What are your strengths and weaknesses? This is one of the most common questions you’ll get during an interview when you’re applying for a job. Many find this question pointless, and it is for sure the most disliked job interview question, it’s completely understandable that no candidate would want to confess their biggest flaws during the interview process.
Recruiters and hiring managers are completely aware of it. You might not even realize it, but just the way you respond to this question already gives a lot of information about you, which is why this question doesn’t go away. Companies keep asking what are your strength and weaknesses?.
So today you will learn how to answer that question properly. In this article you will learn some steps on how to prepare for an answer. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Read and understand the answers to this Interview question so that you cannot only make it to the next round of interviews, but also ideally land the job offer.
First, let’s look at some very important tips to note down.
- Give four or five strengths that are a good match for the job you are applying for (i.e refer to the job description if there is one)
- Then, give just one weakness that is not a requirement of the role.
- It is important to say you are always seeking to improve on your weakness at the end of your answer.
Question: What are your strengths and weakness?
- “My Strength include my ability to learn things very quickly and to work alone, unsupervised to a high standard. My strong communication skills and how I am a people-person are other strengths.
- I enjoyed providing great service to customers and I will always positively represent your company brand. I am someone who adapts well to change and I view it as an important aspect of both my own personal progression and company growth.
- My weakness is the fact I am not yet confident at speaking in front of large groups of people or giving presentations. However, this is certainly one area I want to improve in, and I have been reading a great book that has been helping me to start building confidence in this area.
- I am the type of person who is always open to constructive feedback, so if you want me to develop in a particular area, just let me know, I will take the steps needed to develop.
During an interview, recruiters ask different types of questions, to see if you meet the requirements, and to see if they can disqualify you directly. What’s your greatest weakness or what is your weakness or what are some of your weaknesses? This is the most direct question they can ask you in this category.
Here is some list of weaknesses for your next job interview:
- I don’t always speak my mind
- I always speak my mind
- I’m not the most patient person in the world
- I have a hard time asking for help
- I have a hard time delegating tasks
- I’m not comfortable speaking in front of crowds
What are your weaknesses?
First, we need to understand what a good weakness is not. So there are two things that your weakness is not:
- Your weakness is not a personality trait;
- And your weakness is not a strength in disguise.
So firstly, your weaknesses are not your personality traits. In the job interview, the word weaknesses are things that can be improved on. There are things that can be fixed or corrected
Your personality traits, on the other hand, are natural, inherent traits within you that really nobody can fix unless you fix that yourself or change that yourself.
So when you say something like I’m impatient as a weakness that tells your employer that they’re going to have an employee who’s impatient pretty much all the time, it’s not something that anybody can fix and change.
It’s just part of who you are, which is why using a personality trait as a weakness is not a good idea.
And secondly, your weakness is not a strength in disguise. Lot of people use this example and try to get away with saying things like I work too hard as being a weakness or I’m a perfectionist. And it’s pretty transparent and clear to the recruiter in hiring manager what you’re trying to do when you use these.
It’s almost like a cop out for really explaining what your genuine weakness is. And as a result, I would highly recommend you not use those as examples of weaknesses.
Now, here is another best answer. Tell me, what is your greatest weakness? Well, see, I have very high standards and unfortunately, not everybody shares those standards, which can sometimes lead to a bit of frustration. But what I found is that with a little bit of good communication, I can smooth that over and it never ends up really ever being a problem.
Some sample answers which should be useful to you when working on your own response to the question, What are your strengths and weakness?.
Example 1: I have always been quite independent at work and I enjoy being quick on the job. So it has always been difficult for me to ask for help. When I needed it, I felt it would be seen as something negative. So I kept quiet and I could commit easily avoidable mistakes.
Now I have learned that it is a huge benefit for me and for the business to reach out when I do not understand something or when I am overloaded with work
I now realize that there are many experts around me which have specific knowledge or skills that can improve the quality of my work with one simple advice. I’m still working on it, but I have been able to produce more high quality work as a result of raising your hand and asking for help when necessary.
Example 2: My greatest weakness is that I have trouble saying no. It happens to me in my personal life, but it has now more visible consequences professionally.
I end up working on some random tasks and requests from my coworkers, which in the past led me to stress or burnout to help myself improve in this area. I have now created a calendar blocking out the times and scheduling tasks as they come.
This helps me to prioritize, makes it easier for everyone to see how much workload I have on when I’m free and gives me back up to say no to certain extra tasks.
Example 3: Public speaking is in the area, which I should still work on, I’m a shy and nervous person by nature
The result is that I have a difficult time speaking up in groups. Even if I have good ideas, I have trouble voicing them and I tend to keep them to myself. Once I suggested an idea for a project, the project manager shut it down and I didn’t protest.
The supervisor heard about my idea and found it upsetting that I didn’t fight harder for it. I decided to take a small step of promising myself that I would speak up in front of small groups.
Then I worked up to taking a public speaking class, which made a big difference, and it helped me a lot. Now, even though I get nervous, I feel like it doesn’t hold me back as before. Recently I gave a speech at a conference.
I was still shaking during my speech, but it went great and I received really good feedback. In the end. I have also made it a point to voice my ideas and opinions during meetings when I feel they are appropriate and will add value to the conversation. I plan on continuing to seek out opportunities to improve in this area.
Don’t say these when you are asked such question during interview;
- Never say you don’t have any development areas because such response immediately translates into lack of your ability to learn and to grow. Most hiring managers are interested in hearing how the candidates analyze their development areas, what they do to continue learning and to continue improving. This is the part of the interview when nobody wants to hear you selling yourself.
- So when your employer, your interview is asking you, so what are your weaknesses? Oh, “I have none”. Don’t ever say that it’s a lie, you know is a lie.
- Don’t say, well, you know, I’m never thought about it. No one ever asked me that. Seriously, no one ever asked you that? Maybe you think you’re being smart with the replied, don’t do that. It just shows you are dishonest.
- And also it shows you lack self awareness. Those are not good answers. When we you’re being asked what are your weaknesses, don’t say “Hmm”. That’s not what you do.
Checkout other versions of “Greatest Weakness” Question
- What are your most important developments areas?
- What would your manager or colleagues describe as your biggest weakness if I speak to them?
- Which tasks or duties do you struggle with the most?
- Is there a skill set of yours which you feel still needs work?
- Tell me about a self development goal that you have set
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Now, there are other top interview questions that I recommend you to prepare for also, for all job interviews. Please CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE to get the full detailed answers to these Interview Questions and more.
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