice? Always be ready for this one!
A lot of people worry about this question, but It's easier to answer than you might think given the right preparation time. The real key is going to be deciding what to say. Don't go in there and just reel off a full list of professional strengths, you need to target your skills specifically to the job you're interviewing for.
This is your chance to show how valuable you are. Re-read the job description the night before your interview and prepare some stories that show your strengths meet their skills. If the job description asks for great written communication skills, come armed with some examples of your report writing abilities.
The interviewer wants to see how well you've prepared. We all know this question is coming, and how you answer lets them know how well you know the role. It's also a chance for the interviewer to see how you handle pressure. When you're prepared, this doesn't have to be a difficult interview question.
Critical to any job. Which do you excel at? Written or oral? And have you got examples?
No employer wants a lone wolf. Give some specific examples of how collaborative working helped achieve goals in the past.
This strength shows you can be trusted, can complete work on time and sets you apart for promotion.
You're able to spot solutions no-one else can. Tell the interviewer about a time you stood out from the crowd and solved a problem with creativity.
You can't be successful in an interview without the specific knowledge based skills needed for that role, so make sure this gets a mention.
A lot of today's professional fields need workers that are comfortable working on their own, and can be trusted to get on with the work they've been assigned.