How To Answer “What Is Your Greatest Strength” in an Interview

In a job interview, the interviewer will likely ask, “What is your greatest strength?” Here are strategies and examples to help you ace the answer.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why do employers ask “What is your greatest strength”?
  2. How to answer “What is your greatest strength?”
  3. “What is your greatest strength?” answer samples
  4. 30 strengths to consider for your answer
  5. More interview guides and tips
  6. FAQ: “What are your strengths?”

Why do employers ask “What is your greatest strength”?

When a recruiter or hiring manager asks you what your greatest strengths or greatest weaknesses are, they’re doing so for two major reasons:

1. They’re trying to get to know you as a person. They want to know what you feel you are best at and, potentially, whether you know where you need improvement.

2. They want to know how you’ll fit with their team. Employers are trying to figure out if you will be a good fit for the job you have applied for, as well as how you will fit into the company’s culture.

This is one of the most common interview questions asked by recruiters and hiring managers, so it’s important to be prepared to answer it regardless of the job you’ve applied for. Other similar questions to be on the lookout for include:

  • What strengths would you bring to the company?
  • What are the strengths you can bring to this position?
  • What do you do best in your current job?
  • What would your coworkers say is your greatest strength?
  • What is your strongest area of expertise?

To help you ace the interview, we’ve put together the following expert advice:

  • Strategies on how to answer this question in an interview
  • Sample answers to help you get started
  • Tips on other important interview questions

How to answer “What is your greatest strength?”

You should treat any this question the same way you would treat common behavioural interview questions.

  • Consider what the job and company need. Provide the interviewer with a specific example of why you consider a certain skill or trait to be one of your key strengths. When you’re asked this question, tailor your answer by providing skills that suit the requirements of the job description.
  • Think of your answer in terms of what and how. Consider what you excel in and how you’ve demonstrated this ability. Focus on specifics when you give examples of strengths; use this opportunity to show the potential employer what hard skills or soft skills you’re great at and follow up with an anecdote that showcases them.
  • Give concrete examples of achievements. It’s important to be detail-oriented when you answer this question. When asked these kinds of job interview questions, you should be honest but positive and talk about personal strengths that are connected to some of your biggest success stories — especially if they earned you glowing performance reviews, helped you become a good team player or achieved academic or sporting success.
  • Show confidence in your abilities. It’s important to find a good balance between not being too arrogant and not being too humble. Answering “What is your greatest strength?” is also about how you present yourself, so speak to your strengths confidently.
  • Be concise. The recruiter or hiring manager might not have much time to extend the interview, so get straight to the point — you will show the recruiter adaptability and active listening skills. Make sure you focus on the biggest strengths you have that are relevant to the job posting and only move on to less relevant or less robust strengths if the recruiter asks for additional examples.

“What is your greatest strength?” answer samples

Use these answer examples to craft your answer and practise for the job interview.

Entry-level

As an entry-level job seeker, you might not have previous work experience to derive an example from, so you should consider any volunteer work, extracurricular activities or even personal projects you’ve worked on that can help you accurately present your greatest strength. For example:

“My greatest strength is my organisational skills. I was the secretary at my high school’s student government and thanks to my these skills, we could effectively plan fundraising events without getting overwhelmed. I kept track of all the ideas and suppliers and aided the treasurer in keeping track of our budget and finances.”

Job candidate with some experience

When you have previous work experience, it’s easier to find a concrete example of your strengths to present to the potential employer. Make it relevant to the job you’re applying for and ensure that there’s a connection between your strengths and the job responsibilities. For example:

“I’m a great and persuasive communicator. As a sales representative, I’m able to properly communicate with colleagues clearly to make sure that rules and instructions are followed and I can persuade clients to purchase products without hounding them. In fact, at my previous job, I earned the award for Best Sales Representative in Q3 and Q4 because I exceeded sales goals by 20%.”

Very experienced job seeker

If you’ve had many years of industry experience, recruiters or hiring managers who ask “What are your greatest strengths?” will expect you to provide a detailed answer that displays your professionalism, abilities and achievements. Tie it all together with the job description and the responsibilities of the new job. For example:

“During my nine years working as a graphic designer, I’ve learnt that my greatest strength is my ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. When you work in a fast-paced environment, it’s crucial to know how to manage your time and deliver great work every time. I have a proven track record of working on major campaigns, presenting to clients and providing jr. graphic designers with feedback in a single day. It’s a skill that allows me to work well under pressure.”

30 strengths to consider for your answer

While you answer this question, you can mention any skills or traits you consider to be major strengths. However, certain strengths are more impressive to certain recruiters. Here’s a list of strengths and personality traits to consider:

  • Creativity
  • Project management
  • Discipline
  • Writing skills
  • Analytical thought
  • Delegating
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Management skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Multitasking
  • Public speaking
  • Customer communication
  • Time management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • People skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Hard-working
  • Teamwork
  • Self-awareness
  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Self-critical
  • Perfectionist

More interview guides and tips

CVHelp has dozens of articles and career advice written by experts to help you navigate your job search and ace your job interview.

FAQ: “What are your strengths?”

Q: How do I present my strengths most effectively?

Make good use of your communication skills. Speak directly and confidently about your greatest strengths and give examples of times when you had a chance to use them to their full potential. These strengths can be soft skills such as problem-solving abilities and leadership skills or hard skills like SEO or social media marketing.

Q: Which of my qualifications is most important to list?

If you want to determine which of your qualifications can be classed as your greatest strengths, you should take into consideration:

  • What skills have you used effectively in the past that will work as a great example
  • What strength is relevant to the job you’re applying for

One of your strengths might be your communication skills but if the job description states that they favour someone who’s a great public speaker, then you should zero in on your public speaking skills and give examples of how you’ve used public speaking skills in previous jobs.

Q: What’s the best answer to “What are your strengths”?

The best answer to the “What are your strengths?” job interview question will be concise, mentioning one ability that is relevant to the job and providing an example of how that ability was put to use in the past. To make sure you’re covered, we suggest preparing possible answers to that question ahead of time and practising your answer. Read the job description well to determine what the prospective employer is looking for and tailor your response accordingly.

Q: What are examples of 5 strengths?

There are many strengths you can have as an employee and colleague. Some popular skills that you can feature as strengths are:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time management skills
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving skills

Q: What are your three best strengths?

The best strengths will depend on the job and industry. No job is the exact same, so even two customer service jobs will have different requirements, responsibilities and varying definitions of their preferred candidates — one might prefer a candidate who is detail-oriented and the other might be looking for a team member who can collaborate well with others.

To get a better idea of possible strengths by industry, you can explore our library of CV examples.

Q: What is your strength example answer?

Here’s an example answer for the “What is your greatest strength?” job interview question:

“My greatest strength is my flexibility. I can easily pivot tasks and priorities without getting stressed out. At my last job, we had a last-minute project to deliver in a short period of time and my ability to remain cool and collected allowed me to help my other team members understand the client’s instructions and necessities. We were able to deliver what the client needed successfully.”

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