How to Answer: “What are Your Strengths?”

Anonymous asked this: “How do I answer the question: what are your strengths in a job interview?”

Here’s my answer:

Hi Anon. It’s just a question, answer it, don’t be scared of it. The employer is just trying to figure out why you would be a valuable person to have on the team, they want to know what benefit you’ll bring to his/her business.

“What are your strengths?” Or in other words, what are you really good at – or what could you be really good at? What in your past work or student experience did you do well?

* So, can you type at 60wpm? That’s a strength.
* Can you speak clearly, politely and diplomatically with clients? That’s a strength.
* Are you good with figures – making calculations, adding things up? Strength.
* Are you an organized person? Always keeping your desk, bag, shelves neat and tidy? Strength.
* Can you lead a team (you can tell from your school years)? Strength.

And you’ll want to remember that your strengths should translate into benefits for the business … your client skills result in happy clients who return and buy more … your being organized means the business will finish projects on time and within budget (money will be saved) … etc.

So here’s a good answer:

“I have 3 strengths, I feel. 1) I can type at 60 wpm – so I get admin work and correspondence done really fast and accurately, sometimes I get up at 5am just to practice my skills, to stay sharp. 2) I speak English clearly and well. So on the phone and when interacting with clients, I give a good first impression. They enjoy speaking to me. And 3) I’m very organized – so my desk it always neat, I’m up-to-date with work and I get things done when they should be done.”

Hope this helps!

Gerard le Roux | Guerrilla Job Search Coach | |

Get a free e-course: just send an e-mail to

BIG Job Hunting Mistake – you can’t buy your way past “hard”

I got an e-mail from a client, a great guy. I wrote his CV/resume, which he then sent to another expert for assessment. Kindly he sent me the response, which as you can imagine, was not complimentary (“and for just GBP60 I can fix it for you.”)

Here’s my response, I’m posting it to help other job hunters who are falling into the same trap:

Hi “X” – I don’t have time for this. I’m not offended, because I’ve seen too many CV/resumes and experts’ work over my 10 years. Any CV/resume can be “shredded”. Even one you may pay USD2 000 for. I know, I’ve seen them.

I’m only sad to see that you’re falling into a trap of thinking that there’s a magic fix out there. There isn’t. There’s no “one magic way” to present your CV that will mesmerize every employer and recruiter.

Chasing every ‘expert’ opinion will leave you uncertain, it will make you unsure of yourself, it will make you hesitate and you’ll end up chasing your tail. Not everyone will like your CV, no matter who writes it, no matter what you pay. That’s just a fact.

Your only job now is got get yourself in front of employers. In any challenge there’s the easy part and the hard part. There’s no way to quick fix the hard part. Getting yourself in front of employers – by any means – is the only thing that will help take you forward now.

You’ve hit the hard part. Going back to fix your CV – again – is going back to the easy part, leaving the hard part undone. Getting yet another qualification is also seldom the problem.

Fill your diary. Draw a 10 km circle around where you live. Make a list of potential clients in that area. Make it your mission to contact every one on your list. Fill your diary. Set up 20 appointments for the next 2 weeks. Even if it’s just with ex colleagues, ex managers, friends with connections, etc. There’s a high likelihood somebody somewhere will refer you to someone they know who will turn out to be your next employer. Fill your diary.

Or … you can get your CV fiddled with, again, either by you or by another expert.

If you choose the hard part rather, I’m here for you.

But, hey, maybe I’m wrong?  Comments are open.

New: Coaching Programme for Job Hunters – Your Ideas on the Name Please?

Your thoughts please: almost done setting up a new job search coaching programme. So, is “Bash-Down-Door Coaching for Job Hunters” a good name? Other ideas?

The programme is a simplified presentation of of my book “Job Search FAST TRACK – DYNAMITE for Job Hunters” which is too long and overwhelming. It has 6 main modules, each quick, easy to apply and will give job hunters ‘bash-down-door’ power in the job market (that will have employer’s utterly “wowed”.)

It features:
1) 6 hard-core innovative tools that will help job hunters get more job interviews, more job offers, more often. Guaranteed. (You won’t have seen these anywhere before.)

2) A free add-on support group where job hunters can get support with their 6 tools and get ongoing encouragement from fellow job hunters and from me. Hey, job hunting is hard!

3) The option of dedicated personal help from me.

I’ll be adding a “career direction” coaching programme next.

But for now: “Bash-Down-Door Coaching” – good name?

3 Ideas to Go from “Blah” to “Buzz” in Your Career

Is this you?

“I’m in a job, but I know I’m capable of so much more. This job is a road to nowhere. I’m bored. How can I get to the next level?” 

If you identify with this question, here are 3 ideas on making yourself more marketable. More attractive. So that when someone looks at your CV and you, they see the potential, they see you as superior and they’re persuaded to give you the chance you’re looking for.

[By the way, join me on Facebook for daily ideas:]

Here Are the 3 Ideas

ONE – Collect and add testimonials from your supervisor, your colleagues, even clients – collect positive comments such as: “Joe is a positive, skilled, hard working professional.” “Joe can handle pressure well.” “If there’s a crisis, I’d want Joe by my side, for sure.”

 Include excerpts of these in your CV. They’re persuasive. They show you’re a valuable team player who’s not just another bum-on-a-seat to the employer. You make a contribution.

Hey, and if your performance isn’t up to this standard, then work on it. Get it there. Be that great person that everyone likes to work with. Start where you are. Don’t wait for the new opportunity to be the person you can be. Be it now.

 TWO – Continue learning – go to the library and read 1 book every month – see that it relates strongly to your field of work. It could be focused on what you do, how you do it, who is doing it, where it’s being done. For example if you’re in the medical field, say a paramedic, you can read books/websites on: improving your knowledge of medicine, physiology, pharmaceuticals and methods; books on famous people in the medical sector; websites or blogs of people who do what you do; etc. Get it?

Take any opportunity to learn something new – either via a course, or when you work with someone more qualified than you. Ask someone at work to teach you something new. Document it. What did you learn? How will it help you.

This shows you’re serious about your career. Newsflash! Not everybody is! Show that you are. This can be your competitive advantage – what makes you special.

THREE – Put the list of books/websites etc. in your CV. Even include and addendum (a CV add-on) where you list them and write a brief summary of what you learned and how you’ve applied what you’ve learned in your job.

Keep a log of incidents you’ve worked on, like a diary. At the end of every day, write a brief description of what you experienced that day. Explain the situation and then explain what your role was in assisting. How are you now a better qualified/skilled person, more valuable to your employer.

Put this log in your CV – well, perhaps only include the biggest events (maybe a collection of 10). This again will show thoroughness and passion on your part.

Easy to do, no? So instead of applying for jobs, coming across as jaded and as someone having lost interest in your job or career, you come across as a learner, with energy and passion, as someone who’s always making themselves more valuable, as someone serious about making a contribution.

Don’t be amazed when you start getting more and better paying job offers.

Food for Thought: Summer is coming here in the Cape. Just brilliant days in between the rain. As I’m looking out of my office window, the sun is lighting up Jet’s (my wife’s horse) back as he cruises around the paddock nibbling on tufts of grass. Just a perfect picture. What’s the food for thought? There are many simple moments in life that pass us by. Let’s slow down a minute here and there to notice them. They refresh us.

I’m here for you.

Join me on Facebook:



Powered by WhatsApp Chat

× How can I help you?