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What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Job interviews can get surprisingly intimate. You’ve solely met the interviewer 10 minutes in the past, and impulsively they’re hitting you with a really deep set of questions: What are your biggest strengths? What are your weaknesses?

These questions can take monumental powers of self-reflection to offer an trustworthy reply to, says recruitment specialist, Glassdoor.

Relatively than making your interviewer sit silently when you parse out what your biggest weak spot is and the way it’s impacted your profession, it’s higher to consider solutions to a majority of these questions beforehand.

On this information, we’ll present you the best way to establish your strengths and weaknesses, the best way to body them in a transparent, compelling narrative and what widespread pitfalls to keep away from. Chances are you’ll even study some new issues about your self alongside the best way.

What’s the “Strengths and Weaknesses” query?

You’ll virtually all the time hear these questions in a single type or one other throughout a job interview.

Employers need to hear in your personal phrases why you’re match for the job and for the corporate. They may need to assess what potential points there may very well be, too. It’s an opportunity for them to evaluate your capability to be self-reflective.

Whether or not the query you’re requested is “what attributes will make you shine on this position?” or “what areas of your method to work are you trying to enhance?”, taking a tough have a look at your strengths and weaknesses — and studying the best way to talk them successfully in knowledgeable setting — will probably be invaluable in your subsequent interview.

Figuring out Your Strengths

Usually, you’ll focus in your tender expertise as strengths — there are different methods for interviewers and recruiters to glean exhausting expertise, whether or not it’s via take-home assignments, a coding interview or examples of your previous work. However with tender expertise, you need to inform them the story.

“Don’t really feel that your response must match what you mentioned your supervisor and colleagues consider you,” mentioned Sharlyn Lauby, president of consulting agency ITM Group Inc and founding father of HR Bartender, to Glassdoor.

“It’s completely pure to say, ‘One ability I haven’t been ready to make use of a lot in my present position is [insert skill]. I hope to make use of it extra within the position we’re discussing.’”

Listed here are some examples of strengths. Which of them do you establish with? Are you able to consider extra which have helped you shine in your profession?

  • Good communicator
  • Crew participant
  • Time administration talents
  • Battle decision
  • Capability to carry out below stress

Relying on the job, you may additionally select to incorporate exhausting expertise in your strengths, citing your potential to code in a wide range of languages, your data of a international language or your expertise as a replica editor as examples of why you’ll be a robust candidate for the job.

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Figuring out Your Weaknesses

Figuring out our strengths is usually simpler; it’s enjoyable to mirror on and have a good time our successes. However what in regards to the areas the place we battle? Do you ever put aside the time to have a look within the mirror to see the place you’re letting others — and your self — down, and how one can enhance?

“Employers anticipate candidates to have weaknesses… so you’re higher served by answering the query frankly. A candid reply will present your potential employer your growth-mindset and can reveal a way of self-awareness and honesty,” writes Jeevan Balani, founder and CEO of Rocket Interview, and frequent Glassdoor contributor.

Listed here are some examples of widespread profession weaknesses. Are you able to establish with any of them? In that case, what have you ever achieved to enhance these weaknesses?

  • Wanting to regulate too many points of a state of affairs
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of ability to self-regulate, resulting in burnout
  • Disorganised
  • Impatient

Once more, you would possibly select to focus on some exhausting expertise which might be a weak spot for you too, for instance not being good with math, not being versed in a specific kind of software program or having bother spelling — however provided that it’s non-essential to the position.

Weave a Story

Now that you simply’ve acquired a stable record of your strengths and weaknesses, is it sufficient simply to record them out whenever you’re requested throughout a job interview? Completely not.

Backing up every energy or weak spot with a related anecdote is essential to giving the interviewer the total image of why you excel in a single space, or what areas you’re working to get higher in.

As an train to organize, for each energy in your record, write down a narrative that showcases the way you successfully used that energy to perform one thing in your profession.

For each weak spot, write down a narrative about how that weak spot had (or may have had) a damaging repercussion in your profession — then write what you discovered from it, and what you’re actively doing to enhance it.

Particularly when answering about your weaknesses, framing is essential. You don’t need to make it seem to be your flaws are immutable, or worse, incriminate your self.

You additionally don’t need to flip your weak spot right into a humblebrag, like “it’s exhausting for others to maintain up with me as a result of I feel so quick.”

So placing a reflective tone is vital, which you are able to do by highlighting what you may have discovered about your weak spot, and what you’re doing to enhance it.

On a extra basic be aware, attempt to match your strengths to the job description. It’s nice in case you’re a professional at ability X, however the job requires expertise A, B and C, then your experience in ability X won’t be related.

