When an interviewer asks you about your work-related strengths, do you know what to say?
You know roughly what you’re good at and where your biggest strengths lie, but what strengths should you emphasize in a job interview?
This is where a list of personal strengths comes in handy.
When you reach the end of this post, you’ll know how to answer any question about your fitness for the job you want.
Let’s get started.
What Is the Best Answer to “What Are Your Personal Strengths?”
When someone asks you, “So, tell us something about yourself,” you know they’re not asking you for your life’s story.
But if you’re not prepared for the question, you’re likely to stammer your way from one scattered point to another. Not a good look.
If a sweet job is at stake, you want to be prepared with a compelling answer when an interviewer asks, “What are some of your strengths?”
To get your mind working on ideas, start with some personal strengths examples like these:
- “I’m a self-starter. Once I start something, I make a plan and carry it out. And I never miss a deadline…. ”
- “I love collaborating with others because I know the other people on my team have strengths that can make up for my weaknesses, and vice-versa.”
- I’m a strong writer, and I never run out of ideas. I’m always working on something, and I’ve sold hundreds of copies of my books. I don’t get bored.”
- “I get lost in coding for hours at a time, just working on pet projects — mostly mobile apps. I’m always learning, and I love using technology to make life better.”
- “I treat customers the way I want to be treated. I’m a people-loving problem-solver. I make it my mission to listen and make sure every one of them feels important.”
Personal Strengths List: 31 Top Qualities For Your Next Interview
Look carefully through the personal strengths list below and identify your top five.
Then narrow it down to one or two at a time and draft your own answers to the question, “What are your strengths, and how do they relate to this (particular) job?”
1. Action-oriented / Entrepreneurial
You’re not afraid to take risks to go after what you want. You get an idea, learn more about it, and take action to pursue it if it seems worthwhile.
You’re not one to wait around for someone else to blaze a trail for you. You take what you’ve got and forge ahead.
2. Appreciative / Grateful / Mindful
You make it a point to show appreciation for the good in your life — including and especially the people who make every day better or who challenge you and help you grow.
You can always find something to savor — and plenty for which to feel grateful.
3. Bold / Confident
You’re not afraid to stand out or speak up for yourself and your ideas. You know that shrinking violets don’t get very far, and you want more out of life than the bare minimum.
So, you seize opportunities and put yourself forward as the best person for the job. Because if you’re not now, you soon will be.
4. Brave / Courageous
What you may lack in confidence or star-power you more than make up for with courage and a readiness to step outside your comfort zone. You know the importance of challenging yourself, and you surround yourself with people who challenge you.
Better to be left out in the cold than comfortable inside a cage.
5. Creative / Innovative / Imaginative
Ideas are never far from your mind. You make time for creativity and enjoy using your imagination to design things, tell stories, or find innovative solutions to problems.
You like to try new things and make new connections between things, people, and ideas. And since creativity loves company, you love sharing new discoveries with others.
6. Collaborative / Cooperative
You like being part of a team, and it shows in the way you collaborate with others, treating them as you want to be treated and respecting their ideas and perspectives, as well as the strengths they bring to the group.
You look for ways to make sure everyone gets a chance to shine.
7. Committed / Devoted
You’re committed to giving your best effort and getting the best possible results in your professional life. You seek to improve your relationships and make time for the people in your life.
You know you still have plenty to learn, but nothing will stop you from doing your best.
8. Curious / Inquisitive / Investigative
You have an inquiring mind, and you’re not afraid to ask questions. You’re also ready to do some investigating of your own if necessary (or even if it’s not). You love making discoveries and learning more about things that interest you.
And you never run out of things that interest you.
9. Detail-oriented / Meticulous / Thorough
You don’t miss a thing. You have an eagle eye for the tiniest details and the slightest thing out of place, and then you do something about it.
You take pride in meticulous work and don’t mind putting more time and attention into it. The results speak for themselves.
10. Diplomatic / Tactful
Some folks pride themselves on their bluntness, but you see nothing wrong with using language to facilitate connections rather than endanger them.
If you can get people on the same page, you see that as a victory for everyone. You use words to build bridges rather than fences, and you’re proud of that.
11. Focused / Diligent
You know how to create a focus-friendly environment. And when you’re focused on something, you really focus — to the exclusion of all else. You get lost in it, losing track of time.
People know they can count on you to get things done, done on time, and done well.
12. Decisive / Quick-Thinking
You can think and act quickly when the need arises. You assess the situation and consider your options with quiet efficiency before deciding and taking quick action.
You put aside any internal conflicts and are single-minded in your determination to follow through. You don’t torture yourself with doubts or paralyze yourself with second-guessing.
13. Determined / Driven / Resolute
You don’t discourage easily. When you’re set on doing something or going after something, you might consider the risks, but you don’t let them stop you. You know what you have to do, and nothing can get in your way.
You see what you want, and you can almost taste it. So, why settle for anything less?
