When you are asked questions about your strengths, it’s important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates. It’s important to show the interviewer that you have the qualities the employer is seeking in the applicant that they are going to hire.

1. Look at the Past

What have you been really good at in previous jobs? What skills and experiences do you rely on over and over again to tackle challenges in your personal and professional life? What events stand out in your past as particularly meaningful, fulfilling, or powerful?

2. Look at the Present

What do your friends and family come to you for? What compliments do you regularly receive? What do you genuinely love doing? Which activities do you find so absorbing that you lose track of time when you’re engaged with them?

3. Look at the Future

If you were to design your ideal job, what would you do all day? (Remember, no self-censoring or qualifying your answers. Write it all down, even if it seems impossible or unrealistic!)

Review what you’ve written. Circle or underline anything that surprises you. Draw lines to connect notes from different time periods that link together. Find patterns and clues—you’re looking for what really defines you.

Examples of the Best Answers

  • I have an extremely strong work ethic. When I’m working on a project, I don’t want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule. Last year, I even earned a bonus for completing my three most recent reports one week ahead of time.