How to Answer: What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses during an interview?

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One of the most common interview questions that most of us have experienced  or will experience at some point is “How to answer the question “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” in an interview.”


In preparation for an interview, candidates should consider how best to answer this question so that the information is useful to employers while not damaging your chances of being hired.

This blog will help you with some best answers for the above question and will make you stand out of the crowd and create a positive impression on the interviewer.

What employers are looking for:

StrengthsWeaknesses
Analytical skillsHard skills (defined by the job description)
Communication skillsSoft skills (such as public speaking)
Leadership skills
Ability to work in a team

How to Address Your Strengths & Weaknesses in an Interview?

Firstly, Think carefully about what you should reveal.

1.1  Use the job description to frame your answer.

Your strengths and weaknesses should reflect the requirements of the role. Ensure that you highlight your skills that are listed in the job description, and explain how you will gain or improve critical skills that you lack.


1 In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.

2  Your weaknesses can include a hard skill set out in the job description, provided that you emphasize your desire to acquire this skill through a course or program. Similarly, listing a soft skill you lack should be supported with a plan to learn or improve this skill.

Secondly, Try not to reveal too much.

1.2 While it is important to be honest about your weaknesses, there are a few traits that are not appropriate or beneficial to mention in a job interview. This includes tardiness, poor attention to detail, and an inability to meet deadlines.

Example Answers:

Strengths:

  1. I consider my leadership skills to be one of my greatest strengths. During my time as a department head, I successfully merged two teams and organized training programs for all team members to ensure that everyone was confident in their new role. As a result, we were able to increase sales by 5% within our first month as a new team.
  2. Thanks to my experience as an HR representative, I have gained excellent communication skills. I was responsible for facilitating informational workshops for staff members and mediated any conflict in the workplace. I have also completed a course on effective communication from UCLA.
  3. I am very honest. When I feel that my workload is too large to accept another task, or if I don’t understand something, I always let my supervisor know.
  4. My people skills are my greatest strength. I find it easy to connect with almost anyone, and I often know how to empathize with others in an appropriate way.

Examples of Strengths.

  • Communication skills.
  • People skills.
  • Writing skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Honesty.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Patience.
  • Writing skills.
  • Empathy.
  • Initiative.
  • Self-motivation.
  • Computer literacy.

Weaknesses:

  1. I find public speaking intimidating and have often struggled with presentations. As a result, I am currently taking a public speaking course at a community college to become more confident and learn to structure a speech more effectively.
  2. I often struggle with delegating and choose to take on a larger workload to ensure that a task is completed perfectly. This puts more pressure on myself, so I have been using software to assign tasks and track their completion. So far this has helped me to trust my co-workers and focus more on my own tasks.
  3. Shyness is something that I struggle with in large groups. I find it intimidating to ask questions or raise points, so I have often remained quiet in the past. I have been trying to be more vocal in smaller groups to become more confident.
  4. I mainly used Python in my last position, so I don’t have as much experience with Java. I did a course on Java for one semester at University, but I haven’t used it since then.

Examples of Weaknesses.

  • Self-criticism.
  • Shyness.
  • Lack of knowledge of particular software.
  • Public speaking.
  • Taking criticism.
  • Lack of experience.
  • Inability to delegate.
  • Lack of confidence.

Conclusion:

“Practice makes a man perfect” Rehearsing is one of the most crucial steps before your interview. if you are not well versed you will forget it and sound ingenuine. with the right amount of practice, you will nail it and impress the hiring manager with your answers when they ask, “What are your strengths?” or “What are your weaknesses?”


Also published on Medium.

Written by 

Deepika a Senior Executive- TA at Knoldus. She has an overall experience of 3.8 years, mainly in Talent Acquisition. She has completed her PGDM - HR from Jaipuria Institute of Management Lucknow. She likes travelling, athletics and watching movies.

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