What are your Strengths and Weaknesses ?

This week, we will talk about how to master one of the most asked questions in a job interview.

What are your strengths and weaknesses ?

strengths and weaknesses interview

Before we start digging into the type of answer you can build for your strengths and weaknesses. You need to understand that job interviewers have been probably interviewing dozens of candidates before you and probably many more after you. So, the already pre-made strengths and weaknesses list for this question based on what you will find on the internet is not how you are expected to respond when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses.

Trying to make a weakness looking like a strength in an interview to look even better is not the right direction to go. For a simple reason, job interviewers have experienced those types of answers for strengths and weaknesses many times and already raise the honesty from your profile.

Build your strengths and weaknesses answers from reality

We all have strengths and weaknesses and we all struggle with similar traits of our personality (recognition, value, time, organization) etc.

If the strength and weakness question is asked in your interview, make sure you start by formulating your weaknesses first, then list your strengths.

For the Strengths and weaknesses in the interview, list them shortly, avoid spending an extensive time on it. For your weakness, make sure you pick up minor weaknesses of yours that will not put you out of the list of potential candidates for the job you are applying to. However, for your strengths, pick up the ones that will be a prerequisite for the job candidates to have.

When you will build your answer, tell a story, don't just list your weaknesses.

To tell a story, use the 4 steps below for telling your weaknesses in your interview:

1: Tell your weakness

2: Provide a short description of the problem

3: Describe what you are doing so it is no longer a problem

4: Finish up on a positive note

Repeat the same shema if you have to list another weakness in your interview.

Example of Weaknesses in an interview:

An example of weaknesses can be that you always need to feel reassured about the work you do and make sure that it is of an acceptable quality from your peers, many of us have this so-called weakness. So you can formulate your weakness as such:

1: Tell your weakness

I always need to make sure that what I do is appreciated by my Manager and is of the expected quality.

2: Provide a short description of the problem

Obviously I can’t always get feedback every day so what I will be doing is asking for feedback in my 1.1.

3: Describe what you are doing so it is no longer a problem

I realize that by doing so and proactively asking for feedback I no longer struggle with doubt and this does not longer take energy from me so I can fully focus on my work.

4: Finish up on a positive note

Pro-actively asking for feedback was also something that my former Manager liked about me and she was even pleased that giving me feedback was an easy thing to do as I was willing to receive and work with it.

When you talk about your weaknesses it is important that you have done a screening session with yourself to be totally clear about what your weaknesses are. Don’t start thinking of those on the job interview, this is the best way to tell things that are not essential for the job interviewer to know and to scare her or him away.

If you are not sure about your weaknesses, it is fine.

Ask your family or your colleagues, they will know what you are good at, or less good at. Ask their honest feedback, accept these feedbacks and make a plan on what you will be doing when you come across one of your weaknesses.

strengths and weaknesses list

You need to be proactive about working on your weaknesses.

Now we always see those basic weaknesses that all come out from our search engine. Follow our advice and think truly about your weaknesses

List them and make a plan on how you will overcome them. By doing this, next time you are asked the question, the answer you will provide will be honest and genuine.

Here is a list of weaknesses most of us struggle with:

Read them and understand if you can relate to them, we provide you with an idea on how you can work and overcome your weaknesses:

Receiving feedback: ask for an example to the person who is providing the feedback, and put on the side the emotional part. You need to understand that for the person who gives you feedback it is also difficult and it takes a lot of gut to do so. Identify how you can work with it and accept the feedback as it goes. With time you will understand if this feedback was fair or not.

Self confidence: To work with self confidence there is something that has proven to work with many people, every day write 3 things you are proud of. Have a notebook and spend a few minutes reading those points you have listed each Sunday. The things that you are proud of can be work or not work related. Remember that if you are self confident in your personal life this will slowly drive your professional confidence as well.

Need for recognition from peers, from manager, from team: This weakness is a tough one though most of us share it.

