How To Answer Strengths And Weaknesses During A Job Interview

When you go for an interview, often you will come across a job interview questions on how to answer strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a question, which you might find little difficult to answer in a way that could impress the interviewer.

Here we share some of the best answers to the question, “What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses”. First, let’s improve our understanding of why this question is asked in the first place.

Sometimes, the question of the strengths and weaknesses appears little pointless, especially in job interviews.

But the interviewers are not actually that bothered about the answer you give them. They aren’t looking for what the answer is but how you would answer it.

The strength and weakness question mainly concentrate on:

  • if you align with the core competencies of the jobs

  • How it relates to your own strengths and weaknesses

  • What approaches you take to answer the question

  • How well prepared you are

Moreover, the question doesn’t come as a standalone one, but often with follow-ups.

The most common follow-ups include:

  • When you last used the strength in your job?

  • How the weakness affected your professional career?

  • How you tried to resolve the weakness?

  • How would you use your strengths in your new job?

To mention, the aim of the follow-ups is to make sure that you haven’t just made up the answers and if you really understand them as their strength or a weakness.

Some smart ways to answer, “What’s your greatest strength?”

1: Focus on the quality, not quantity

Always pay attention to the question before you answer. If the interviewer asks for strength, you don’t need to list several attributes.

When asked about your strengths, even then, it’s better to list only about 2 or 3 instead of ten. This shows modesty and helps you focus your energy on explaining why this is a strength. The aim is to focus on quality, not quantity.

You need to pick a single quality answer and expand with examples.

Example answers include:

I’m good at communication.

I can adapt fast to new situations.

I am a reliable worker.

2: Be clear

The strength you choose must not be quite generic.

As you want to impress the interviewer, you should never pick an attribute you can’t relate to. Moreover, don’t go for a broad characteristic. The strength must be always backed with examples of situations and proof of your having this feature.

Example answers include:

I’m good at creating positivity in the workplace.

I can think logically and solve problems that need attention to the details.

I’m good at time management.

3: Relate the strength to your past

The third strategy is that mention the strength relatedness to your past. Since the question on strengths usually comes with a follow-up, you can prepare for the next also.

Example answers include:

I’m good at multi-tasking.

I’m willing to take an initiative.

I’m good at languages.

And to the above, share an example when you last applied them to life condition.

Ways you must not answer:

You need to be mindful while answering, avoid making some major mistakes while discussing your strong traits.

1: Lie about your abilities

You must not lie about your skills and abilities. The lie will always hit you back.

If you dislike to talk with people and you aren’t good at initiating a conversation, don’t say “communication” is your strength.

And the interviewer’s follow-up questions can quickly spot your lie.

2: Appear overconfident

Arrogance is never a good attribute.

You must avoid belittling other people or past work colleagues during a job interview. Stay calm and take advantage of your strength.

3: Listing a strength which is more of a weakness

There are some qualities, which could be considered as a weakness. For instance, “I’m a workaholic” or “I love to please other people”, are actually kinds of weaknesses. For instance, being a workaholic can showcase your problems in balancing your personal life with your work and portraying yourself as people-pleaser shows you might lack an ability to keep your own mind.

Ways to answer, “What’s your greatest weaknesses?”

It’s tricky! Here are 3 ways you must consider when answering the question.

1: Avoid the essential skills for the job

You don’t need to list the essential quality of the job. This could be a red flag from their point of view.

If you are interviewing for a job in social media, for instance, never say that technology or communication is your weakness.

You need to talk about the right weakness, think about your weaknesses in relatedness of the role you are applying for.

Example answers include:

My biggest weakness is that I am at the time little reserved – This would function in roles where communication with other people or customers isn’t required.

I’m not very good with numbers – This would be a good answer if your role doesn’t need mathematical or financial skills.

2: Pick a weakness which you have a solution for

Another good way is to concentrate on is finding a weakness, which you are actively trying to solve.

Example answers include:

I sometimes get nervous while addressing a large crowd or a meeting, but I’m trying to improve it by registering for a drama class.

I sometimes feel that I’m not good at managing multiple tasks. But I’ve begun to keep a more detailed schedule and setting up notifications, which have helped me stay focused.

3: Highlight the positives

You need to try to find the positives from your weakness as well.

Example answers include:

Though I’m not yet experienced in this industry, I think I have several fresh ideas and this job could help me develop my understanding, further.

I am a little bit too critical when giving a feedback to others in the past and I’ve been told I must not be so critical.

What must you not answer?

While answering, certain things must be avoided. The following ways of answering could leave a bad impression for the interviewer.

1: Being too honest

To be honest is good, but you mustn’t pick a flaw that could ruin your chances of landing the job.

2: Mentioning non-professional qualities

Personal characteristics as weaknesses do not make good answers and you could face follow-ups, which you might not focus on a professional weakness if you answer from the professional point of view.

3: Not answering the question

This is the worst thing that a candidate would do.

To conclude, whatever be your strength and weaknesses, try to remain focused and tactful the question. The answers must always be aligned with the job position you are applying for and believable.

With this, we conclude our discussion on career guidance tips for the day. Hope you would find this blog on career guidance helpful. And keep looking into this space by career advice for more career tips, news, and updates.

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