Interview questions about your
technical/personal strengths can be asked in several different
ways. Here is a list of questions you may come across:
- What do you consider your greatest strengths or assets?
- What factors most account for your career success to date?
- What do you consider your most outstanding qualities?
- In what areas are other most complimentary of you?
- During performance reviews, what areas have most frequently
been cited as your key strengths?
- From a job performance standpoint, what do you consider
to be your major attributes?
- In checking with your co-workers, in what areas would they
describe you as most effective?
- What aspects of this position do you feel you will perform
- Describe your three greatest strengths and tell me how you
have used these to realize improvements in your current job.
- Which two or three major accomplishments best illustrate
your key strengths?
- In what ways do you consider your qualifications unique
or distinctive from others applying for this position?
- Why should I hire you for this position?
- What do your co-workers most admire or value about you?
- If asked, what would your current boss cite as your three
greatest strengths or attributes?
- When compared with other department members, in what areas
do you most excel?
- In what areas do others most rely or depend upon you?
- What would a thorough reference check reveal as your strongest
- In what aspects of your current job have you most excelled?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high), which of your overall
qualifications would you rate at the "9" or "10"
- What single skill or capability has most contributed to
your career success?
- Why should we choose you over other candidates for this
The Classic Answers
The following are some classic answers
to the interview questions concerning your major strengths
that should prove helpful to you in formulating your own
responses to this particular interview set:
1. "My three major strengths are that I am creative, results-oriented,
and continuous-improvement driven. My whole approach to
work has been one where I purposely review how work is
being done to look for those improvement opportunities that will
have the greatest impact. Identifying the major
barriers to improvement in these areas, I look for creative
ways to eliminate these barriers and move on to bring
the improvement about.
For example, in the employment area, cost-per-hire had
become an issue. Basic analysis of the problem showed
that we were interviewing seven candidates for every offer
made --- far too many. To address this, I initiated a
phone screening process combined with some basic training
in phone interviewing techniques. Through better screening,
we reduced the interview-to-offer ratio by 50 percent
with a resultant 25 percent reduction in hiring costs.
This saved the company about $0.5 million in employment
costs last year alone.
I am always looking for opportunities to become more
efficient and save money and time for the company."
2. "My co-workers would likely tell you that my strongest
attributes are persistence and determination. I have developed
a reputation for being determined and persistent in tackling
difficult problems. I am not a person who gives up easily.
The best example I can give you was the Briar account.
We were bidding on a $4 million contract for office furniture,
and my company had been told that Briar had decided to
give the business to our competitor. Learning this,
I immediately called the buyer and told her that the Briar
account was extremely important to us and we couldn't
afford to lose their business. I asked her what it would
take to earn her business back. The answer was "better
service." I then asked what kind of service improvement
would be most beneficial, and she replied, "Guaranteed
delivery within 30 days of the order." I asked her
if we could provide such a guarantee, would she consider
awarding the contract to us? She said "yes."
My persistence paid off. We not only got the original
$4 million contract, but have done another $10 million
business with Briar in the last six months alone."
3. "Yes, if I were you, I would give serious consideration
to hiring me over other candidates you may be considering.
One of my key strengths is cost cutting. You already told me that you need to get your manufacturing costs
down by at least 25 percent in order to compete with the
Detroit plant for the Ford business.
Cost cutting is one of my areas of strength. While working
as a manufacturing engineer for New Departure, for example,
I brought about improvement to the brake manufacturing
line that cut brake manufacturing costs by 30 percent
over two years. Finding creative ways to cut costs is
a definite strong point, and I feel confident that, with
some careful analysis, I can help you achieve your cost-cutting
objectives as well."
4. "The strength that most sets me apart from others in my
department is my technical knowledge of physical testing.
I used experiment design techniques to simulate ten-year
wear on conveyor bearings, reducing new product testing
time by nearly 80 percent. This has enabled us to more
than double the new product output and gets us to market
with these new products much faster than our competitors."
As you can see from the above examples, it is very convincing
to link your strengths with actual facts. This powerful interviewing
technique enhances your value and desirability as an employment
candidate. It is far better than a mere laundry list of your