What are your greatest strengths?
This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don't want to come across as
egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER: You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and
needs before you answer questions. And from Question #I you know how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also
have a specific example or two, which illustrates each strength, an example chosen from your most recent
and most impressive achievements.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their executives are:
1) A proven track record as an achiever...especially if your achievements match up with the
employer's greatest wants and needs.
2) Intelligence ... management "savvy."
3) Honesty ... integrity ... a decent human being.
4) Good fit with corporate culture...someone to feel comfortable with...a team player who meshes well
with interviewer's team.
5) Likeability ... positive attitude ... sense of humor.
6) Good communications skills.
7) Dedication ... willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8) Definiteness of purpose . clear goals.
9) Enthusiasm... high level of motivation.
10) Confident ... healthy.a leader.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
PASSABLE ANSWER: Disguise strength as a weakness.
Example: "I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is
not always on that same wavelength."
Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it's so widely used, it is transparent to any
BEST ANSWER (and another reason it's so important to get a thorough description of your interviewer's
needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can think of nothing that would stand
in the way of your performing in this position with excellence. Then, quickly review your strongest
Example: "Nobody's perfect, but based on what you've told me about this position, I believe I'd make an
outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do they have the
qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation to do it well? Everything in my background shows I
have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence in whatever I take on. So I can say
in all honesty that I see nothing that would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong
desire to perform this job with excellence."
Alternate strategy: (if you don't yet know enough about the position to talk about such a perfect fit):
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making sure that what you
like most matches up with the most important qualification for success in the position, and what you like
least is not essential.
Example: Let's say you're applying for a sales position: "If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as
possible in front of prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back at the office. Of course, I
long ago learned the importance of filing paperwork properly and I do it conscientiously. But what I really
love to do is sell." (If your interviewer were a sales manager, this would be music to his ears.)