Frequent question: How to Answer: What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Work interviews can get remarkably intimate. You have only achieved the interviewer 10 minutes back, and all of a sudden they’re hitting you with a quite deep established of inquiries: What are your biggest strengths? What are your weaknesses? These concerns can choose massive powers of self-reflection to give an straightforward response to. Fairly than making your interviewer sit silently even though you parse out what your biggest weak point is and how it is impacted your job, it is much better to assume of responses to these types of questions beforehand.

In this guidebook, we’ll show you how to establish your strengths and weaknesses, how to frame them in a clear, compelling narrative and what common pitfalls to stay away from. You may possibly even find out some new matters about yourself together the way!

What Is the “Strengths and Weaknesses” Issue?

You will pretty much constantly listen to these thoughts in a single variety or a further during a work job interview.

Companies want to listen to in your have phrases why you’re a superior in shape for the occupation and for the company. They could want to evaluate what possible difficulties there could be, way too. It’s a possibility for them to assess your potential to be self-reflective.

Whether or not the problem you are questioned is “what attributes will make you shine in this position?” or “what spots of your approach to function are you on the lookout to strengthen?”, taking a difficult appear at your strengths and weaknesses — and discovering how to communicate them properly in a qualified environment — will be priceless for your up coming job interview.

What Is the “Strengths and Weaknesses” Question?

Identifying Your Strengths

Normally, you will concentrate on your delicate skills as strengths — there are other techniques for interviewers and recruiters to glean challenging expertise, whether or not it’s by means of just take-residence assignments, a coding job interview or examples of your previous do the job. But with smooth capabilities, you have to convey to them the tale.

“Don’t really feel that your response demands to match what you explained your manager and colleagues think of you,” said Sharlyn Lauby, president of consulting organization ITM Team Inc and founder of HR Bartender, to Glassdoor. “It’s completely pure to say, ‘One talent I haven’t been in a position to use considerably in my present position is [insert skill]. I hope to use it far more in the position we’re talking about.’”

Here are some illustrations of strengths. Which ones do you identify with? Can you believe of a lot more that have aided you shine in your vocation?

  • Fantastic communicator
  • Crew player
  • Time management talents
  • Conflict resolution
  • Potential to complete underneath force

Relying on the task, you might also pick out to incorporate really hard abilities in your strengths, citing your capability to code in a variety of languages, your awareness of a foreign language or your expertise as a duplicate editor as examples of why you would be a potent applicant for the career.

Determining Your Strengths

Identifying Your Weaknesses

Identifying our strengths is commonly a lot easier it is fun to reflect on and rejoice our successes. But what about the areas the place we battle? Do you ever set aside the time to consider a glimpse in the mirror to see where you are letting other folks — and yourself — down, and how you can enhance?

“Employers be expecting candidates to have weaknesses… so you are improved served by answering the issue frankly.  A candid reply will clearly show your prospective employer your expansion-mentality and will exhibit a feeling of self-consciousness and honesty,” writes Jeevan Balani, Founder and CEO of Rocket Job interview and regular Glassdoor contributor.

Listed here are some examples of frequent vocation weaknesses. Can you recognize with any of them? If so, what have you accomplished to improve these weaknesses?

  • Seeking to command way too a lot of facets of a circumstance
  • Procrastination
  • Inability to self-regulate, major to burnout
  • Disorganized
  • Impatient

Again, you could opt for to emphasize some difficult competencies that are a weakness for you also, for example not being great with math, not being versed in a individual form of software package or obtaining difficulties spelling — but only if it really is non-necessary to the part.

Determining Your Weaknesses

How to Weave a Tale

Now that you have bought a good record of your strengths and weaknesses, is it enough just to record them out when you are questioned throughout a work job interview? Definitely not! Backing up each and every strength or weak spot with a relevant anecdote is essential to giving the interviewer the entire image of why you excel in a person location, or what areas you are doing the job to get greater in.

As an physical exercise to get ready, for each individual energy on your list, compose down a tale that showcases how you properly employed that power to accomplish something in your occupation. For every weak spot, generate down a tale about how that weakness experienced (or could have had) a destructive repercussion in your occupation — then produce what you learned from it, and what you are actively carrying out to boost it.  

Specifically when answering about your weaknesses, framing is crucial. You never want to make it seem to be like your flaws are immutable, or worse, incriminate your self. You also don’t want to flip your weak point into a humblebrag, like “it’s tricky for some others to continue to keep up with me for the reason that I feel so quick.” So putting a reflective tone is essential, which you can do by highlighting what you have learned about your weakness, and what you are executing to boost it.

On a extra standard note, try to match your strengths to the career description. It is excellent if you are a professional at ability X, but the occupation necessitates capabilities A, B and C, then your knowledge in skill X may not be related. Likewise, retain the job description in head when you share your weaknesses. If you’re making use of for a career in copy editing, it’s possibly not a very good thought to say that your weak point is spelling.

