What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses (How to Answer)

Sitting job interviews is a skill you can learn the same way as any other. However, to get all the information they require, a hiring manager will often ask questions that throw us off-balance because they need an unnatural way of answering. There are many interview questions, yet, one two-part question often puts dread into people sitting in interviews.

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

You may find the answer asked in separate parts, or some hiring managers may ask it at once. Regardless of how they request it, it still needs the same honest answers, and you still need to prepare the same amount. Here you can learn more about this common interview question and the best ways to prepare for your answers.

How to answer What are your Strengths and Weaknesses in a Job Interview

What the Interviewer is Asking

When you face the most common job interview questions, the interviewer tries to find out several things. Although your answers may be similar to those given for other questions, the manager wants to see your response to a challenging question. The most important things are self-awareness, honesty, and if you can learn from your mistakes.

Many offer the answers, such as strengths being hard-working, or they are a perfectionist, yet these are generic answers and heard a thousand times. Using these as your greatest strengths makes it appear that you are now aware you may possess failings or don’t wish to expand and share them. You can show your greatest weakness by answering the first part of the question.

[cp_popup display=”inline” style_id=”1784″ step_id = “1”][/cp_popup]

How to Determine Your Strengths

Once you begin your job search, you need to list your personal strengths because you will use these in certain areas. Once you align these with the job description, things become a little easier as all your references relate to something the interviewer is aware of.

You can use these in your cover letter to give the full details because once you come to answer these questions, you are talking about something factual. Even with this, it can be hard to answer because once you begin speaking of your strengths, it can be far too easy to sound like you are bragging.

You will build a list of strong words, and you can go through this and highlight all the ones that relate to you. Here you check the position listing and which ones also refer to the job. Be sure to use this in your letter, and resume, and be ready for use in your answers when sitting in your interview.

Examples of strengths are:

  • Personal characteristics and traits: Here, you will use qualities that make you unique. Accuracy, detail-oriented, determined, flexible, motivated, responsible, and functional time management, and a good team player.
  • Transferable Skills: These skills will be useful no matter your job. You carry these in all occupations, such as communication, creative thinking, problem-solving, efficiency, conflict resolution, motivation, mentoring, and decision-making.
  • Knowledge-based skills: All the ones in this area you will have gained through experience or education. Computer skills, any language learned, extra training, college degrees, and your ability to perform these tasks physically.

Your list can contain anywhere up to twenty or thirty strengths, yet you should select only five that match what the employer is seeking. Once you script your answer, you must be able to say it with confidence.

A sample answer to the first part of your strengths and weaknesses question. “My strength is my flexibility to deal with change. Serving as a customer service manager in my previous employment, I managed to turn around a negative working environment and change it into a fully supportive team.”

Determining your Strengths and Weaknesses

What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?

It can be hard for anyone to talk about what his or her failings are. It is unnatural to admit to failing while trying to impress in a job interview. What you need to understand is the interviewers are more interested in your approach to the question rather than the answers you supply.

You can answer this question without divulging any weaknesses related to the job position. When you respond this way, you won’t show weak areas for the position you are applying for while you still admit you have weaknesses. When you go to answer, “what is your greatest weakness?” you do so by minimizing traits and emphasizing the positives.

It is advisable to refrain from mentioning personal traits and focus more on your professional qualities. One brief example is: “I proudly see myself as able to see the ‘big picture.’ Admittedly, sometimes I overlook the minor details; of course, I always ensure that I have a detail-oriented member on my team.”

Here are a few more examples of weaknesses you may be able to relate to and adapt for your personal use. The secret is to state your weakness and add more context that shows your awareness and commitment to individual growth.

1. Lacking Experience: “I’m unfamiliar with this latest version of [software application]. So instead, I put my focus on [preferred software] since I have a passion for user-centered development and design. In recent projects, that is where I have spent a lot of time learning and growing.

2. Self-Critical: “I tend to be too critical about myself. Earlier in my career, I noticed a pattern where I felt I could have done more. Early on, I was heading toward exhaustion and negative self-satisfaction. Since then, I consciously take active breaks to celebrate any accomplishments.

This has helped increase my self-esteem but has also helped me genuinely appreciate and acknowledge my team members and support networks.

Although the question is frequently the most dreaded part of an interview. When you take some time to prepare a thoughtful response, you can develop a story of who you are and who you want to be. While preparing your answers, convert weaknesses into challenges and strengths into compelling reasons why you are a great candidate for the job.

What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses (How to Answer)

Leave a comment