1. How to answer “What is your greatest strength?
    1. Read the job description well
    2. Choose relevant strengths to the job requirement
    3. Keep the list short
    4. Provide examples
    5. Explain how it can aid in your success at the job
  2. Sample Answers to “What is your greatest strength?”
  3. Mistakes to avoid while answering “What is your greatest strength?”
    1. Do not be too humble
    2. Avoid exaggerating
    3. Do not sound under-confident

“What is your greatest strength?” is a common HR interview question among recruiters.

However, don’t be deceived by its simple nature as answering it can be quite tricky if not practiced well.

To begin with, recruiters ask “What is your greatest strength?” to understand whether a candidate is a good fit for the company or not.

Read on to know how to answer this common HR interview question and ace your upcoming interview.

How to answer “What is your greatest strength?

To make a lasting impression in front of your recruiter, it is important to first understand how to answer “What is your greatest strength?”

Here are a few factors to consider before framing your answer to this common HR interview question.

Read the job description well

The first step to preparing to answer “What is your greatest strength?” is to read the job description well and understand their distinct requirements.

Also, research the company to get a better understanding of the company’s values, their mission statements, and vision.

This will help you to get clarity and formulate your answer better.

Choose relevant strengths to the job requirement

After you have gone through the job description, focus on the key strengths that the job requires and whether or not you possess them.

You can categorize your strengths into the following categories.

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Soft skills
  • Hard skills

Remember to choose only one category and stick to it. You do not want to sound cluttered and all over the place.

Keep the list short

Once you have distinguished your skill sets, list a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 strength points per category.

When you list strength points under the category of Experience, you can list the best point which aligns with the recruiter’s requirement for the job.

Take, for example, Mr. A is applying for the Senior Sub-Editor’s post at ABC company.

He can list his developed experience in handling magazine editorial processes, or his extensive attention to details, as his strongest point.

Provide examples

It is best to provide examples while answering “What is your greatest strength?” to support your answer.

Make sure to provide relevant and recent examples to leave a better impression on the recruiter.

Explain how it can aid in your success at the job

Let’s draw the same example of Mr. A from the above-mentioned point.

When he’s applying for an editorial position in a media organization, attention to detail is the topmost priority as market reputation is riding on it.

So, he can highlight his attention to detail as to his strongest point which helps in ensuring the brand’s image to remain intact in the market by processing flawless magazine copies.

Sample Answers to “What is your greatest strength?”

Now that you know the factors to consider while answering this HR interview question, let’s go through a few sample answers.

Sample answer #1:

“I believe my greatest strength lies in the fact that I am extremely attentive to details.

We have been editing around 100 copies every week and as it is known an organization’s reputation lies on the shoulders of a flawless copy.

I have been reputed as a person who pays attention to the most minute of flaws visible in a copy which resulted in fixing it before the copy hit the printing press or even published online.

I understand the importance of a brand’s market reputation and believe that my attentiveness to details and capabilities to fixing it will help in the growth of your brand more.”

Sample answer #2:

“ I believe my greatest strength is the ability of quick-fixing a problem due to the presence of mind.

Being into event-management, problems pop up most unexpectedly and it can blow out of proportions if not dealt with accordingly.

There was an event last month where the wrong picture of a speaker was reflected during an event.

So, I immediately got it pulled down, found the correct picture, and made the corrections, and got it showcased again without anyone noticing the issue.

There is no doubt that this mistake could have cost us a great client, but thankfully we avoided losing them due to our great teamwork and presence of mind.”

Sample answer #3:

“My greatest strength lies in my people’s skill. Communication is the key to every team is what I believe.

A few months ago due to a misunderstanding, a huge communication gap was seen between the editorial team and the remote correspondents.

This was sure to affect the magazine processes and impact its revenues.

So, I decided to have a conversation with the correspondents and the Head of the other bureau.

I took the time to listen to all of their grievances and explained the problem the editorial team was facing.

It was just a matter of a day and upon understanding the problems of both the parties, everything started to fall in place.

Also, with encouragement and proper team spirit we managed to get everything done on schedule and flawlessly.”

Sample answer #4:

“My biggest strength is my level-headedness. Even in the toughest of situations I have never lost my calm.

A few months ago during our magazine editing process, I had come across a piece that was 90% plagiarised.

It was a critical piece of the main story and we had to send the magazine for print the next day.

So, without wasting any time I read the full story, got in touch with the particular reporter if I stumbled upon any roadblocks, and rewrote the entire piece.

Although it took me a whole day to fix it but was worth it.

Also, I was thankful for such an amazing team who showed great team spirit and cooperated in the smooth sailing of the magazine closure.”

Sample answer #5:

“I believe my degree in English honors and my knowledge in InDesign and Quark are my greatest strengths.

My degree helps me with my language and impeccable grammar whereas my expertise in InDesign and Quark helps me to edit any piece with ease.

Over the last year, there have been many instances where my seniors had approached me to help them with editing on InDesign.

Even the reporters approach me to get an idea of the word limit required for their stated pieces.

My knowledge in these editing tools helps the team in the smooth finish of the magazine closure and without any flaws.

There was an increase in the readers’ feedback praising the team for producing great stories as compared to the previous years.

This made a huge difference to the team and encouraged us to work even harder to keep our readers happy.”

Mistakes to avoid while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

So, with the ‘How to’ part of answering this HR interview question sorted, here are a few mistakes you would want to avoid while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

Do not be too humble

Answering the HR interview question “What is your greatest strength?” is your opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Therefore, avoid providing humble answers as you want to put forward a powerful version of yourself and not a weakling.

Avoid exaggerating

It is understandable that you want to bag the job and leave a great impression in front of your recruiter.

However, it is important to know to strike a balance while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

The major reason why you want to balance your answer is that if you overdo it, the recruiter might think that you are full of yourself and would not be able to work well in a team.

Do not sound under-confident

Remember, you want to leave a strong impression on your recruiter, and the best way is to provide strong confident answers.

It is important to remember that a recruiter seldom remembers an under-confident candidate out of a pool of interviewees.

So, practice your answers as much as possible to look confident and speak in a confident posture.

With these tips and sample answers, hopefully tackling the HR interview question "What is your greatest strength?" will be simplified.

All the best!

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