Of all the standard and specific questions you may be asked during an interview, the above is one that allows the greatest scope for individual expression. It is extremely direct and to the point, and asks you to assess the core qualities you bring and offer to a company and potential employer. In fact, the question has so many potential answers that you may well have difficulty deciding on an entirely suitable response, especially one that reflects the best of both your personal and professional skill set.
An Opportunity for Self Promotion
Like any interview question, it should be considered as an opportunity for self-promotion above anything else, and your response must give a representation of the qualities that serve you best within the workplace. While you may have a broad range of possible answers to give, you will want to cultivate a response that offers more than a general summary of your personal qualities or the merits of a decorative coffee cup. So, consider these factors as part of your answer:
- You should use your CV to help build a suitable answer to this question, as this document is able to offer an insight into some of your more relevant personal attributes. For instance, if you have undertaken several evening or vocational courses, then you are clearly an individual with an enthusiasm for self-improvement and learning. This process allows you to draw inspiration for your response, as well as allowing you to give a reply that is backed by physical example.
- When noting your relevant qualities, try to combine general personal attributes with those that relate specifically to the role you are interviewing for. For example, if you are applying for a role in finance, you may wish to cite a skill or aptitude for analysing numbers in addition to the more general assets of tenacity, enthusiasm and an innate willingness to learn. It is this diversity of response that will mark your application as unique amongst your rivals.
- Remember, an interviewer can always ask you to expand on an initial response, so you should be prepared to follow up your answers with further dialogue. To this end, be sure to keep your reply honest and relevant to the original question, so that you can offer genuine examples from your work or education history to support your claims. If you say that you are driven and motivated, be prepared to show how and share any relevant experiences with an employer.
Remember, the question is asked to make you assess your own strengths as a candidate, so a concise and detailed response will best reflect an awareness of your most significant attributes and what is required for the role. The above techniques will help to provide an answer that is both unique and also based in fact, offering a true reflection of how can benefit an organization. Above all, this question offers you the chance to really sell yourself to a potential employer, so be sure to use it to your full advantage.
Do you have any experience of answering this question, whether positive or negative? Do you have any advice you could offer an interviewee? Please be sure to let us know your thoughts!