Describe Your Strengths Creatively In An Interview

24/07/15

As an Internships Consultant the top three strengths or personal attributes that I most commonly hear from students are ‘accuracy and attention to detail’, ‘organised’ and ‘hardworking’.

While you may have those traits, they are clichéd and unoriginal responses – most people use them because they are common good traits to have.

As a new graduate, it’s really important to be unique and inspiring and to provide strengths that convey some self-reflection and relationship to the role that you are interviewing for. Your strengths should be a combination of your technical and personal competencies. Let’s look at an example:

As an Accountant, it is important to be accurate, hardworking and have attention to detail, but what other similar words can be used to describe the same type of skills?

Having accuracy or paying attention to detail can be similarly described as being cautious, analytical, methodical or logical in your approach to tasks to avoid errors

Being organised can be similarly described as being goal orientated, deadline driven or being an effective time-manager

Being hardworking can be described as being conscientious, diligent, responsible, career-driven or determined

You can further demonstrate your skills and enhance your ability to succeed in an interview by providing an example of how you have demonstrated certain skills:

Example 1: “Being effective at managing my time is one of my biggest strengths. Since I am pursuing a career as an Accountant, it is important for me to be able to prioritise conflicting tasks and manage deadlines. At university I was able to balance academic deadlines, a part-time job and sporting commitments by incorporating detailed study plans, to-do lists and calendar reminders into my daily life.”

Example 2: “I am a very conscientious person and I believe this is one of my biggest strengths. I have a strong ability to focus on the task at hand and not become easily distracted. My determination to deliver on tasks ensures that I can meet deadlines. I have applied this to my academics with strong results and will continue applying it within my accounting role as it is also going to be heavily deadline orientated.”

Taking the time to think about your strengths and putting them into relevant contexts will be instrumental to your interview success.

Describing your best qualities for a role and how they can be specifically applied is never easy. To help guide you through the process, our mentors are on hand to practice interview skills, update your CV and offer advice on internship placements. 

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