How to Answer "What Is Your Greatest Strength"

“In our professional life, we tend to face many interview questions, among which one of the most common questions asked is about our strengths. It looks like a basic easy to answer question but the most basic things come with the most intricate details.”

We tend to face many interviews in our professional life at different points of time. It seems like some interview questions are easy and direct to answer but we do forget most of the time how to deliver appropriate answers for what has been asked by the interviewer.

For this let us get some insights into answering one often occurring interview question, that is, how to answer “what is your greatest strength?”

Know Yourself & Introspect

It is very important to be fully aware of yourself which includes being aware of the strengths as well as the weaknesses and also about the ways in which you can enhance your strengths and overcome your weaknesses efficiently.

There are times when we become unsure about how to address the above-mentioned questions correctly or how to approach such questions. To be able to answer your greatest strengths honestly and thoughtfully we need to know ourselves inside out and confidently put forward our thoughts in an accurate and precise manner to perform well in a job interview.

It is always good to be prepared well in advance and have a clear set of ideas of what to say and what not to say in a job interview which can be attained only by self-introspection. We need to truly reflect on ourselves and frame appropriate responses to be given to the interview questions asked in a job interview.

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Know What the Interviewer wants

Sometimes when an interviewer asks you in a job interview about your greatest strength you end up mentioning just one or two of your strengths and then expect that the interview would move forward and ask another interview question.

But does it really go that way? I am sure you will all agree that it does not as the interviewer sits there waiting for us to give him/her some other greatest strength of ours.

You need to learn and focus on answering what your greatest strengths are in such a manner that the employer is able to connect your strength with the job he/she might be offering us.

You should answer what your greatest strength is by keeping in mind all the experience you have had, any training attended by you, your educational background, and your accomplishments in any extracurricular activities.

While answering your greatest strength in a job interview also try to reflect on your skills and connect those to your greatest strength while answering the interview question.

The aim of an interviewer behind asking you about your greatest strengths in a job interview is to gain an insight about you as an individual, to know whether you yourself know your strengths or not, to be able to judge how much you are in touch with the reality and whether or not you are suitable for that particular job.

How to Answer “What is your greatest strength”?

  • Focus on the Strengths that the Interviewer is looking for in the Job
  • In a job interview, you need to focus your attention on the skills and the greatest strengths that you have which are linked or related to the job you are applying for. Try to use your experience, skills, talent, and all your capabilities in a manner that impresses the interviewer and makes you the most eligible candidate for the job.


    For example, if you are looking for a job in Information Technology(IT) as an IT Analyst then your skills and talent as a great musician would be of no use for the desired job. Hence, you should surely avoid unnecessary and irrelevant skills that do not go with the job you are applying for. Think of skills such as :

    • Communicating complex information in digestible amounts.
    • Oral Communication
    • Written Communication
    • Leadership
    • Team Building
    • Time Management
    • Multi-tasking
    • Knowledge of Cloud Computing, HTML, Java, C++, Python
  • Jot Down your Strengths
  • You should try to make a list of the strengths that you have, say about, three to five strengths of yours so that you can mention your greatest strengths accordingly. It is really helpful and important to have different strengths in mind as your answer may vary from one job to another.

    There can be different types of skills that you can use to answer what your greatest strengths are in a job interview such as:

    • Soft Skills like being a team player, efficient and productive employee, a good leader, etc.
    • Hard Skills such as the skills that you might have developed and acquired eventually by studying or working in particular. For example, you might have proficiency in speaking more than one language or you might be good at handling clients with good convincing tactics.
    • When you are jotting down your greatest strength then you should keep in mind a few things which will help you to come up with your greatest strengths such as what part of your work you enjoy doing the most, what is it that you consider easy and can complete very quickly, any recognition whether internal or external given to you by any previous employer.


      You can also ask any friend or former co-worker of yours to describe what they think your greatest strengths are. This will help you to gain a reflection of reality from another person’s perspective who knows you well and asking them will help in validating the strengths that you have listed for yourself as well as to add or subtract any strength.

      Therefore by following the above technique you will have many strengths in your mind to answer an interview question on the greatest strength in a job interview according to the job being offered.

  • Think Of Accomplishments that Validate your Strengths
  • When you have 3-4 strengths in your mind then you should think of the accomplishments that can help validate the strengths you are mentioning while answering the interview question on the greatest strength in a job interview.

    You can follow four basic principles while quoting your accomplishments which are as follows:

    • Think of the situation in which you faced a challenging task that required you to use your strengths or help discover your new strengths.
    • Describe briefly the task performed by you with a clear emphasis on the challenges faced by you and how efficiently you used your skills to complete the task productively.
    • The next principle requires you to quote the course of action taken by you to deal with the difficult situation or the task at your end.
    • Last but not least is the result. This is the most important of all principles as it is a clear indicator of your accomplishment and therefore of your greatest strength.

    The above-mentioned principles will help you with your LinkedIn or any other job portal profiles as well as with your resume. Always keep in mind to answer those strengths and accomplishments which go hand in hand with each other and are absolutely relevant to the job being offered.

  • Select Your Best Strengths
  • You should quote only the best strengths as an answer to an interview question in a job interview and try to focus on describing those particular strengths effectively to create a good impression and letting the employer know that you have the required skills and strengths appropriate for the job.

    Providing them with accurate proof in the form of your accomplishments and the accolades that you won will help them gain a stronger and reliable insight into your greatest strength.


    Never forget to connect the dots between your strengths and the needs of the employer for the job as it adds a factor of relevance to your mentioned skills and strengths in a job interview.

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  • Accurate Example of Framing an Answer
  • My greatest strength is that I pay attention to detail and I am able to keep my calm and patience consistently. Being detail-oriented is something that I enjoy as well. In my last job, I was required to manage 6 client projects and had various tasks going on in those different projects. Being detail-oriented and patient made me deliver 100% of my projects effectively on-time.

  • What Not to Say
  • There are a few things that you should strictly avoid while answering an interview question on what your greatest strengths are in a job interview which can be briefly mentioned as follows:

    • Do not sound unsure of what you are speaking about your strengths as that will create a wrong impression on the interviewer, hence reducing your chances of getting hired for that job.
    • Avoid using phrases such as ‘I don’t know’, ‘I am not sure’, ‘I think so’ etc because that will simply make you sound low on confidence and not credible enough for the job that you are applying for.
    • Do not name too many strengths as it might make you sound scattered and would simply create a distraction for the interviewer. You need to just focus on 2-3 strengths and relate them with the job while providing proofs to what and why they are your greatest strengths.
    • Don’t be shy to talk about your strengths.

    Always believe in yourself and be confident not just while answering your greatest strength but also while answering all the other interview questions in a job interview and you are surely going to ace it.

Written By :
Ayushi Tyagi
Career Expert at CV Owl

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