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  • Writer's pictureJames Eves

How would you answer the question, “what are your strengths?”

Updated: Mar 8

Photo Credit: Christina @

So, you’re in an interview, and one of the inevitable questions comes up.

“What are your strengths?”

It must be right up there as having a high probability in making an appearance.

Just like the opposite question of “what are your weaknesses?”

And if you have a quick wit and a cheeky sense of humour like me then you might be tempted to throw out some of the more witty responses. Although the reaction isn’t always what I’d hoped for!

Did you think of any of these strengths?

  • I’m a fast learner

  • I’m a team player but can also work alone

  • I’m the best at managing customer relationships

Or the weaknesses?

  • I’m a perfectionist

  • I work too much

  • I’m partial to good quality dark chocolate…

I’ve used that last one as part one of an answer. Didn’t go down as well as I thought it would!

As far as the other answers go, they are not particularly helpful as they don’t give a hiring manager or interview panel much to go at.

After all, these don’t tell you much about the person and how they operate. Or have you stand out from any of your competitors in the candidate pool. As no doubt they might be reeling off these same responses.

The solution?

Come at it from an angle of you putting more into the preparation than others.

Find a personality / psychometric assessment and start here as part of your identity.

My personal favourite is Gallup’s Clifton Strengths assessment (formerly known as Strengths Finder).

Not only will it give you some more confidence in your identity, but it will build more self-awareness as to how you get things done using strengths.

And as an added bonus, you will understand how these are potentially going against you, derailing you, and showing up as weaknesses.

And this is exactly what I do with my coaching clients when they’re approaching interviews for a promotion, new role, or a career change.

And the feedback that they get? That it’s refreshing to have someone approach these classic interview questions in a different way.

To outline their core strengths, with practical examples, and how they address weaknesses.

It’s honest, offers insight and value to a hiring manager, and will put you across in the best light.

So, when you’re next prepping for an interview, take this approach and I guarantee that you’ll feel more confident and have a more enjoyable experience.

Let me know how you get on.

Or if you’d like to chat about how I could help you with this, book in for a 30 minute chat.

There’s no cost, no obligation to buy anything, and you’ll leave with more direction, actions and a feeling of being more in control.

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