5 Good Answers to the Question – ‘What’s Your Greatest Strength?’

A man holding a dumble

Honestly — “What’s your greatest strength?” is a dumb question. Any job interview question that an interviewer will ask an applicant but will not offer to answer themselves, too, is disapproving.

The standard interview questions (What’s your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness? What was your greatest failure? What’s your five-year plan? Why should we hire you?) reinforce the bad, old idea that the employer is mighty and the job-seeker is an ant.

Smart employers already know that the worse they treat job applicants, the worse their business results will be. They don’t ask job-seekers to dance and prance to get the job — any more than they would expect a plumber to beg for the opportunity to get a kid’s sock out of a tub drain.

Smart employers hire people because they are smart and have great backgrounds — not because they give the most pleasing answers to silly, outdated interview questions like “What’s your greatest strength?”

However, we will give out-of-touch interviewers a pass because they may not have heard the news that talent-aware employers are no longer relying on the dusty, crusty interview script of old.

Here are five ways to answer the question “What’s your greatest strength?”

You will notice that each of these answers includes a story!

What’s your greatest strength?

I love to re-design processes to make them simpler and faster. It’s fun for me and over time I’ve gotten pretty good at it. At Acme Explosives I re-designed the ordering process and got our average order turnaround time down from four business days to one.

What’s your greatest strength?

I like to solve thorny customer problems. At Angry Chocolates, I took over the account of a guy that nobody else wanted to deal with because he was so difficult. I spent a lot of time on the phone with that customer and built a great relationship with him. He ended up doubling his order volume with Angry once he felt heard and acknowledged.

What’s your greatest strength?

I gravitate naturally to instruction when somebody around me is having trouble. I like to break things down so they’re easier to understand. I built a simple FAQ list that helped the receptionist at my last job learn her role in just a few weeks. I’m passionate about helping people climb the learning curves that their jobs throw at them.

What’s your greatest strength?

It is undoubtedly writing. I love to write! I love writing marketing brochures, website copy, sales training materials, press releases and every other kind of business communications. I take my reader’s point of view and ask myself “What would I want to know about this topic if I were the person reading this material?” I’m always thinking about different ways to get information across. That’s my favorite part of my job!

What’s your greatest strength?

I’m relatively new to recruiting but I find that I’m good at it and I love it. I love talking with people and hearing about what’s important to them. I have seen in my one year of recruiting for Wiggly Devices that when you hire for brains and heart and are willing to train people in their jobs, you will great a terrific team of people who really care about their work and one another.

End of Script

As you saw in these examples, you can push a lot of information across the gap between you and your interviewer when you tell a story.

Telling a story is far more powerful than bleating “I’m a hard worker!” or “I’m self-motivated” — bland and forgettable things that any job seeker could say (and thousands do).

Every chance you get to tell another Dragon-Slaying Story at a job interview, take it!


– By Liz Ryan, CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap.

Source: Forbes

(All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent MentorYes’s viewpoint or recommendations. Readers are advised to consider and evaluate the views presented here before implementing them in their preparation or otherwise.)