Identifying and Highlighting Your Strengths

How do you properly advertise your strengths to a potential employer? Which strengths should you choose highlight? Potential employers want to hear about their interviewees’ strengths in action.

Identifying Your Strengths

What are the strengths that you should emphasize? Reflect on previous jobs or schooling experience—what traits were valued by your coworkers and peers? Did they recognize your great organizational skills? Were you known to be a great communicator? Think about what traits make you good at what you do. Choose around 3 and stick to emphasizing those. You do not want to muddy the waters by trying to highlight too many traits at once.

Highlighting Your Strengths in your Resume

The days of listing your strengths on your resume are LONG GONE. Employers want to see how those skills are applied to the work that you do. Note the characteristics that you have identified and write the job descriptions on your resume to highlight how you used those qualities. Check out this article on how to write your resume.

Highlighting Your Strengths in an Interview

Use what you wrote in your resume as a jumping point to present those skills in your interview. Speak on your experience and how it can be translated into what this new job demands of you. In an interview, it is more appropriate to explicitly state your strengths than it is on your resume. Example: “I would say that one of my strengths is organization, so the planning aspect of this position would be something I could do well in.” It is okay to brag on yourself a bit, as long as you have experience and examples to back yourself up.

Note your what you are good at and lean into it—they are what make you successful! Do not be shy when it comes to showing your potential future employers what you can bring to the table.

How To Discuss Your Strengths & Weaknesses In An Interview

“What is your greatest strength? What is your biggest weakness?” These just may be the most dreaded questions throughout interview history. Are you supposed to disguise a strength as a weakness? Should you be brutally honest? Even the most experienced candidates have toiled over these questions! Not to worry, we’re breaking them down, so you don’t have to stress about discussing your strengths & weaknesses.

Be Honest

Honestly is definitely the best policy when it comes to interviewing in general, but especially for these two questions. You do not want to be one of those candidates who over-promises and under-delivers on your strengths. Do not exaggerate in any form or fashion. Likewise, when addressing your weaknesses, never try to disguise a strength as a weakness! Hiring managers see right through this tactic and do not find it impressive in any way.

Keep It Concise

A common mistake when it comes to these questions is rambling. Because they are vulnerable topics, you may feel the need to fill empty space rather than leave your answer lingering. Don’t give in to the temptation! Be confident in your answer, and keep it short. More than likely, your interviewer is taking notes, and a bit of silence is perfectly acceptable.

Focus On The Future

No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, gear your answer towards the future. Let’s say, for example, that your weakness is getting overwhelmed when juggling a bunch of tasks. Take a brief moment to explain that while this is a struggle for you, you’ve learned that by creating lists and prioritizing ahead of time, you’re able to manage that weakness better.

As for your strengths, be sure to explain how your strength will be particularly helpful to the company you’re interviewing with. If your strength is performance under pressure, try to apply it to something you already know about the company. For example, “throughout my work history, I’ve found that I perform well under pressure. For the Project Management role with ABC Company, that will be particularly helpful when coordinating a team to complete last-minute project deadlines.”

In the end, don’t let this question stress you out too much. It is not intended to trip you up, rather to understand what type of employee you would be and how you would fit in with the rest of the team. Keep your focus on answering thoughtfully, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.