You will not always be recognized for everything you do and you will not always receive the recognition you think you deserve, that is a fact. However, If we can share here a personal experience, we were ourselves struggling with it and sometimes this would even drive the energy and motivation we would put in our work out. What we have decided is to focus on recognizing others instead of focusing on our personal recognition, and as many other examples we have in mind, most of the time when you start focusing on others instead of yourself, the satisfaction and the reward you get is even higher. Self motivation when project or time of the year is not the most fun.

Organization: For you to be organized, you can use tools like Microsoft Planner or Trello, those are simple tools that help you get on track with what you have to do and move around your task that you like to do today or the one that is achieved.

Asking for help: For most people asking for help is not what is the origin of the struggle. What might be the problem is finding the right moment to ask for help from colleagues and being afraid to get no support after the request. In this case, what we have seen in corporate environments is having the manager enabling the environment to be free from asking for help. As an example, having a team platform where people can ask questions or support and whoever is available can respond positively. As an individual contributor you can suggest creating a team space for it to your manager or even proactively implement it.

Feeling confident to delegate: Learn its process! Delegating is an important task, especially for Managers if they do not want to end up being overwhelmed, though this is not the easiest thing to do. There is a process about it. You can read more about it by checking this article that summarizes it all .

Dealing with deadlines: To work on this weakness, we will bring you back to organization & saying no. If you are never able to finish on time, perhaps you have too much on your plate and you do not know how to say no, even to your Manager. The other possibility is that you do not follow your deadline and don’t keep track of it, in this case I recommend you to get yourself tools like Trello or Microsoft Planner.

An important thing about deadlines, especially when you cannot meet them is to communicate with your stakeholders about it, the worst thing to do is to keep your stakeholders waiting and awaiting.

Need to finish a task even when time does not allow it: This is probably the most complicated weakness to work on, when you desperately feel like finishing a task and instead you have personal commitment to meet. A lot also results in being able to get a reasonable balance between your professional and your personal life.

There is one “Myth” that we want to bring your attention on, being multi-tasking is not our strength! In 2020, it will actually become a weakness.

Avoid mentioning this one in either weakness or strength, being multi tasking in 2020 is no longer a good thing. It is scientifically proven that multitasking is not well handled by our brain and you will most likely end-up doing all those things you do at the same time badly.

So, an advice, if you are a multitasking person, try to work on doing one thing at the time but doing it with quality, this will be a new strength of yours.

Listing your weaknesses should be short and sweet, it should also include what you're doing so it does not impact your productivity or the possibility of being chosen for the job you are applying to.

Now that you know how to respond and tell something in a constructive way about your weaknesses, you will also need to tell about your strengths.

For strengths in a job interview, the best thing you can do is to pick the job description and question yourself why you think you will be excellent at this job and use the strengths that pop-up.

When you tell your strengths, you need to tell a short and sweet story:

1: Tell your strength

2: Give an example of a moment when you used your strength

3: Tell how this benefit in the job you are applying to

An example of telling your strength

1: Tell your strength

One of my strengths is my capability of networking within my company.

2: Give an example of a moment when you used your strength

My networking capability was very useful, as an example in my last project, where I had to reduce our costs related to transportation. Having a strong network within my company helped me to push my project through and get all the necessary authorization to execute it within the time frame my manager expected.

3: Tell how this benefit in the job you are applying to

I understand the need for a new logistics specialist is quite urgent; in the event I am the chosen candidate, my capability of networking will help get myself on track quickly enough so we can meet our next deadline as well as helping our organization to better understand objectives and challenges of Logistics.

Here are a few important strengths mostly related to your personality that you may want to screen and understand if you can relate to it:

strengths and weaknesses list

Strengths and weaknesses interview questions are not easy but eventually you will master it if you follow our advice.

If you think about it before your job interview and structure your story, there is no reason you will miss out on this question.

For more on this topic, watch our video:

For more about job interview preparation, we invite you to read our blogs :

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