This MBA Interview Preparation video on articulating your strengths will help you in gaining the correct approach for making the most of this opportunity to give positive takeaways about yourself in a desirable way. The pointers offered in this short MBA Interview Preparation video will prevent you from being overwhelmed and equip you with an efficient approach to answer this question and leave a positive impression on your interviewer.
How to Answer the What are Your Strengths Question in the MBA Interview
"What are your strengths?" is one of the core MBA interview questions; this means that you must be absolutely prepared to answer this question as it will almost certainly be asked in your MBA interview and it is highly expected that the applicant will have already given this question great thought and thoroughly prepared for it. Additionally, the "What are your strengths" question is an excellent opportunity to showcase your best attributes to your interviewer. This article will cover the common mistakes committed by most candidates, the correct approach, and the possible follow-up questions.
The Most Common Mistakes
The first and most significant mistake that most candidates make, in answering the "What are your strengths?" question, is not preparing beforehand. Remember, as this question is one of the core questions, it is almost certain that your interviewer will ask it and he/she will expect you to be ready to answer it. If you sound unprepared while elaborating upon your strengths, it will either suggest that you lack confidence or that you have been casual in your interview preparation and both suggestions have the capacity to negatively impact the interviewer’s assessment of you, in a significant way. Another very common misstep is to provide unidimensional answers. To illustrate, consider the answer the following answer to the "What are your strengths?" question - "passionate, dedicated, focused, energetic"; all of the traits listed here are quite similar, meaning that this answer is a unidimensional one that is limited in what takeaways it can provide to the interviewer because it provides only limited insight into the candidate’s personal qualities. The next mistake is missing the opportunity to make an impact; it is related to the previous mistake, in that both involve failing to make the maximum use of the "What are your strengths?' question. Your primary goal in your MBA interview is to express your positive qualities to your interviewer and the "What are your strengths?" question is one of the best opportunities for you to do so, as it is essentially a questions that asks you to list and elaborate upon your best qualities. However, MBA interviewees have a tendency to get lost in the adjectives and squander this excellent opportunity to make a real impact. One mistake that must be avoided not only when answering this question but also when answering all others is thinking while speaking; doing so reflects a lack of introspection. Furthermore, collecting your thoughts while speaking is decidedly non-MBA like, as MBA holders are expected to be suave talkers with excellent skills in rhetoric. The final mistake that we will discuss in this article is providing cliché answers, such as "communication skills". Remember the interviewer is there to judge you if you mention a strength along the lines of "communication skills, their expectations of you will only rise.
The Correct Approach
Most critically, you must devote a considerable amount of time to preparing for the "What are your strengths?" question, beforehand; it is one of the most commonly asked questions in MBA interviews and your interviewer will expect you to have an answer, ready to go, before the interview even begins. As mentioned above, you must avoid having to think while answering the question; in order to do so, take a few seconds after the interviewer finishes the question and use that pause to collect your thoughts so that you do not feel the need to think while answering. Taking a few seconds to collect our thoughts will also help you deliver a more organized answer. Time is of the essence in MBA interviews, meaning that you must keep your elaboration upon each of your strengths very concise; try to limit yourself to one sentence per every quality that you mention. One crucial element in formulating a strong answer describing your strengths is mentioning takeaways and reflecting confidence while doing so. Earlier in the article, we mentioned that unidimensional answers are weak answers that fail to take full advantage of the opportunity to make an impact that the "What are your strengths?" question provides. Your answer to this question should elaborate upon a bouquet of diverse traits rather than just one or two virtues, at least five to be precise; a multi-dimensional answer will allow you to highlight more of your positive qualities and make a greater impact. Below, we have put together a comprehensive list of qualities that can be mentioned in the "What are your strengths?' answer; consider each of these qualities to be a big bucket, within which you can identify more specific skills that you possess. For example, leadership is a very broad term and you can think of which leadership virtue you possess the most. Please go through this list well and absorb these broad buckets.
Leadership | Initiative | Ownership | Coordination and Liasoning | People Management and Team Skills | Communication Skills | Cross-cultural Skills | Subject Matter Expertise | Cross-Functional Experience | Analytical and Quantitative Skills | Stamina and Dedication | Strategizing with Clear Milestones | Delegation | Honesty and Work Ethics | Perseverance | Training and Mentoring Skills | An Eye for Detail | Crisis Management | Multitasking and Time Management Skills | Strong Sense of Commitment | Adaptability | The Ability to Overcome Adversity...
Possible Follow Up Questions
There are a number of questions that your interviewer may follow up the "What are your strengths?" question with. We have prepared an exhaustive list of some of the most likely options; please go through it carefully.
-An example of any one of the strengths mentioned.
-A situation to react to.
-A reflection on how these strengths have helped you.
-An evaluation of how these strengths will help you achieve your goals.
-An evaluation of what other strengths you would like to develop in the times to come.
For a more complete understanding of MBA interview preparation, please read the other articles prepared by Experts' Global.