Going into an interview, you know that you’re going to be peppered with various probing questions, including being asked what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are. When you’re asked this particular question, you may think that the hiring manager is looking specifically for personality traits, but that isn’t always the case.
The interviewer is examining more the way you respond to the question rather than the actual answer in order to get a grasp on your temperament and level of confidence.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses: How to Identify Them
To answer this question, consider your irrefutable assets and those qualities that you need to work on.
- When highlighting strengths, focus on professional qualities, not personal ones.
- List your strengths and weaknesses and form your answer ahead of time.
- Look at the job ad and choose strengths that closely match what they’re looking for.
- Keep discussion of your weaknesses brief.
What Are the Different Strengths and Weaknesses You Can Discuss?
Here are examples of strengths and weaknesses you can think about for your next interview:
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Stellar customer service
- Attention to detail
- Excel, WordPress, or other applications
- Lack of experience with certain software
- Lack of management experience
- Public speaking
- Attention to detail
- Project management
- Written communication
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Even though the question asked is pretty simple and straightforward, it’s easy to mess up when responding to it when you’re under pressure. Avoid these common mistakes below and come out of your interview a winner.
- Do not tell the interviewer that you “don’t have any weaknesses.”
- Do not leave the hiring manager hanging with an unimaginative, wishy-washy answer and hope that they will skip on over to the next question.
- Stay away from any vague words, such as: maybe, usually, probably, etc.
- Don’t over-emphasize your negative trait and leave the interviewer with a bad taste in their mouth.
- Do not shy away from making yourself shine when relaying your greatest strengths.
An example of a great answer to this tough question could be:
I pride myself on being someone who thrives on working together as a team to achieve greatness in a work setting. I love to collaborate, share thoughts and ideas and be a leader. This, however, can be one of my weaknesses, also, because I sometimes put other members on my team ahead of my own obligations and am learning how to better manage my time and prioritize my work and other’s duties.
When you respond to this question, don’t forget that your interviewer is simply trying to learn more about you and what is that makes you unique and qualified for the job.