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It’s one of the most common questions asked at job interviews, and is often overlooked when preparing for an interview.

Your answer to this question will reveal how well you fit the position and will show the interviewer what you are prepared to bring to the table.

Best selling management author, Suzy Welch has a method that is sure to give a powerful answer that will highlight your abilities.  When preparing your answer,  review it and see if it passes the test she calls the ARSI test; is your response accurate, relevant, specific, and interesting?

Accurate:  Be as honest as you can in your answer when describing your skills and abilities.  Welch says to “articulate the actual skills, talents, and other qualities that set you apart from the pack”  The interviewer has reviewed your resume and most likely has some form of intel on you.  Now is not the best time to pad or stretch your abilities.

Relevant:  Review the job requirements for the position you are interviewing for.  Tailor your answer in a way that shows how your strengths align with the requirements or emphasizes how your strengths can help you better perform the requirements. Welch gives the following example, “…if you’re great at math and applying for a management position, you can make the connection that your math skills reflect your agility as a problem solver, which is in fact, the exact kind of problem solver the job needs.”

Specific:  It’s tempting to list off general good qualities you have such as being a great leader or working well with a team.  While it is important to have these qualities,  it would be even better to list specific ways you’ve used these abilities.  For instance, you can bring up how you have wonderful organizational skills, and then further expand on how you’ve used those skills to help improve a process within the company.

Interesting:  One of the key parts of nailing an interview is to make a lasting impression!  Don’t be afraid to let a piece of your personality shine through.

Follow these guidelines and you’re sure to handle this question like a pro!

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