How to share your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview





You’re sitting across from a hiring manager, or even worse, a group of people interviewing you for a position, and the dreaded question arises…

“What are your weaknesses?”

You spend what seems like an eternity fighting in your own head: “Do I tell them that I’m sometimes late or that I take things too personally? before settling for an answer that makes you groan: “I care too much and I work too hard.”

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Although this question will probably not be forgotten on the interview checklist anytime soon, you know that it will probably come up and you can spend some time thinking about it before your next interview, so that you can answer it with sincerity. and respect. Its sister question, “What are your strengths” also comes up, so it’s best to be prepared in advance.

What are the strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths are a set of skills or character traits that you possess that help you perform your tasks productively and efficiently and make you an excellent candidate for a job. Weaknesses are characteristics or shortcomings that, if left unchecked, can hinder your ability to do your job well.

Honing your horn during an interview can be difficult. Even more difficult is finding a balance between being honest about some of your shortcomings, without deterring the hiring manager from hiring you.

Take some time before each interview (and ideally before you apply) to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s best done at first as a self-reflection, however, at some point you may want to seek help from people close to you. This can include asking friends, family, or someone you’ve worked with in the past for feedback.

You can create a list of your strengths and weaknesses and, when it’s time to apply for a job, tailor your responses to their specific qualifications. You can also spend time researching the company itself, understanding its culture, and determining which of your strengths would be most appreciated.

Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses. There are a number of common (and relatable) characteristics that you can share with potential employers.

List of strengths and weaknesses

You do not know where to start ? Look at these examples of strengths and weaknesses and decide which best describes you. Keep in mind that this is a list of “soft skills” that can relate to any industry and any role. Depending on the position you are applying for, you may also need to share your knowledge of specific software and work experience.

Strengths

  1. Accuracy
  2. Attentive
  3. Clarity
  4. Concision
  5. Creativity
  6. Determination
  7. Discipline
  8. Dedication
  9. Empathetic
  10. Enthusiasm
  11. Flexibility
  12. great listening
  13. Honesty
  14. Worker
  15. Innovative
  16. Negotiation techniques
  17. Optimistic
  18. Organization skills
  19. Patient
  20. fast learner
  21. Respectful
  22. Reliable
  23. Time management
  24. team player
  25. Versatility

List of strengths and weaknesses

Weaknesses

  1. Blunt and cheeky communicator who may turn some people off
  2. extremely self-critical
  3. Needs time to adapt to change
  4. Perfectionist (which sometimes makes it difficult to delegate responsibilities)
  5. Procrastinator
  6. Slow to develop relationships with colleagues or subordinates
  7. Shy in new situations
  8. Stressed under pressure
  9. Overly sensitive to the needs of others which sometimes allows others to manipulate you

examples of strengths and weaknesses

Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses

Although there are many similarities, leadership strengths and weaknesses cover a wide range of skills. Consider the different responsibilities you will have as a leader, primarily motivating and managing employees on a day-to-day basis, rather than being solely responsible for your own work. Consider some of these common examples of strengths and weaknesses for leaders and managers.

Leadership Strengths

  1. Passionate about their work.
  2. Able to understand the needs and emotions of others.
  3. Excellent self-management skills.
  4. Excellent communication skills (including listening).
  5. Able to motivate and inspire others to do their best.
  6. Comfortable making decisions quickly.
  7. Willing to be held accountable for their decisions and actions.

Leadership weakness

  1. Take feedback personally.
  2. Too focused on the end goal that employee needs are not heard.
  3. Too anxious to be loved.
  4. Inability to delegate responsibilities leading to burnout.
  5. Disrespectful attitude towards employees.
  6. Poor communication skills.
  7. Fear of making the wrong decision, which leads to making no decision at all.

If you see yourself in any of these examples of weakness, it may be time to seek mentorship or training, and do some soul-searching to determine why you are lacking in these areas.

How to share your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview

Now that you’ve reviewed many popular features and decided which ones best reflect who you are, it’s time to dig deeper. Ask yourself a very important question… “Why? »

Potential employers don’t want a list of fancy words, they want to get to know you by understanding how those characteristics served you in your previous work experience. For example, instead of saying, “I have excellent negotiation skills,” say, “I used my excellent negotiation skills to work with new and existing suppliers to reduce our raw material costs by 52 %”.

Paint them a picture of your skills in action and tell them a (true) story that they will remember long after the last interviewee has left the building. When telling a story, remember to include:

  1. What “life” was like before the triggering incident.
  2. The problem you encountered.
  3. Different attempts you have made to solve the problem.
  4. Which finally worked.
  5. What is life like after the incident.

It doesn’t have to be an epic novel, just a quick description of what happened and how you had the strength to persevere.

Of course, for some, you may be aiming for a new role with new responsibilities. If you know you have the strengths they’re looking for, but haven’t had a chance to use them in your current job, be honest. You might say, “I wasn’t able to use this skill in my previous job, but I look forward to using it more if you decide to hire me.”

You also have the option of sharing a story from your personal life in which you used this skill. Just be sure to keep it professional, appropriate, and relevant to the position you want.

When it comes to communicating your weaknesses, potential employers want to know that you recognize your shortcomings and are actively working to become a better version of yourself. You will want to be honest and open while creating context around your weaknesses and showing:

  1. How you are working to improve in this area.
  2. How this weakness will not impact your performance in the proposed work.

As we discussed earlier, you’ll also want to avoid declaring humble boastfulness rather than weakness. “I’m so quick at my job that others feel intimidated around me and so it’s hard for me to connect.” It’s false modesty and you won’t be doing yourself any favors.

So here you are face to face with an interviewer and you are asked “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Rather than panicking, know that you’ve taken the time to provide a solid answer (with supporting evidence) to this question.

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