How to Answer Common Interview Questions: What is Your Greatest Strength

Part 3: What is your greatest strength?

The strength question may be more difficult to answer than the weakness question discussed in the last blog post.

The answer to the strength question should demonstrate self-knowledge and self-awareness, just as the weakness question demonstrates those qualities. Yet the strength question must also show that the candidate understand the needs of the prospective employer.

At a certain level, being on time each day, meeting deadlines, and providing excellent customer service are wonderful strengths.

But as you progress in your career, your strengths should also progress to match your abilities and your level of responsibility.

At management levels your strengths should grow to match the responsibility you have in the company. For example:

  • My greatest strength is that I can implement procedures that reduce costs. In my last position, I streamlined processes that reduced costs by X% within 3 months.
  • My greatest strength is analyzing processes to make them more efficient. As vice president of XYZ Company, I reduced the budget approval process by 14 man-hours, saving time and overhead costs.

When crafting an answer to the strengths question, keep in mind the needs of the company and what type of tangible contribution you could make as a new employee. Use numbers and symbols such as $ and %, if possible, to quantify your strength.

Do not overstate your abilities. No one will believe that you can cut costs to zero and double profits!

In addition to demonstrating self-knowledge, you must also present your knowledge of the interviewer’s organization and their needs.

Do your research so you can present an excellent answer to the common interviewing question, “What is your greatest strength?”