What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses: How To Properly Answer This Interview Question

One of the most popular job interview questions is “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” How you answer this question gives employers insights into your communication skills, leadership ability and soft/hard skills.

What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses: How To Properly Answer This Interview Question

So here are seven tips on how you should approach this tricky interview question:

  1. Use your job description

Both your strengths and weaknesses should be relevant for the job role you are interviewing for. Make sure to highlight the skills you already have for the job role and don’t be shy to mention the critical skills you currently lack, but will look to work on. 

Your strength could be a skill backed by your past experience. For instance, if you mention to your interviewer that communication is one of your strengths, it would be ideal if you could narrate an instance when you resolved what could have been a massive issue using your communication skills. 

  1. Be careful about what you reveal

Whilst honesty is a good policy during interviews in general, there are some traits which you just cannot afford to reveal as “weaknesses”. Characteristics such as being sloppy, lacking attention to detail and being unable to juggle multiple tasks at once are best left unmentioned in any job interview

  1. Give real examples and shed the arrogance

Interviewers look for candidates who are skilled, but also real. Make sure you do not over-engineer your story and make it sound too good to be true. Your interviewer will likely appreciate a short and crisp narration of your strengths and weaknesses. Any attempt made to overestimate your strengths and downplay your weaknesses is likely to leave you looking “arrogant” in the eyes of your interviewer. 

  1. Use your weakness to your benefit

Yes, there are actually some “good” weaknesses to have. Good weaknesses include traits that interviewers see as ones that can be worked upon and are not detrimental to your immediate job performance. Some examples of such traits are being overly self-critical, a poor public speaker or just plain inexperienced.

  1. Be specific

It’s vitally important that you hammer home a few of your key strengths and weaknesses. Avoid listing multiple vague strengths. Interviewers will most likely be smart enough to figure out that you actually possess no core strengths if you beat around the bush on this one. 

  1. Shrug off that humility

What’s one thing that puts interviewers off almost as much as arrogance? It’s humility! You may feel that you want to downplay your strengths, but that’s not a great strategy in today’s uber-competitive atmosphere. Be firm and bold when stating what you believe to be your biggest strengths. 

  1. Make your strengths shine

At the end of any successful interview, the interviewer will feel that the candidate’s strengths outshone his or her weaknesses. It’s your job to make your strengths the real hero in your job interview. Some great examples of strengths to mention in your interview include: communication and people skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, empathy, patience, drive and motivation. 

At the end of the day, it’s you trying to impress an interviewer that you are the right one for the job. It’s in your best interest to be prepared for anything the interviewer throws at you. Maintain a calm demeanor at all times, be brief enough to not get carried away in the details and play your best strengths to seal the advantage in your job interview.

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