Interview What Is Your Greatest Strength? – Best Answers Interview by Sam Warren Updated On Jan 26, 2020The tension, anxiety, and fear that comes just before an interview can be quite daunting and overwhelming. Numerous questions asked, a wide range of assessment methods used, and a panel of no-joke interviewers are the basic ingredients for any serious interview.By now, you have probably analyzed countless interview questions and practiced answering them. But have you taken the time to look at one of the most frequently asked questions: ‘What is Your Greatest Strength?’.If not, you are in the right place. If you already have, it doesn’t hurt getting a more detailed overview. Buckle up! This is going to be quite a ride.Why do they ask this Question?Truth be told: This question qualifies to be the easiest and hardest in any given interview. Easiest because there is no definite answer; furthermore, no one else knows you better than yourself. Hardest because you don’t know how appealing or acceptable your answer is to the interviewers.One of our biggest objectives in this piece is to help you understand the mind of any interviewer as far as this question is concerned. The bottom line is: Any interviewer seeks to understand whether your strengths go hand in hand with the job description or the company’s responsibilities.Given this, it is critical to put your best game on and objectively identify some of the talents that could help you become productive in the organization. Above all, you have to be ready for the different variations used to ask this question. For example; “What makes you the ideal candidate for this role?” or “What sets you apart from the other candidates?” You may also be asked,” What would your previous employer sight as your greatest strength?”This tells you one thing: You have to understand the needs and the complete structure of your prospective employer. Moving on, you will learn some of the ways you could answer this question diligently. But before that, what does it take to ace this bit of the interview?The Interviewer needs to be sure that:You are the best fit for the position and an ideal addition to the teamYou have what it takes to deliver and maintain high standardsYou have a unique combination of skills that set you apart from the crowdYou will make life comfortable for them and other superiors.With this in mind, you should offer attributes that only complement the specific job to set you apart from the rest of the candidates. But don’t get tempted to lie about something you know you can’t do. Repeat after me, DO NOT LIE!Whilst lying feels like the easiest pass, you might get a hard time if asked to implement your skill set later on. It could easily cost you that job and tarnish your reputation. If you have nothing relating to the job, use the following selling points to derive your answer:Technical and soft skillsTraining/Industry experienceKey accomplishmentsPast awardsSocial responsibility recognitionStep by Step Guide:Most people fail this question, not because they lack strengths, but because they didn’t prepare adequately. Here’s a short breakdown that will act as the perfect roadmap to a perfect answer.1: Brainstorm- To start, review the job description, and make a list of key responsibilities/ skills required for the same role. With a clear picture in mind, now make a list of your qualifications and personal traits that are most similar to the first list.2: By all means, exhaust your points and think outside the box. Strengths can be qualities, values or even characteristics. Skills that are outside the organization could also be a plus, so make sure to include them.3: Create a structure- Now that you have a shell to work with, take note of 3-5 skills that are most relevant and use them as a focal point throughout your answer. Compile the jumbled-up shortlist into clear, concise bullet points and note down the selling points or descriptions for each.4: Practice- More than anything, the interviewer wants to see how you have used most, if not all of your skills to solve a real-world problem. To be on the safe side, cite real-life examples for each and understand them without cramming.5: Grasp your answer to the point of relaying the desired message even with different explanations. It will not only boost your confidence but also boost your employer’s confidence in you.With that, let’s delve into the meat of the topic!Examples of Best Answers:Sample 1:“My number one strength has to be having a solid work ethic. Whenever I’m working on my projects, I focus on completing it ahead of time, and not just meeting deadlines. If I share my latest example of this. Last month, I earned a mega bonus for completing all my assigned projects two weeks ahead of time, while still maintaining quality. I believe I am well able to implement the same timeliness here.”Why this works: First, the approach taken is confident and objective in the sense that, your employer notes you have many strengths, but you are well-versed to realize which is most dominant. Sharing a good example is one of the best strategies you could use, as well as showing how it brought rewards; both for you and the company. Just make sure all your examples can be backed up or confirmed by referees.Sample 2:“Aside from open-mindedness, being