Common Interview Question: What’s your greatest strength?

When I was looking for my first job out of college, I began going on interviews but I was a naive college kid who really didn’t know how to answer any of the interview questions the way they were intended. It wasn’t as bad as the scene in Step Brothers but it was kind of terrible.

The one thing those experiences taught me was how much I didn’t know. I went to Barnes & Noble where I bought a number of books on the career search and interview process. One of the best books I ended up buying was a small Barron’s book on the 100 most popular interview questions were each page could be torn out and used as flashcards.  On oneside was the question and the opposite side gave you a short explanation on how you should answer the question. This book helped me tremendously.  I went on to crush my next interview and I started a full-time job before I graduated college.

The other day, I was talking to someone about the interview process and I was reminded of that small Barron’s book.  I’m not sure if I still have it but I’m going to look for it tonight. That conversation made me think about using those questions as blog post ideas and give me an opportunity to update my own answers while preparing myself for new opportunities down the road.

The first question I’m going to answer is one of the most common interview.  I think I have been asked this question on every one of my interviews.

What’s your greatest strength?

My greatest strength was told to me by a one-time mentor and athletic trainer I met a few years ago while working out at my company gym.  I was a part of a company running team where we competed in events in running, biking, rowing, and swimming. This guy used to host twice a week hour long biking and rowing workout session that were some of the hardest workouts of my life.  When I first started attending these sessions, I could barely keep up for more than ten minutes but after about a year of training I was one of the best at my company.

When someone asked my trainer about why I had been so successful, he said, “Corey is coachable.  He’s not afraid of what he doesn’t know.  He takes advice and works to improve on that advice every workout.”

He was right.  In a lot of ways I’m aware of what I don’t know.  That there is always someone out there that can teach me to be better than I am today.  It’s something I focus on in both my professional and personal life.  I’m always trying to grow, to move forward, and improve on what I’m doing today. That’s why I’ve started doing most of the things in my life.  It’s the reason I write this blog, attend weekly toastmasters meetings, workout almost every day, spend sometime reading, and write code.