Question: What are your strengths. Explain a situation where your strengths have helped you.
Response: My greatest strength is my adapting and quick learning abilities. I take on any new job knowing that I can learn the required skills in relatively short time. It gives me the confidence I need to face any challenge knowing that with training and focus I can learn and execute the task.
Case in point, on a recent project the client insisted that we use their customized platform to build the software. It was a great challenge as our software was never built or tested on such a robust platform. However, successful execution meant new market share. Our company was contemplating to reject the project due to the huge challenge it posed. I instilled confidence that we can execute this project and I spent that weekend learning and customizing small portion of our program to demonstrate that it can be done. When I presented my findings, our boss was really impressed, he assigned a team of three programmers under my wing and after two months of working 15 hour shifts, we executed the project successfully. Sure, there were some initial glitches but client was ok with that as there were no one else who offered this unique customized product. It opened up a whole new market for our company which I am leading now.
For Freshers: My greatest strength is my quick learning ability. I take on a new task knowing that I can learn the required skills in relatively short time. It gives me the confidence I need to face any challenge knowing that with training and focus I can learn and execute the task.
Case in point, while in my final semester, someone had mentioned that learning Spanish would add to my resume immensely, especially since I wanted to move to Florida after the college. My plate was already full with the tasks to finish but I took on learning Spanish, I used my commute time, lunch breaks during the college to learn the language. Now after six months, I can engage in a decent conversation in Spanish. My friends who are native Spanish speakers think that I have spent few years at the minimum for such proficiency. I did not tell them that I only did it in six months, during break time.
Notes: Always relate your strengths as they apply or help in the job you are applying for. This is not a question about your morals or personal values. Keep it strictly business oriented. If you have your Elevator pitch, this should be a piece of cake. Your experience need not be as dramatic or earth shattering as above but you get the point.
Variations of this question:
- What single quality do you admire about yourself?
- What attributes do you bring to the table?
- What is your biggest asset? Explain how it will help(ed) you on the job?
- What helped you succeed?
Trap alert: Employers are generally not looking to hear about how morally correct you are. It is expected that you are a good citizen. Making a special mention only raises unnecessary questions.