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Common Questions 101- “What are your Biggest Strengths”

by T. Austin Basile about a year ago in advice
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How to answer the dreaded, "What are your Biggest Strengths?", question!

Me personally, I hate this question. Just wanted that as a disclaimer right up top. The reason I hate this question is because it pairs with the “What are your biggest weaknesses” question and you have to somehow spin that into a strength without it actually being your strength. It’s exhausting. If you are ever asked what your biggest strengths are, please do not say that you are a hard worker. Being a hard worker is the minimum requirement to do anything anywhere for the rest of time. Being a hard worker means absolutely nothing. Do you know how many other people out there who are “hard workers”? Let’s fine tune here.

So what are your biggest strengths? Seriously? What are you really really good at? Are you good at working within teams? Alone? Multiple projects? One task at a time? Time management? Leadership? Creativity? What? There is no secret formulaic answer to this questions. One thing you will find out is that being honest and truthful is a common theme for everything that I write! It really is a no brainer.

Your biggest strengths should be something that really exemplifies your work experience and who you are as a person. Like I said before, being a hard worker is not the answer here. Neither is giving 100%, or even punctuality. Try to avoid the answers that are pretty much a given for being able to work anywhere. Here is something you could say if this applies to you:

“I would say my biggest strength is being able to work side by side with different people in different departments. I understand how collaborative this position is and I have experience working in a team environment and being able to manage multiple projects at a time. I truly excel in making sure projects are executed and completed on time and upholding deadlines given to me by my leaders or peers. I strive to be a great team player and being hyper-organized and diligent only helps me succeed in a team environment.”

I know that can be a lot of words just to say one or two things but you need to come across that you are not only articulate but you understand how you fit in the larger picture at company you are interviewing for. From fast food, to retail, to Fortune 500 companies, working in team environments is critical. Working with peers and making sure YOU are the one that stands out is essential. Let them know the value of camaraderie and how you are not the stick in the mud, rather the motivator and leader. Be the person they can count on rather than the one they skip over.

So what are you biggest strengths? Is it any of the ones I detailed above? Make sure to let me know!

Let me know if you need any help with resume building, cover letter writing, or have any questions on the interview process. I love to help in any possible way I can! If you have an idea on a common question that you are facing and you want me to detail out a response that might be able to help you, please reach out to me because I guarantee I most likely have heard it before and can lend some real advice.

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I will be writing how-to's and thing I am passionate about pretty frequently and I have very very strong opinions on certain subjects! Let me know if you like what I am writing, I love to have a dialogue and am looking for an audience to have intellectual conversations with! I love getting introspective and trying to see things from other peoples' perspective!

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advice

About the author

T. Austin Basile

Lover of Chipotle, my wife and my three animals. And yes, in that order.

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