Thursday, May 15, 2008

What are your strengths?

You should certainly work on this question beforehand. Chalk down all the better qualities you have, which you can put to use in the profile you’re applying for. If you can find even 1-2 strong points suitable for the job, you’re done. But, don’t forget to find the real life examples to assist your answer (in case they ask you).

Which qualities are the interviewers looking for greatly depends upon the particular job, but the traits listed below will probably suit to most of the job-profiles:-

Good Learning Skills: No one possesses mastery of all the skills and it’s certainly not required at all. We all need to learn various things on a continuous basis to perform to the best of our abilities. You need to be a good learner for almost every thing you do (or aspire to do) effectively and efficiently in life.

Being a good learner means you’ve got the ability to concentrate and focus hard on the particular art/skill, understand the basics, think of that art/skill from various dimensions, align your skills and abilities with the requisites of that art/skill, and last but not the least you’ve got the temperament to keep working hard until you really become successful. Being a good learner indirectly means that you know how to put your efforts on use in the right direction.

You’ll certainly be having a number of good examples to assist your answer. We all learn quite a few things with time/need. You just need to pick few good examples and speak your heart out when asked.

Sound Analytical & Logical Abilities: Don’t you think that it’s a must for any profile you’re applying for, especially for all the profiles which involve creativity, innovation, out of the box thinking? Engineering, Research, Management, etc. are major fields where people need very good analytical and logical abilities. However, it’s a pre-requisite to all other fields (the level may vary) as well and it’s a great help to have sound analytical skills to make the best use of the resources available, right decision at right time, find better ways of doing the same thing, etc. It’s indirectly related to your learning skills as well as you will probably not be a good learner unless you have sound analytical skills. But, from that perspective all the soft skills are inter-related. You can hardly imagine any of them in isolation.

Good Communication Skills: Depending upon the profile the mode of communication may vary, but for all the profiles it’ll be right there among the most sought after qualities. To be a good team player, you got to have the ability to communicate properly among the team members and other people involved in the overall process. Individual contributions may not result into a significant product in most of the cases and if you’re that good an individual performer, you’ll probably not apply for any job :-)

Perseverance: Not every time you get success in the very first go. In fact, very rarely you savor success on the very first attempt. It applies to every aspect of life and not only to your job. We keep learning new things and the more enthusiastic we’re about it while learning, the better we learn (in most the cases). Again, it got inter-related with learning skills. I believe, this trait is very tightly integrated with learning skills, but I’ve put it separately because not everything you try to learn, you actually end up learning that. There may be many underlying reasons for that. But, perseverance lets you actually realize your true potential and it’s more likely that you’ll at least learn few other things during the entire process. You can hardly define a limit to the level of expertise you may have for any skill. Perseverance helps you keep aiming for higher limits and subsequently achieving that :-)

These are just a few traits from a long list, which you can hopefully build for yourself. Think about all those strengths in advance and pick the best (1-2) according to your own set standards. Most of these strengths have almost equal weightage. What really matters is how well can you really explain (and prove if asked) the one you’ve picked for yourself.


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