Posted by & filed under Blog, Interview Tips.

“What annoys you most about candidates?”

I was recently out for lunch with a client of mine when they asked me this particular question. It really got me thinking. She went on to say…

“I cannot count the amount of times I interview people who give me the same MIND-NUMBING answers when I ask them what their strengths are. It literally makes me want to run out the door screaming.”

“I have good telephone Skills”

“I am punctual”

“I am well organised”

“I have good communication skills”

“I have great time management”

“I am a perfectionist”

“I could go on but I think you are starting to get my point!”

This may be a little harsh, to be honest I think she was having a bad day and letting off some steam. But when you consider that the average hiring manager might get 80 applications for each job, will interview 8 people before hiring and has 10 roles to fill, that’s 80 interviews! A lot of interviews!

So how do you stand out from the crowd?


Preparation is key, DO NOT WING IT! You may think you are great at thinking on the spot but I can almost guarantee that the person who gets the job over you has fully prepared.
If you do not prepare for your interview, if you do not have really good examples to demonstrate your strengths, you are going to be the person with ‘good telephone skills’ and you may also remain JOBLESS! (Especially if you happen to be sat in front of this frustrated client)


Prove you have the skills that are required. If you are at interview stage, AMAZING! You are now 1 of 8..

  1. Study the job spec.
  2. Understand what the employer is looking for.
  3. PROVE you can do this job by using your BEST examples for each of your strengths (I usually advise people to have at least 3 strengths with ideally 2 examples of each) Remember be creative and be different!
  4. Reconfirm why this makes you the best person for the job.

Finally, always make your strengths RELEVANT to the job you have applied for.

If you do not stand out from the crowd, if you do not prepare your strengths and examples, you will be one of the 7 people who walk away with nothing. You have got this far and you only get 1 opportunity to impress so please STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD.

For a more in-depth study on developing your strengths please click here and read what our director has to say.

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