How to answer an Interview question that sells you

Hi folks, I talk about interviews and other stuff from time to time but I want to actually show you what I mean. 

This was how I answered a question during an interview once. 

  1. Name 5 strengths that make you a valuable asset to the company? My response was bold vision, adherence to deadlines, multi-task without losing focus, fast processor and good self-starter.

From the outside, those looked and I thought sounded like great answers. But they didn't say anything. I was just giving a laundry list of task. If I was asked that question today, this is how I would answer still using my original framework. 

  1. Name 5 strengths that make you a valuable asset to the company?  
  • I have bold vision which I have used to help my team decide on quarterly and annual goals. We decided on those goals by having a one day retreat. 
  • I adhere to deadlines by making sure they everyone involved on a project knows what their task are and I check in regularly to make sure we complete projects on time. I make sure if we are using Microsoft Project that everyone knows how to use it. I make sure that if the deadline is going to run late, I let the main stakeholder know well in advance because I may not know how my delay can impact other projects.
  • I multi-task which studies now show isn't always the most productive way to spend our time. So I have streamlined this approach by setting a timer for each task and I use Notes on the computer. As I complete each task, I delete the Note from the screen which is a visual clue to what is remaining and if I need to shift work. And now I get more done without wasting time working on multiple projects and losing focus.
  • I am a fast processor because I utilize spreadsheets and/or software that make redundancies quicker. And if it's a memo for example that I have to send out annually, I just update the portion that needs to be updated rather than waste time writing a new one. 
  • As for being a self-starter, I have the autonomy within my management team to outline projects that fall under my control and make them better or create something new. (For this one, you just have to have a vision of what's on the horizon for your industry and tell how you'd do something innovative). 

I hope this lets you see how you can actually create a picuture by letting an interviewer see how you do the work not just the laundry list.