14. Empathetic / Emotionally Intelligent
You empathize with other people easily — sometimes too easily. If you don’t learn to separate them, other people’s emotions feel too much like your own.
You feel more invested in helping those who are hurting because your empathy makes it easy to step into their shoes. You find it easier to understand the emotions behind their actions.
15. Energetic / Zestful
It’s not unusual for you to hear people say they wish they could bottle your energy or absorb some of it themselves. To them, you seem inexhaustible. You’re still going strong when others are ready to quit. And it doesn’t take much to light a fire in you.
16. Fair / Just
Justice and fairness are important to you. You take inequitable treatment toward anyone personally because you know you could just as easily be in their place. You don’t see yourself as any kind of savior; you just can’t or won’t accept that injustice is “part of life.”
17. Flexible / Versatile / Adaptablity
You value your ability to adapt to changing circumstances and changing needs. You learn quickly and pivot when you need to.
Change can be uncomfortable, especially when you’re grateful for things as they are, but when it strikes, you get over yourself and get to work, all the more quickly if people depend on you.
18. Good Listener / Attentive
You’re a thoughtful and attentive listener who cares more about understanding the other person than about being right or winning arguments.
You know the importance of being fully present for others, listening to every word, and paying attention to nonverbal cues. You’ve become adept at picking up on what they’re not saying out loud.
19. Honest / Straightforward / Forthright
You pride yourself on your honesty and straightforward approach to telling people how things are, what they’re facing, and what’s needed. You don’t see a point in mincing words or dancing around the issue.
You get right to it. Your language isn’t always what anyone would call diplomatic or tactful, but it’s clear as crystal and BS-free.
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20. Insightful / Perceptive
You get a sense of things and people. You see unexpected connections, and you pick up on things many people miss. You care about what every moment, every encounter, and every mistake is trying to teach you.
And while you know you’re a work in progress, you’re always happy to share what you’ve learned.
21. Leader / Charismatic / Strategic
You’re a natural leader with a gift for rallying other people to your cause. You see the strengths in others and motivate them to put those gifts to work.
You’re the glue that holds everyone together and keeps them moving toward the chosen goal. And you know what needs to be done to get there.
22. Passionate / Enthusiastic / Idealistic
Exuberance may or may not be part of your whole thing, but you’re undeniably passionate. You’re all in and ready to exhaust yourself for the people you love or for a cause you’ve chosen.
Unless self-care is one of your passions, you likely need someone in your life who loves you enough to hold you to that.
23. Patient / Compassionate / Gentle
You’re patient with others, knowing everyone works and learns at their own pace. And you’ve learned the importance of being patient with yourself, too. You know your limits, and you know others have their own. So, you’re more likely to trust that they know their own process better than you do.
24. Persistent / Tenacious / Persevering
You don’t give up. It’s not just about determination for you; that’s enough to get you started and give you a decent headstart. Persistence or tenacity keeps you going on the days when it feels pointless.
You keep taking action toward your goal, even when you don’t see any measurable results.
You know just what to say to dissolve the doubts in another’s mind. Or you know exactly what someone needs to hear to persuade them to take action on something. You have a gift with words. And you can use this gift to help others see the benefits of working toward the same goal.
26. Problem-solver / Resourceful
You’re good at using what you have at your disposal in surprising and ingenious ways to solve problems — yours and those of the people you’re helping.
You have a knack for identifying their problems and finding creative solutions. And if you’re able to, and it makes sense, you’re happy to take action and solve that problem yourself.
27. Organized / Systematic
You like an organized and tidy environment. And while you don’t expect others to share that preference, you’re happy to help them establish and maintain order if they ask. You’re excellent at developing systems that make it easier to keep things organized and ready. Being organized helps you feel prepared and ready for anything.
28. Respectful / Considerate / Thoughtful
You treat others with respect and consideration because that’s how you want to be treated. You don’t claim more respect for yourself because of your age, authority, or professional status. You believe everyone is equally entitled to be treated with respect.
You’d hold the door for anyone, and you appreciate it when others do the same.
29. Resilient / Unsinkable
Nothing can keep you down for long. When life trips you up or knocks you sideways, you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going, even when it hurts.
You know the cost of staying down or giving up is higher, even when it seems like the easiest and most sensible thing to do.
30. Self-disciplined / Self-directed / Goal-oriented
You don’t need anyone else to give you a worthy goal to pursue. And you don’t need anyone else to make sure you get up on time, get out the door, get things done, etc. You direct, discipline, and motivate yourself. And you cultivate your own daily habits to help you in this.
31. Warm / Caring / People-oriented
You exude warmth and welcome, drawing people in with your genuine smile and readiness to include people. You care about what others are feeling and about lightening their loads if you can. You want every soul to know they’re not alone.
Now that you’ve looked through the personal strengths list, we hope you found your top five or your top three. As you craft your own replies to the usual interview questions, keep those in mind.
Now is not a time for false humility; own your gifts, and practice talking about them.