Put Some Muscle Behind The Greatest Strength Question

Put Some Muscle Behind The Greatest Strength Question

Questions you’re likely to see in a job interview include: Where do you see yourself in 5 years. Tell me about yourself. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest strength seems like one of the easier ones. Don’t take it too lightly. This question gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself and your abilities. More than the others, is designed to see if you’re the right fit for the job.

Do Your Research

The first thing you want to do is some research. Find out what the company values. What traits do they look for in employees? Take a look at the job description and see what the job requirements are. What seem to be the most important ones? Choose strengths that align with those traits.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes time for you to consider what strengths you want to mention at your interview, focus on quality rather than quantity. Mentioning a whole host of things you consider yourself good at only shows you’re not great at anything. Focusing on only a couple things you consider your strengths will allow you to paint a stronger picture of yourself and those talents.

Back It Up

When you’ve picked the strengths that best suit the job and position, make sure you have specific stories you can use to demonstrate those qualities. Talk about how and where you developed the skills and instances where they have proven useful. It’s easy to say you have a given strength, it’s much more impressive when you can give specific examples.

That Balance Careers has a couple examples of how to best answer this question, here’s one:


“I am a skilled salesman with over ten years of experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I’ve earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.”


In this short example, a strength is given, and followed up with proof. Do the same, and you’ll knock this interview question out of the park. Good Luck!



You’ve Been Promoted, Now What?

You’ve Been Promoted, Now What?

Congratulations on getting promoted! You’ve worked your butt off and you’ve finally been recognized. But it doesn’t stop there. This is just the beginning. Your bank account may be getting a bit bigger but so are the responsibilities about to land on your plate. Here are five things to expect after you receive the great news.

More responsibilities

As Peter Parker was told, “With more power comes great responsibility.”  You’ll get more power in your new role, but you’ll also have a lot more to deal with as you move higher in the ranks. Expect more tasks and other job-related issues (good and bad) that will come your way. It could be managing a group of employees, training new employees, being part of the hiring process for the company or leading morning meetings.

Pay attention to detail

You’re supposed to do this even if you’re in an entry level position. However, if something goes wrong in a more senior role, you will be blamed before anyone else. As we said, you’ll be getting more responsibilities so make sure you’re on top of everything. Your boss promoted you because he or she trusts that you’re up for bigger tasks – don’t let him/her down!

Ease into your new role

Don’t go on a power-trip right off the bat and start bossing everyone around. Be humble, introduce yourself to other managers/leaders and the people you’ll be working with and ask questions. Get to know everyone and your role by asking about ways to do/deal with certain tasks or situations. Get a brief summary of what your daily job duties will be like and figure out how to handle them.

Set long-term goals and never stop moving up

After your promotion, think about what you want to achieve in your new position and work towards it. It might not be the best idea to gun for another promotion right away, but you can tell yourself that you plan to be promoted again in the next year or in a few years. Set goals daily, weekly and monthly to help yourself work towards moving as high as you can in the company.

Relationships with your peers will change

Whatever your role is, it’s best to keep some distance between you and others who you have authority over. This is how you keep things professional. It’s a lot easier to manage others with whom you don’t have a personal relationship. It also allows you to set a good example for everyone else.

Learning To Take Criticism Well

Learning To Take Criticism Well

Whether you’re starting a new job or are a seasoned manager you will at some point – maybe many points, you will be on the receiving end of criticism of some sort. Most often the criticism is constructive, meant to help you improve some aspect of your job. It might be difficult to listen to, but taken from the right perspective those words of advice will teach you and help you get ahead.

It’s not personal

No matter how prepared you think you are, you cannot know everything going into a new job. There will be procedures you are unfamiliar with and you may end up on the receiving end of criticism. It’s important to recognize that just because someone is criticizing you that is not a reason to get your back up. Close down your defences and open up your ears.  It’s not personal. It’s not about you, it’s about what you’re doing or not doing. Someone is taking the time to explain how you can do something better or point out what isn’t working.

Use it to improve

Treat that criticism as advice. Instead of getting angry about it, learn from it. Absorb it and put what you were told into practice.