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Equally, hold the job description in thoughts whenever you share your weaknesses. For those who’re making use of for a job in copy enhancing, it’s most likely not a good suggestion to say that your weak spot is spelling.

Additionally, analysis on the corporate’s tradition might help you determine which strengths and weaknesses to focus on, and the way.

If the corporate is thought to be fast-paced and dynamic, you would possibly need to spotlight your energy in juggling many tasks without delay or your potential to pivot rapidly to new duties.

But in addition be trustworthy — in case you discover throughout your analysis that the corporate tradition doesn’t seem to be match for you, then you definitely would possibly need to take a step again and rethink, moderately than making an attempt to squeeze your self right into a mildew that doesn’t fairly match.

Listed here are some instance anecdotes for the strengths and weak spot we outlined above:


  • I work properly in groups. When my division reorganized and I used to be placed on a group with individuals from totally different backgrounds and expertise ranges and not using a clear hierarchy, there was numerous friction. I organized common bonding periods for our group that helped break down some boundaries within the workplace. I additionally took it upon myself to take a few of the extra cumbersome duties that others didn’t need to do. After I left, plenty of individuals on the group thanked me for the diplomacy and concord I fostered in our work setting.
  • I’m good at time administration. After I labored as a advertising and marketing supervisor, I needed to schedule the discharge of promotional supplies, get supplies prepared for a launch date and time when to stoke curiosity in my firm’s merchandise earlier than their launch. I might make detailed calendars with each step of a marketing campaign earlier than embarking, which included estimating time and making due dates for even the smallest of duties. It was this potential that led to the success of the XYZ product launch, essentially the most intensive venture I labored on whereas on the firm.
  • I carry out properly below stress. After I labored as a marketing consultant, I typically needed to give shows to high-level executives on the firm we had been consulting at a day’s discover or much less. I needed to rapidly discover ways to converse confidently and fluently about materials I had solely drawn up the day earlier than. Typically I might be interrupted and challenged, and I needed to stand my floor, clarify myself clearly and hold my cool.
  • I imagine that ability will make me match on this position as a spokesperson.


  • I generally tend to procrastinate. This actually got here to a head after I was engaged on a giant venture, and overestimated the quantity of labor I may do on the final second. I ended up narrowly making the deadline, however it precipitated my group and my supervisor numerous stress. After that, I began studying extra about time administration from my mentors at work, and I’ve began making detailed schedules weeks — and even months — forward. I’m nonetheless working to create correct timelines that I can simply comply with, however I’m heartened as a result of I’ve discovered that it truly places me relaxed to work with a schedule.
  • I could be impatient, and this has precipitated me to typically micromanage my workers. I used to hound workers in advances of deadlines, as a result of I used to be afraid if I didn’t, they wouldn’t flip within the work on time. I now see it trigger numerous stress for my workers, and I’m working to belief that they’ll get issues in on time. To this point, not a single deadline has been missed.
  • I’ve had a bent to work till I attain burnout. After some time, I began noticing a sample in my profession that I might work very exhausting on tasks, staying up all evening to complete them upfront of deadlines, and making it a purpose for myself to be the primary one within the workplace each morning and the final one to go away. Finally, this was unsustainable, and after a giant venture I might typically crash, and both develop into sick and need to miss work, or be torpid whereas I used to be there. I’m now studying the best way to impose wholesome limits on myself and to stay to a doable schedule in order that I don’t danger burning out like that once more.
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What to Keep away from

Advised proper, your reply to this query can encourage the interviewer and provides them an intimate image into how you’re employed.

It may assist them assess whether or not your strengths and weak spot will make you the suitable match in your job, in case your disposition will probably be match with the group you’re engaged on and in case you’ll match into the corporate tradition as an entire.

However there’s a couple of stuff you want to bear in mind when delivering your reply, in order that it doesn’t come off as bragging, overly humble or different widespread pitfalls.

  • Don’t brag;
  • Don’t minimise your self by dwelling in your weaknesses;
  • Don’t give examples which might be too unrelated to work;
  • Don’t ramble;
  • Don’t give an instance that can set off a crimson flag within the interviewer’s thoughts.

“HR professionals see via the, ‘I’m a perfectionist,’ response,” Lauby mentioned. It’s nonetheless doable to maintain it optimistic, although. For instance, a solution Lauby gave: “I not too long ago attended a customer support coaching program and I used to be reminded of some problem-solving expertise that I would like to start out utilizing once more,” will definitely get the job achieved.

This interview query could be difficult, however don’t stress an excessive amount of — with correct preparation, you’ve acquired it within the bag.

Learn: These are the 50 most typical job interview questions proper now

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