How to Communicate Your Strengths in a Job Interview

You know this is the job for you. Here’s how to convince the person doing the hiring.

Instructions

  • Step 1: List your strengths Determine what your strengths are. Include specific skills, like 'proficient in HTML,' as well as general qualities, whether it’s being 'a big-picture person' or having 'great attention to detail.'
  • Step 2: Relate to the job Now correlate each skill to the current opening. Think hard about how all of your abilities can be put to use at the position you want.
  • TIP: Ask friends and coworkers what they see as your strengths—their answers might help you see yourself in a new light.
  • Step 3: Prepare for questions Prepare for difficult questions. If you quit your last job to follow a band on tour, be ready to put a positive spin on it—maybe you were considering writing a book about the experience rather than just goofing off?
  • Step 4: Use a thesaurus Get out the thesaurus and look for words to describe your attributes that aren’t as clichéd as 'hard-working,' 'dedicated,' and 'team player.' Or else you might as well say, 'I work hard, yadda yadda.'
  • Step 5: Think up examples Come up with concrete examples of your attributes. For example, if you plan to say, 'I’m a good manager,' be ready to follow it up with proof of how you spurred people into action.
  • TIP: During the interview, be confident but not cocky. Overconfidence is just as unappealing as its opposite.
  • Step 6: Turn negatives positive Turn negatives into positives. If you’re asked why you only stayed at your last job for six months, say it was a bad fit and you didn’t want to remain where you felt you couldn’t do your best.
  • TIP: Don’t badmouth your former employer, no matter how tempting. You’ll look unprofessional and give the interviewer reason to suspect you’re difficult to work with.
  • Step 7: Own your weaknesses If, despite all your preparation, a weakness is revealed during the interview, don’t panic. Owning your weaknesses can be a strength. Acknowledge them and say how you plan to overcome them.
  • FACT: 'So, why don’t you tell me about yourself?' is the most frequently asked job interview question.

You Will Need

  • A job interview
  • A few job skills
  • Some good qualities
  • A thesaurus
  • Time to prepare

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