Common interview questions – strengths/weaknesses

Common Interview Questions

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

This is a very common interview question! While many of us are quick to elaborate on our strengths, weaknesses can be hard to tap into. Especially if you’re worried that the hiring managers might view your weaknesses as a reason not to hire you.

However, by establishing the appropriate context, you can give hiring managers an honest, thoughtful answer that highlights both your self-awareness and professionalism. Do not think of your weaknesses as negatives but areas of development.

Here’s a list of the top 5 strengths and weaknesses you can pick from to discuss during your interview.

\ Top 5 Strengths

  1. Leadership Skills
  2. Collaboration Skills
  3. Interpersonal Skills
  4. Technical Skills
  5. Organizational Skills

Be specific, be specific, be specific! Remember not to just list whatever strength you chose but ensure that your strengths support the job description and set you apart as a candidate. Remember not to be overly humble as well, hiring managers are able to tell if you’re being overly modest for the job.

\ Top 5 Weaknesses (Areas of Development)

  1. Self-Critical
  2. Lack in Confidence
  3. Taking on too much Responsibility
  4. Perfectionism
  5. Being Shy

There is a formula that goes into addressing your weaknesses. The first, again, is to be as specific as possible and draw upon examples relating to either skills/habits or personality traits, depending on the type of job for which you’re interviewing for.

The second is to add additional context and a specific example or story of how this trait has emerged in your professional life and how you are taking steps to improve in this area. This will give the hiring manager your sense of self-awareness and commitment to professional growth.

Though this question is often one of the most dreaded interview questions, when you take time to prepare a thoughtful response, you can create a unique story about who you are and where you want to go. As you prepare your answers, turn weaknesses into challenges that you’ve overcome and strengths into the reason you’re a great fit for the job.

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