Ask questions

Sometimes you may not understand the point or intent of the criticism. You might be inclined to just gloss over it and let it pass rather than following up for more, but that will not help you improve. So if someone says, “Don’t do X like that.” Ask, “Could you please show me how to do it better?”

Treat the person addressing you with respect. Don’t try to blow them off or argue with them. Take the advice.

Remember the day will come when you will be required to offer some constructive criticism to the next person down the line. Life is a series of give and take. So give and take well.

Sales Killers

Sales Killers

Talking too much

You may believe it’s necessary to go on at length about the benefits and features of the product or service you’re selling. If you spend too much time talking without listening then you run the risk of creating the impression that you care more about your product than the person you’re speaking to.


Instead you want to get the person to talk about themselves and their situation so you can determine the best way of directing the discussion.


You may think piling on facts is a great way of putting your product or service in the best light but unless the information is relevant to the person you’re speaking to, rather than enhancing your presentation it detracts. Sales killers come in the form of too much talk.

Letting the person you’re speaking to have control of the conversation

The best way to take control of the conversation is by asking questions. By asking the right questions You get to know the person better, and are better able to direct them towards the conversation you want to have. Your answers to the questions you finally want to ask will establish you as an expert in regards to your product or service.


One size fits all sales pitch

The second you go into a standard sales pitch that you’ve perfected for anyone, you’ve already lost the vast majority of individuals. Standardized pitches are sales killers. Find out about the person you’re speaking to then tailor what you say to them.


Not being prepared

Always have everything you need to complete your presentation. You should never have to scramble for information regarding pricing, sample information, or answers to questions that may come up. Create a checklist of everything you need and ensure you have it at the start of each day. Even if you’ve talked about a product a thousand times, every time you talk about it with a new person you’re making a first impression all over again. Make it a great one!


Not asking for the sale

At the end of your presentation you always need to ask for some sort of commitment from the person you’re speaking to. Don’t worry about coming across as pushy, simply finish off in the confident, friendly way you’ve conducted the rest of your presentation.

What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

“How can I get experience, when every job requires at least 3 years of experience.” This question is often asked with a hint of sarcasm by job seekers who are looking to apply for a new job. A job posting can seem filled with language that’s hard to understand and process. The truth is, a lot of companies, just like job seekers, make their jobs look as good as they can.


So how can you figure out exactly what employers are looking for? If the ad says must have 1-3 years experience, what does that mean?

Motivated Team-Player

Many job postings have terms you hear only in job ads and nowhere else. Terms like “Motivated team-player or “Customer-focused self-starter”. What do these things even mean? Careerealism has a funny look at what each of these mean. Here are a couple of  examples:


Resourceful, Independent Self-Starter

Since we have absolutely no time or resources to train you, we expect you to figure everything out for yourself… quickly.

Attentive To Details

We have strict policies and procedures and won’t hesitate to blame you for everything if you make a mistake.


While Careerealism is having some fun here, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Just like a lot of job seekers who come up with interesting ways to explain their skills, job ads also have a tendency to butter up what skills they are looking for. Most of these terms usually just mean the job posting is looking for a hard worker who is able to keep on task.

Opportunity for Growth

When reading the job description itself, pay careful attention to a variety of buzzwords like “Opportunity for growth.” While at the outset that sounds promising, make sure to take a moment and consider what else that might mean. Phrases like this can often have a deeper meaning.


Most of the time, a job is what you make of it. Every job has the opportunity for growth, in every position you’ll have to work with others and by yourself. Find the things that separate this job from the next one to get a better sense of whether this job is the right one for you.

The Requirements

This is where we’ll usually find that pesky “1-3 years of experience” line. CNN points out that the language used can help you better understand how serious you should take each one.

“When a job listing says ‘required,’ it’s a lot firmer. Employers are trying to narrow the field,” says Tom Allen, director of career services at DeVry University in Decatur, Georgia.

A skill that’s listed as “preferred” is not necessarily essential for a candidate to have.”


Allen also notes that if you have around 80% of the stated requirements you’re in an excellent position to apply for the position. Employers aren’t expecting someone who perfectly matches every requirement and description. They’re looking for someone close to that.


So even if you don’t have the 1-3 years of experience, but you do have a number of the other required skills, apply for the job!