Also, exploration on the company’s tradition can assistance you determine which strengths and weaknesses to spotlight, and how. If the firm is acknowledged to be rapidly-paced and dynamic, you may possibly want to highlight your power in juggling lots of initiatives at as soon as or your capacity to pivot rapidly to new jobs. But also be trustworthy — if you obtain for the duration of your exploration that the corporation culture doesn’t seem like a fantastic fit for you, then you could want to take a step back again and reconsider, somewhat than seeking to squeeze yourself into a mould that doesn’t fairly fit.

In this article are some example anecdotes for the strengths and weak spot we outlined above:  


  • I perform well in groups. When my division reorganized and I was put on a group with individuals from diverse backgrounds and experience concentrations without having a very clear hierarchy, there was a large amount of friction. I organized typical bonding classes for our workforce that aided split down some boundaries in the place of work. I also took it upon myself to choose some of the much more cumbersome responsibilities that other people did not want to do. When I still left, a quantity of people today on the crew thanked me for the diplomacy and harmony I fostered in our function atmosphere.
  • I’m excellent at time management. When I labored as a advertising manager, I experienced to agenda the launch of promotional products, get resources prepared for a start day and time when to stoke interest in my company’s products and solutions before their release. I would make thorough calendars with every single stage of a campaign right before embarking, which involved estimating time and producing because of dates for even the smallest of duties. It was this ability that led to the good results of the XYZ product start, the most intense project I labored on even though at the corporation.
  • I conduct well below pressure. When I worked as a marketing consultant, I typically experienced to give shows to superior-degree executives at the enterprise we were being consulting at a day’s see or significantly less. I had to speedily understand how to talk confidently and fluently about substance I had only drawn up the working day in advance of. Often I would be interrupted and challenged, and I experienced to stand my floor, describe myself obviously and keep my great. I believe that ability will make me a fantastic fit in this job as a spokesperson.


  • I have a inclination to procrastinate. This actually arrived to a head when I was doing work on a significant challenge, and overestimated the sum of do the job I could do at the last second. I finished up narrowly making the deadline, but it brought about my workforce and my supervisor a good deal of pressure. After that, I begun mastering extra about time management from my mentors at get the job done, and I have started producing in depth schedules weeks — and even months — forward. I’m still operating to make accurate timelines that I can easily adhere to, but I am heartened due to the fact I’ve discovered that it essentially places me at relieve to get the job done with a plan.
  • I can be impatient, and this has caused me to in some cases micromanage my staff members. I employed to hound staff in innovations of deadlines, because I was fearful if I didn’t, they wouldn’t convert in the do the job on time. I now see it induce a great deal of pressure for my employees, and I’m doing work to belief that they will get points in on time. So far, not a one deadline has been missed!
  • I have had a inclination to perform till I reach burnout. After a whilst, I begun noticing a sample in my career that I would operate extremely really hard on tasks, keeping up all night time to end them in advance of deadlines, and producing it a objective for myself to be the to start with one particular in the place of work each and every morning and the last 1 to go away. In the long run, this was unsustainable, and immediately after a massive undertaking I would generally crash, and possibly become unwell and have to skip function, or be lethargic while I was there. I’m now learning how to impose healthier limits on myself and to adhere to a doable schedule so that I do not possibility burning out like that once again.

How to Weave a Story

What to Avoid

Informed suitable, your reply to this issue can encourage the interviewer and give them an intimate photo into how you get the job done. It can help them evaluate irrespective of whether your strengths and weakness will make you the appropriate healthy for your position, if your disposition will be a good suit with the crew you’re performing on and if you’ll healthy into the corporation tradition as a total. But there is a couple things you need to have to maintain in intellect when offering your remedy, so that it doesn’t appear off as bragging, extremely humble or other widespread pitfalls.

  • Really don’t brag.
  • Really do not reduce oneself by dwelling on your weaknesses
  • Don’t give illustrations that are also unrelated to work
  • Never ramble
  • Really do not give an illustration that will set off a crimson flag in the interviewer’s brain

“HR professionals see as a result of the, ‘I’m a perfectionist,’ reaction,” Lauby suggests. It’s however feasible to maintain it beneficial, however. For illustration, an solution Lauby gave: “I just lately attended a client assistance schooling application and I was reminded of some challenge-resolving skills that I want to commence utilizing once again,” will certainly get the position carried out.

This job interview question can be tough, but never strain way too a great deal — with right preparation, you have acquired it in the bag!

Study Extra

How to Learn the Artwork of Bragging Like a Pro

How to Reply “What Is Your Finest Weak point?”

8 Words or Phrases to Stay away from When You are Attempting to Challenge Self confidence

How to Respond to “Tell Me About Yourself”

The Dos and Don’ts of Exhibiting Passion in an Interview

The Shocking Rationale You are Not Listening to Again Right after Work Job interview

How to Remedy the 50 Most Common Interview Inquiries

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