How to answer “What are your strengths and weaknesses”?

Your strengths and weaknesses determine whether you are able and qualified to succeed in a job. In short, the employer wants to understand why you think you’re a good match for the position and the organization. It’s an opportunity to evaluate your capacity for self-reflection. Thinking and naming your strengths and weaknesses also reflects your level of self introspection. “What are your strengths and weaknesses” is a question which you are highly likely to encounter during interviews.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When asked about your strengths and weaknesses, prepare an honest and objective answer. To achieve this, take some time to think about your strengths and weaknesses. Write down at least five examples for each. To ensure you are being truthful, think of the times you have displayed these in your career. You should have an example of your strengths and weaknesses to explain during your interview.

Strengths Weaknesses
Leadership skills Too much detail-focusses
Problem solving Multi-tasking too much
Communication Lack of experience
Analytical skills Procrastination
Teamwork Conventional

Things to keep in mind while telling your weaknesses:

  • The weakness must not be critical with the position: Make sure you’re not saying something as your weakness if that quality is required for the position that you’re applying for.

  • A known-weakness: Something that the interviewer would have already noticed could be a more impressive and honest answer.

  • Tell them how you’re working on improving your weakness.

  • Be honest and choose a real weakness.

  • Think of an example of how this weakness affected your performance in the past.

  • Highlight your self-awareness and the ability to accept criticism and help from others.

  • Avoid coming off as arrogant or insecure in your answer – neither will leave a good impression

Pro Tip:
If asked about your strengths and weaknesses in one question, start with your weaknesses. The other person is more likely to remember the end of your answer, so you want to end on a positive note. Always make sure the last thing you say leaves a positive impression.

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