intentional and maintaining a strict code of conduct, one of my greatest strengths is using most enterprise-level and content management systems. I have a specialty in proprietary tools and analytics. In my previous job, I noticed that the company’s marketing team wasn’t implementing the right policies, neither were they utilizing all the system resources. With time, I was able to teach them how to get the most out of the system, implement cost-efficient policies and track analytics in a less-tedious manner. This saved the department more than $30,000 each year and maximized the returns.”Why this works: Skill-based strengths help show your employer-to-be how your technical skills match with the job description. This is an ideal answer because the example cites how you have used your strengths to drive success for a given company. Without a doubt, this gives your interviewer the assurance they need and gives you a higher chance of landing the job.Sample 3:“I mostly pride myself on having exemplary writing skills. Having been in the editing industry for six years now, I am well-versed in copy editing and copywriting, as well as a keen attention to detail. Over the years, I have written for many sites, publications, organizations, and individuals. With a diverse sense of style, I approach all my subjects in a conversational style, to hook any of my readers. In short, I know how to shape my writing to fit the topic and audience. As a Marketing officer, I will be able to edit all kinds of documents, articles and press releases, to meet the needs of the organization with accuracy and efficiency.”Why this works: Even without a deep example like the rest, this answer easily shows how the candidate understands their strength and how to implement it in a given scenario/ real-world situation. For such jobs though, always be ready to give tangible examples; such as past write-ups.Sample 4:“I have different sets of skills, but the one that is beyond a reasonable doubt, my greatest strength, is quality customer services. For over 3 years, I have worked as an online representative for various organizations, with my main job being; dealing with customers. Having mastered all the products and services offered by my various employers, I know how to resolve problems and technical answers ready, with customer satisfaction rate being 85%. I have a thorough criterion of questioning that helps me understand customer needs faster and an open mind to offer them the best solutions and recommendations. I can proudly say I have been a customer representative group leader more than twice and earned 5 awards throughout my career.”Why this works: Practical experience is the best to cite solid examples. The answer above has not only covered the capabilities and work ethic of this individual but has also shed some light on the interviewer regarding their ability to handle difficult clients. Again, this entirely depends on the job you are applying for. If it needs practical effort, then you have all the liberty to give such an answer.Sample 5:“One thing that has been dominant in my career is perceptiveness; I would, therefore, cite this as my greatest strength. It has served me well in the past because I have a natural ability to notice a change in people’s emotions and body language. Being in a leadership position for the past year in my career, I have interacted with so many people, all who have different insights and views. Recently, my sales department was facing high turnovers and the workload seemed to increase by the day. I was able to identify when my team members were burned out, stressed or angry and saved the situation almost immediately. This saved the company a great deal.”Why this works: This answer shows the employer something you have slowly developed over the years and can be implemented in any work situation, regardless of the type of job. If you feel like you don’t have a technical strength in your field, you still have the option to go for value/quality-based strengths. It remains relevant because every workforce has daily interactions with colleagues and other people.Additional Tips:Use a catchy delivery method such as a story or an interesting example, clearly showing how your input helped solve the situationDemonstrate your skills and strengths logically without exaggeration. You can also add a few personal, professional voluntary experiences that have helped you solidify your strengths.Always be brief and straight to the point. Don’t take too much time giving more examples than required. Get one or two strong points to emphasize on, then move on to the next points.Avoid showing desperation- What most employers hate is people who work for selfish gain. Even if you need the job desperately, don’t show it. Act professional and be cool.Don’t be too general– You may be general in some answers but if you have good examples to back your story, do provide them. Personalize your answer to avoid vagueness.On the WholeProper preparation prevents poor performance; in all levels and aspects of life. With these insights, you stand a better chance acing that interview, more so the question about your greatest strength. It all depends on how well you have mastered your points and your method of delivery.All the best! The ball is in your court.