Hello SOTGC community,
I decided to do a saga on the “most asked interview questions” and my perspective as tohow I’d answer them if my end goal was to work my way up the corporate ladder. While there really is no “right” answer for these, there is a method to think about HOW to answer them, so you don’t when you’re asked: “what is something that you KNOW you should do more of, but you aren’t doing?” you don’t end up with a “to work out more” answer. This is an actual answer that a very close friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, mostly because I don’t feel like getting tackled next time I see her) said during an interview with the Director of Strategic Accounts for our company, during her interview process. She still got the job 🙂
For those of you who don’t know what your strengths are, here is a free “strengths assessment” that isn’t exactly like that of the Gallup test, but can at least give you a starting point as to how to answer this question. For those of you who would like to get the full scoop, here is a link to the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book that I read a couple years ago and that really helped me. When I have been asked this question during interviews, I try and answer it with the big picture of WHO is asking me and WHAT they will view as a strength as it applies to the position I’m applying for. Every one of us has an inordinate amount of strengths we could list, and if we wrote out each one it might end up looking more like an epic poem than a resume. So don’t list out every one. When you’re going into an interview, really take time to research the company, try to get ahold of some people who either work for the company or work for a company that is similar (LinkedIn is a great resource for this). Really look at the position you’re applying for and what roles and responsibilities that position would have. Then take it a step further. Look at the potential for growth and promotion in the company that your job could lead you to. When you answer with your strengths, give them real ones that are a mixture of talents that will show you are more than capable of handling the job you’re applying for. Then as a bonus, add some strengthsthat show the interviewer that you have room to grow and have the ability to move above the role at some point and really make a positive impact on a larger scale than the job you’re interviewing for would create.
I know very few hiring managers that are ONLY looking for someone who wants to JUST fill the roles and responsibilities that they are hiring for. Most people want to know that you have ambition and drive to move past this starting position, and telling them strengths that will shed light on your growth potential within the company will give you that extra edge over the competition that simply says the normal “I work harder than everyone else. I am reliable and on time.” If I was doing the interviewing and I got those standard answers I’d think: “Great! I’ll keep that in mind when I need to hire a caterer for my next big event!” So what will you answer on your next interview? Will you set yourself up to be the next banquet caterer, or will you give well thought out answers that show them JUST what a unique individual they would be getting if they hired you for the job?
Photo credit: www.forbes.com