“What are your strengths?” Glassdoor’s #1 most common job interview question can be stressful under pressure. Luckily, there are ways to beat feeling overwhelmed when talking about your strengths. Here are some tips to help you find your strengths and use them to find a job you’ll enjoy and be good at.
1. Start with your interests and values
Knowing your strengths can help you work better with others and enjoy work more. It can also improve your results. So, how do you get started?
Thinking about your interests and values can be a good first step. They will often match up with your strengths. One way to get going is by writing down words you relate to. It is also useful to think about the tasks you do in your current job as you’re doing them. Notice how they make you feel. Which tasks give you energy? Which ones bring you happiness or satisfaction? Also think about which interactions with others you feel confident or comfortable in. These feelings can guide you towards your interests and values.
You can also think about how time passes. Are there types of work or tasks that seem to make time pass at lightning speed? Activities that bring on this feeling of “flow” might be closer to your interests.
Once you have thought about your interests and values, look for companies that share them. You can also look for companies in areas that match your interests.
2. Find where your skills match your interests
Ask your coworkers what they think your strengths are. Notice what you get good feedback on. Also, see what coworkers ask you to help with, or ask for advice on.
All these situations can show where you add value to your team. But, it is important to keep in mind that your skills may not always match your interests. You might be very good at something that drains your energy, for example. Or, you might love a task, but every time you do it, others have to revise what you’ve done. Your true strengths lie in areas where you are both energized and find success. Once you find these, you can match your skills with tasks in job descriptions.
It is also important to look for examples and evidence to support your view of your strengths. If you enjoy organizing events, how many people actually show up? If you enjoy writing, how many people subscribe to and comment on your blog?
3. Stand out
So, you know your interests, you have matched them to your skills and even found a job where you could use them. Now, how do you land the job where you can put it all to work?
LiquidPlanner says you shouldn’t use general terms in your resume or interviews. Instead, focus on your specialties and provide specifics. So, instead of saying you are a strong marketer, mention your specific interest and skills in SEO. You’ll stand out more, and as a bonus, being more specialized can make you more valuable to your team.
With these tips on your side, you can feel more confident and find a job that fits you and your strengths.