Question forms part of
Other interview questions that are similar
What would you consider your strengths to be?
Are there any areas of the role that you perform better in than others?
What part of the job description do you see yourself excelling in?
Where do you see your skills fitting in with the wider team?
What separates you from the other candidates?
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
This isn’t a trick. This question isn’t one of those where the interviewer is asking one thing but is actually looking for something else.
This is as straight a question as you can be asked.
The interviewer wants to know what you are good at. What skills do you have. What areas of the role will you excel in.
Your CV will only give half the picture. The interviewer wants to hear straight from you what skills you bring to the table. From your answer the interviewer will be assessing whether your skills are what they need in the organisation.
The best approach to answering this question
While this is a straightforward question, you should still take care with how you answer it.
I find that most candidates fire straight into what they think their best attributes are with no regard for the role or the company.
This is a mistake. When you answer this question (and all questions in an interview) you should always be mindful of what the interviewer wants to hear.
Take time to re-read the job description before you go for your interview. This will tell you exactly what the company is looking for from the candidates. This is what you will say you are good at; when the question is asked.
Sure it is a bit deceitful. But hey, that’s how the game is played.
Be sure to talk about a few things. You do not want the interviewer to think you are a one trick pony.
The best answers will highlight a few things that you are good at while emphasising one skill that you really excel in: all the while tying back what you are saying to your experience. That is what separates good and great answers. Everyone can say that they are great at leadership, but not everyone can back up this self-reported greatness with experience.
As mentioned it is best to get your answers directly from the job description, here are some things to look out for:
Skills / Strengths for Job Interviews
Strengths you can use in a job interview (buzzwords):
- Expert in an industry software
- Quick study
- Detail oriented
- Able to juggle many things at once
- Communicating and Influencing
- Problem solving
It is important for this question and other similar questions (like the dreaded “What are your 3 biggest strengths”) that you don’t just read off the skill and move on. You should mention the skill and go into a little more detail as to why you are so good at it. Take a look at the examples at the end of this post to see how.
How NOT to answer this question
Don’t be too humble. Sure it is difficult for some people to ‘big themselves up’. But this is not the time for false modesty. If you are ever going to show off your skills to someone this is the time and the place
Don’t say you are good at everything. If you say you are great at everything then it starts to become less believable. Limit your answer to 2 to 4 strengths.
Don’t say you are hard working. Such a cliché answer. You want to separate yourself from the rest of the candidates. Your future employer will expect all of the candidates to be hardworking you need to show something that differentiates you and shows the interviewer why you are right fit for the role.
Some other popular responses that you will want to avoid:
Obviously these are all good traits to possess however as mentioned all of these things are expected of any employee and will not make you stand out – which is what you want in an interview.
What are you good at?
Example answer 1
“As you can see from my CV I am an experienced project manager and I do believe I am very good at my role. I am a very good planner, I am quick to adapt to changing business environments but I believe my best attribute is my communication skills.
Being a project manager is all about being able to communicate effectively and to all different types of stakeholders – something I learned recently when we released a new software upgrade and I was communicating with front-line customer service colleagues all the way up to the CEO of the whole group! – It is this experience and others that have moulded me in to the skilled communicator I am today“
Example answer 2
“I’m not usually one to toot my own horn but when in an interview I suppose it is a must. I have a few attributes that I am particularly skilled in. I am hardworking – but I guess everyone says that – I am also an extremely quick study as you can see from my qualifications. But my greatest strength that I bring to the table is my experience in the sector. I have been working in this industry for over 10 years and have worked in a multitude of departments across all areas of the supply chain. There is not much about this trade that I do not know.
So you ask what am I good at, I am good at knowing where everything fits together, why certain processes are the way they are, who the best suppliers are in the area, etc. The knowledge that you can only gain from doing. I will be the person on the team that everyone comes to when they need more information about their work.“
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