“What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?”

strengths and weaknesses, good and bad

The strength and weakness question will come up in almost all job interviews. By asking this question, your prospective employer looks for clues of your personality, your work style and how you interact with others. A thought-out answer to this question will certainly help you leave a good impression. The following approach would be helpful in preparing for your answer:

Be honest. You should state the strengths and weaknesses that you really have. Don’t just give a “model answer”. Although certain answers seem to be “the best”, you have to convince the interviewer that you are revealing your true character.

Pick the right one. Take a look at the job requirements. Focus on the strengths that are relevant to the position you are applying for. On the other hand, you should select minor weaknesses that have the least impact on your job.

Answer the question. Don’t feel you are too arrogant to talk about your strengths. And it is not a shame to touch on your weaknesses. Your potential employer knows that we each have merits and demerits. So never say you don’t have any strengths or weaknesses!

Don’t blame anyone. In case you need to explain the weakness, don’t try to blame anyone. You have to deal with your weaknesses in a responsible way.

Bearing the above advice in mind, first identify a few strengths and weaknesses you have. Try to elaborate them with examples to make your answer unique.

List your greatest strengths. Make sure they are directly applicable to the job you are interviewing for. Try to personalize your answer by specifying the time and place when you acquired and used that skill.

Here are some examples of strengths:

  • Confident
  • Highly committed to work
  • Self-motivated
  • Well-organized
  • Having good communication skills
  • Having great interpersonal skills
  • Work well within a team environment
  • Able to prioritize duties
  • Able to solve problems

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Your weakness should come out as a problem which is almost solved and is not going to disqualify you from the job. Hence it is important to explain in what ways you could overcome the weakness. By showing that you are keen on self-improvement, you convince the interviewer that you can turn your weakness into a positive.

Here are some notes and examples of weaknesses:

  • If you don’t have much experience in the job you are applying for, you have to show your interests in the first place. Be prepared to talk about the qualities you possess that will help you handle the job. It would be great to give details of the courses you have taken to prepare yourself for the job.
  • If the job does not involve a lot of statistics or numbers, you can say that you find mathematics as your major weakness. Then tell the interviewer that you tried to find ways to help overcome this problem. For example, you learn some computer skills to automate calculation tasks.
  • You can also include a weakness that could be turned into a larger strength. For example, you may say you have to work on having more patience because you are eager to get everything done very quickly. To tackle the problem, you tried to reconsider your to-do list and find it very effective in prioritizing tasks.

REMEMBER The way to impress your potential employer is to give your answer sincerely and positively!

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