How to Answer: Strength and Weakness Interview Questions

strength-weakness

During a job interview, recruiters often ask the below questions to their candidates: 

  • “What are your biggest strengths?” 
  •  “What are your greatest weaknesses?” 

 

Unfortunately, the majority of candidates fumble and are unsure how to answer the strength and weakness interview question. 

Preparing for these questions in advance will give you enough time to self-reflect, and think of your strengths and weaknesses in the context of the job role.  

Continue reading below for a list of strengths and weaknesses examples with answers to ensure you attempt this question confidently the next time. 

 

Strengths To Mention in A Job Interview 

When interviewers ask the candidates about their strengths, what they want to hear is how the candidate applies them at the workplace. So while coming up with the strengths for an interview, you need to think of responses that align with the job description but are also a part of your professional experience.  

 

Some of the qualities that you can communicate as strengths are:  

  • Proactive 
  • Collaborative 
  • Empathetic 
  • Continuous learner 

 

Some example answers: 

Example 1: “ I am often praised by my superiors and subordinates for being proactive and taking new initiatives. Once, our project, which was nearing the deadline, ran into issues. Instead of getting overwhelmed like other teammates, I rallied everyone together, brought in experts from other teams and quickly figured out the issue. I then laid out clear and byte-sized steps for everyone and ensured that the project was delivered on time. 

 

Example 2: “One of my greatest strengths is to be empathetic towards others. I can easily relate to people and understand their wants and asks. This gives me an advantage in client meetings as I can understand what our clients want. Being empathetic improves my work relationships as well as I don’t judge my co-workers but try to see things from their lens. 

Once, one of the strongest members of our team delayed sharing a highly critical file that was a part of a government project. We were on the brink of losing the project, and the teammate was reprimanded badly by the management. I knew this wasn’t like him, so instead of blaming him I went to him and asked if everything was alright, or if there is any way I can help him. It is then that I learnt that his mother is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease which is why he was distracted from work. I communicated the same to my managers and the client. And instead of being harsh, we offered him all the support he needed.”  

 

Weaknesses To Mention In A Job Interview  

 Interviewers ask about your weaknesses to understand your self-awareness. They want to know whether you are aware of your shortcomings and are working towards improving them or not. To answer this question authentically, you need to be honest with yourself and identify areas that need improvement. Thus, give an example of how your weakness affects you at work, and how you are planning to overcome this weakness.  

 

A few examples are: 

  • Self-critical 
  • Extremely introvert 
  • Poor delegation skills 

 

Below are some sample answers for your reference: 

 

Example 1: “Self-criticism is one of my greatest weaknesses. From the beginning of my career, instead of appreciating the good work I did, I would often start criticising myself for the mistakes or things that I am not good at. For instance, even after successful completion of a project, I would always feel that I did not give my best, or that I should have taken a different approach. 

But over time I am getting to learn that self-criticism isn’t helpful. So, these days I spend more time appreciating my achievements, along with reflecting on the shortcomings or mistakes and constantly finding ways to improve myself. “ 

 

Example2: “I have been an introvert since childhood, which started affecting me a lot at work. I often shied away from discussing my ideas in team meetings and avoided speaking up in a group setting as much as possible. I had good intentions, but not sharing ideas wasn’t helping me or the team. 

Once, my team didn’t meet expectations, and I realised that if I had shared my idea, I could have saved them. That’s when I decided to push myself and challenge my fears. I started sharing ideas with close friends so that I get comfortable putting my point forward. I am also planning to join the local toastmasters club. While it’s still a long way to go, I must say I am improving every day and becoming more vocal about my thoughts and ideas.” 

 

Additional Tips On Strength And Weakness Interview Questions

 Below are some additional points to consider while answering strength and weakness interview questions:

  • Focus on 1-2 strengths and weaknesses each. Support them with relevant examples. 
  • Be honest. 
  • Mention those strengths that support the job description 
  • Neither underestimate yourself nor brag about your abilities  
  • Give specific examples that show how your strength(s) helped you achieve success at work. 

 

With these examples and tips, you are sure to ace any interview questions that come your way! 

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