How to Talk About Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You smile, shake hands, and take your seat, ready to ace your job interview. Then, whoosh! They ask you the dreaded “strengths and weaknesses” question. So, what now? Being asked to evaluate your best and worst qualities can be difficult and intimidating. After all, you’re being asked a profound question about your personal identity. But, in reality, that is not what they are asking. They want to know if you’ll be a good fit for the job. Giving relevant but specific answers with confidence can help you ace the interview without putting too much pressure on yourself.

How do I determine my own strengths and weaknesses?

1. Make a list of your abilities.

Create a list of knowledge-based skills, such as computer knowledge and degrees. Add some transferable skills from previous jobs, such as meeting deadlines and working with others. Then, add some of your own distinct personality traits, such as punctuality and flexibility.

For example, computer training from school and previous work experience, as well as the ability to work under pressure, could be excellent selling points for an IT position.

2. Convert these skills into strengths relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Your interviewer will most likely want to know if your skills match the needs of the company and what the job entails. They may also be interested in how well you will get along with your coworkers and management. Use that information to help you craft your responses.

For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you could highlight your personal skills and communication abilities, whereas skills like multitasking or software knowledge may not be as relevant.

3. Pick out any flaws that are unrelated to the job.

Consider some of your weaknesses, such as impatience, punctuality, or a lack of confidence. Be truthful about yourself, but choose things that aren’t a big deal and won’t jeopardise your chances of getting the job.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a data analyst, you could say that you’re naturally shy and have difficulty standing up for yourself. Avoid mentioning things like difficulty staying focused, as this may turn off interviewers.

What are some examples of a person’s strengths?

1. A strong work ethic is always a good option.

Almost every employer wants to hire someone who is hardworking and productive. Mention your work ethic, productivity, and energy as strengths that you can bring to the company if you are hired.

For example, you could say, “When I start a task, I have to make sure it gets finished properly or it will bother me the rest of the day.”

2. Discuss your leadership abilities and your ability to work well with others.

You will most likely be working with others in addition to your manager. In a job interview, discussing your ability to get along with and work well with others is always a good idea. If you are naturally good at leading or delegating tasks, this is also a valuable skill to develop.

3. To help you come up with examples, use the job posting as a guide.

Examine the job posting to determine what the company is looking for. Then, generate 3-5 options that are a good fit for your personality and skills. That way, your responses will be relevant to what the interviewer is looking for.

For example, if the job description states that they are looking for a qualified candidate for a fast-paced position, you could highlight your education, experience, punctuality, and ability to work under pressure.

Technical skills, such as writing or using specific computer programmes, are also viable options to consider.

What are some examples of flaws?

1. Choose personality traits that will not interfere with your job performance.

Being too hard on yourself or always trying to please everyone is a flaw that has no bearing on your ability to do the job. It’s a safe bet to concentrate on a personal flaw. It demonstrates your ability to evaluate yourself without jeopardising your chances of getting the job.

For example, saying something irrelevant to the potential job, such as, “Sometimes, I can be really hard on myself.” It’s difficult for me to let go of my mistakes.”

2. Choose flaws you’ve overcome as well.

It’s a good strategy for avoiding focusing on current weaknesses while also demonstrating that you’ve made progress and worked on your weaknesses. Discuss how they impacted your performance and how you overcame them.

For example, you could say, “I used to struggle with keeping everything organised, but then I started using digital calendars and organisational tools to help me stay on top of everything.”

3. Choose laziness or dishonesty as a weakness instead.

Examples include being unreliable, untrustworthy, or not being a team player, which can make it difficult to get the job. These are characteristics that may have a significant impact on how your interviewer perceives you. Make every effort to avoid extreme negative examples such as these.

How do you respond to the question, “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses?”

1. Prepare your responses ahead of time so you will know what to say.

It’s almost a given that you’ll be asked this question, or something similar, during a job interview. Prepare your responses ahead of time. Make a script that you can rehearse. Even if you aren’t asked the specific question, you’ll be able to spit out your prepared answers to demonstrate your strengths and areas for improvement. Make a list of talking points that will help you prepare.

2. Talk about your flaws first, so you can end on a high note.

If you have the option, always discuss the negative aspects first. That way, you’ll be able to get it out of the way and concentrate on the skills and talents you do have to offer.

You may be asked separately about your strengths and weaknesses.

3. If you are unfamiliar with the most recent technology, mention it.

If you’re applying for a job that requires you to use new software and technology that you’ve never used before, be honest about it. Use it as an example of a flaw that can be overcome by learning how to use them.

It’s also a safe bet because most employers won’t expect you to know everything on the first day.

You could say something like, “I haven’t used the specific programmes you guys use, but if they’re anything like the ones I’ve previously worked with, I’m sure I can pick it up quickly.”

4. To appear more genuine, avoid general statements.

Your interviewer wants to know if you’re knowledgeable and honest enough to dig deep and reflect on your flaws. Simple, general statements such as “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist” can come across as pandering and deceptive. Communicate openly with your interviewer and provide honest responses.

5. Use specific examples to demonstrate your advantages and disadvantages.

Try not to gloss over or give one-word answers to each of the strengths and weaknesses you mention. It may send a negative signal to the interviewer. Instead, mention the trait and then elaborate on your responses by providing scenarios to provide context. That way, you can make your weaknesses appear stronger while making your strengths appear even stronger.

For example, you could say something like, “I can sometimes lose track of time, like if I get too focused on finishing a project, I won’t even realise it’s been an hour.”

You could add an example for a strength like being a team player, such as, “So, for a project with multiple people, I know that finding the best role for each person can make it smoother, and I’m willing to take on the part of the job that other people don’t want to do.”

6. To impress your interviewer, respond confidently to the question.

To impress your interviewer, respond confidently to the question.

More than anything, your interviewer is interested in how you respond. Sure, your responses can provide a lot of useful information. For example, if you say in an interview for an accounting position that you aren’t good with numbers, it might not go well. But the truth is that the interviewer wants to know what you consider your strengths and weaknesses, as well as how you respond to difficult questions.

What are some examples of employee advantages and disadvantages?

1. It is common to be overly critical or unfamiliar with the job.

At the end of the day, you must be honest with the interviewer about your own personal flaws. Choosing traits like being overly critical or eager to please will not hurt your chances of getting the job, but they will demonstrate your ability to analyse yourself. Furthermore, you are not always expected to know how to do everything on your first day, so admitting that you are unfamiliar with some of your tasks is an honest and safe answer.

For example, “I can sometimes come across as overly eager” is a better example than “I have difficulty getting to work on time.”

It’s perfectly acceptable to say something like, “I’ve never used the programmes you use before, but I’m confident I can learn it.”

2. Choose strengths that are relevant to the job.

Analytical abilities, punctuality, communication skills, collaboration abilities, and leadership ability are usually safe bets. But choose ones that are relevant to you so you don’t come across as dishonest, and come up with some of your own that are appropriate for the job.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as an office manager, you could highlight your leadership abilities and ability to resolve conflicts because they’re relevant to the position.

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