You give a friendly grin, shake hands, and take a seat, ready to ace your job interview. Then, whoosh! You’re asked the dreaded “strengths and weaknesses” question. So, what’s next? Being asked to evaluate your finest and worst qualities can be difficult and daunting. After all, you’re being asked a fundamental question about your personal identity. But the truth is, that’s not what they’re really asking. They want to know if you’ll be a good fit for the position. Giving confident, relevant, and specific replies might help you ace the interview without undue stress. Keep reading on to know how to talk about your strengths and weaknesses.
How To Talk About Your Strengths And Weaknesses
When discussing your strengths and flaws in an interview environment, honesty is one of the most critical things to get right. It may sound cliched, but it is true. A sincere and sincere response will impress, whereas a generic, contrived, overstated, or humblebraggy one will do the opposite.
A boss does not want to recruit someone who is unable to understand and accept responsibility for both what they offer to the table and what they need to improve. Understanding and leveraging your talents, as well as acknowledging and learning from your flaws, will make you a better employee. So you want to demonstrate that you’re capable of self-reflection in the interview.
Make a list of the skills you have
Create a list of knowledge-based capabilities, such as computer knowledge and degrees. Add some transferable talents from previous jobs, such as meeting deadlines and collaborating with others. Then add some of your own distinct personality traits, such as timeliness and adaptability.
For example, computer training from school and past work experience, as well as your ability to operate under pressure, may be excellent qualifications for an IT employment.
Pick out weaknesses that don’t relate to the job
Consider some of your weaknesses, such as impatience, timeliness, or a lack of confidence. Be honest about yourself, but pick things that aren’t a big deal and won’t hurt your chances of getting the job. If you’re seeking for a job as a data analyst, for example, you may explain that you’re naturally shy and have trouble speaking up for yourself. Avoid mentioning things like difficulty keeping focused, as this may turn interviewers off.
Tell a Story
Another adage worth remembering is, “Show, don’t tell.” Anyone who has ever taken a writing class has heard it, whether in seventh grade or graduate school. It’s something to keep in mind while answering any interview question, and it’s especially useful here.
Discuss a moment when your strength aided you in achieving a professional goal or when your weakness hampered you. If you’re talking about how you stay calm under pressure in a fast-paced setting, you may tell the interviewer about a time when you provided a reworked customer proposal due to a last-minute change of plans.
If you’re admitting that presenting in front of high-level executives is a weakness, start by describing a time when you were so nervous about presenting your new marketing strategy plan that you weren’t able to effectively communicate your (detailed and brilliant) approach, and your boss had to step in and help get the plan approved.
Sharing a real-life example will not only make your answer stand out, but it will also make it sound thoughtful and honest, highlighting all of the other qualities recruiters are searching for.
Keep It Short
You don’t have to spend half of the interview answering these questions. Depending on how the question was stated, you can keep your response short and focused on one or two strengths or problems. Think quality, not quantity, to add to our list of overused yet useful phrases. Don’t just spit out a list of things you think you’re good at or bad at without first explaining why. Instead, focus on a smaller area and go into more depth.
Don’t Sweat It So Much
While you should undoubtedly prepare and do your best to ace your answers, try not to get too worked up. “Don’t be alarmed,” Smith advises. She adds, “I have never known an employment decision to be based on how someone answers those questions.” “It’s only one data point among a slew of others,” she says. So don’t put too much stock in it.”