When you’re in an interview you’re always trying to portray the smartest, strongest, most successful version of yourself in order to be appealing to hiring managers and get that job offer you’ve been chasing. However, nerves or inexperience interviewing can sometimes get in the way and cause a few stumbles or, worse, prevent you from displaying all of your best job related strengths. Never fear! Here are 3 easy ways to effectively communicate your strengths in an interview.
1. Can You Think of A Time When: Although this question can often prompt long pauses and blank stares, many interviewers take the time to ask, “can you think of a time when…?” Thinking of a few examples ahead of time that may apply to several versions of this question is a smart move, but what about thinking of examples that display your strengths directly? If they ask you to think of a time when you failed and the steps you took to recover from it, you can give an example that portrays your resiliency while also relating it to your killer coding skills or your problem solving processes or your team-oriented mind or a little bit of everything! These questions are used to ascertain your ability to do one specific thing but that doesn’t mean you can’t pepper your answer with some of your other relevant skills and really spice up the interviewer’s impression of you.
2. Tell Me About Yourself: It’s a good idea to keep your answer to this short and sweet but, when an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, never pass up this opportunity to illustrate some of your strengths. Saying things like, “I graduated college in three years” or “I started two rungs lower in my last company and moved into my current role within five years” can point to your work ethic and your ability to improve your skills rapidly. Saying things like, “I love to code in my free time” or “I make it out to at least one tech conference every year” shows that you’re always working on your technical skills because you really love what you do and that you’re staying up to date with the latest technologies. This is one of the easiest parts of the interview to really present your skills in a succinct way because it won’t appear that you’re bragging when they’ve asked you to talk about yourself directly.
3. Do You Have Any Questions: At the end of almost every interview your interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. It’s always important to keep a few great questions in your back pocket for this portion of an interview so you look engaged, curious, and genuinely interested in the position. That being said, your questions can be geared towards illustrating any of your strengths you may not have brought up in the interview yet. For example asking, “I love to take a hands-on approach through the full life cycle of every project, is that something that’s encouraged here?” or “When I can I like to take charge and lead projects, what are the leadership opportunities like in this position?” Even asking them about specific projects they mentioned in the interview or a press release of theirs you read online can show that you’re a person who prepares thoroughly and learns quickly. Attaching your strengths to the beginning and asking questions that relate to them after is a great way to slip in a few of your strengths you haven’t mentioned yet and get answers to some burning questions.
Most interviews already have these three sections built into them so why not use them to your advantage to convey some of your strengths? If you want to effectively communicate your strengths in your next interview, these are 3 easy ways to work in a little skill bragging in a natural way that reflects well on you. Give it a try in your next interview and tell us how it goes!