When one thinks of strength, force comes to mind. In, there are several definitions of force including:

persuasive power; power to convince:
“They felt the force of his arguments”.

The previous article looked at SWOT. To begin with strengths can be skills (hard or soft), assignments or responsibilities that we master and accomplish well.

Hard skills are measurable such as those acquired at school/university/work: IT proficiency, Accounting and Languages.
Soft skills are subjective and difficult to measure such as adaptability, problem solving and communication. 


“What are your strengths” is a question that comes up frequently during a job interview. It is a straightforward and standard question. Therefore, we don’t reflect on this as much as we should. During an interview and off the top of the head, examples such as honesty and enthusiasm are provided. By providing these examples, we may believe that we have responded to the question. However, despite the fact these are desirable skills that employers seek, it does not tell the interviewer/future employer much about the other skills you possess for the position in question.

As you can note from the above, it is important to prepare in advance for this question, which should entail reflecting on and writing down “what are my skills/what I am good at”, as well as looking closely at the skill sets required in the Job Description. Do not hesitate in asking close friends what they consider to be your strengths. We tend to think we know ourselves better than others do! However, there may be differences in how we perceive ourselves and how others see us!


Knowing your strengths can also help you in a personal context. It can give you confidence in your capabilities and when to decline or accept a proposal where you feel you don’t have the necessary skills.


No matter how many interviews you have had in the past, each new one needs to be prepared. Develop and communicate your answers in coherence with your skills and the job requirements, as well as giving concrete examples for each strength. To help in your reflection, examples of skills are: leadership, action orientated, written and oral communication skills, creative and team player. 

Take the time to identify and know your strengths. If you have identified a future objective where you lack some of the necessary skills, take the time as an  Expat Accompanying Partner to develop these skills.

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"As an expat myself coming to the end of my current contract and planning to return home to Ireland, I found the article "La Perle Rare", particularly helpful. I will soon be searching for job opportunities. Undoubtedly, I do have to distinguish myself from the crowd. Following the suggestions and advice given by Brid, with self-reflection I discovered that I have an abundance of highly developed soft skills. These are skills I had taken for granted for so long never thinking they would highlight my uniqueness to a potential employer. In the past, my focus was on my qualifications and work experience. Although this focus is important, there is room for self-promotion too. Now, I shall forge ahead with a renewed sense of myself and the confidence to promote my other strengths in interviews. Thank you, Brid. I strongly recommend Brid’s blog to expats who find themselves seeking new job opportunities “. Fiona

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