What employers are looking for:
Your best bet is being both specific and honest. For example, if you say you have leadership skills as a strength, be prepared to back that up with specific, verifiable examples. Tell them who you led, on what projects, and who they can speak with to learn more.
The same goes for weaknesses. Are there hard skills listed in the job description where you feel you can improve? Or soft skills, such as public speaking, that you don't have much experience with? Don't be afraid to name these, but offer a plan for improving your skills in these areas too.
How to Address Your Strengths & Weaknesses:
Read through our guide to answering "what are your strengths and weaknesses?" in a professional and impressive way.
Think carefully about what you should reveal.
Use the job description to frame your answer.
Your strengths and weaknesses should reflect the requirements of the role. Ensure that you highlight your skills that are listed in the job description, and explain how you will gain or improve critical skills that you lack.
In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.
Your weaknesses can include a hard skill set out in the job description, provided that you emphasize your desire to acquire this skill through a course or program. Similarly, listing a soft skill you lack should be supported with a plan to learn or improve this skill.
Try not to reveal too much.
While it is important to be honest about your weaknesses, there are a few traits that are not appropriate or beneficial to mention in a job interview. This includes tardiness, poor attention to detail, and an inability to meet deadlines.
I consider my leadership skills to be one of my greatest strengths. During my time as a department head, I successfully merged two teams and organized training programs for all team members to ensure that everyone was confident in their new role. As a result, we were able to increase sales by 5% within our first month as a new team.
Thanks to my experience as an HR representative, I have gained excellent communication skills. I was responsible for facilitating informational workshops for staff members and mediated any conflict in the workplace. I have also completed a course on effective communication from UCLA.
I have 5 years of experience as a copywriter and consider myself to have strong writing skills. I was promoted to an editorial position after five years at the company, so I have also improved my editing skills thanks to my new role.
I am very honest. When I feel that my workload is too large to accept another task, or if I don't understand something, I always let my supervisor know.
My people skills are my greatest strength. I find it easy to connect with almost anyone, and I often know how to empathize with others in an appropriate way.
Examples of Strengths.
- Communication skills.
- People skills.
- Writing skills.
- Analytical skills.
- Leadership skills.
- Computer literacy.
I find public speaking intimidating and have often struggled with presentations. As a result, I am currently taking a public speaking course at a community college to become more confident and learn to structure a speech more effectively.
I often struggle with delegating and choose to take on a larger workload to ensure that a task is completed perfectly. This puts more pressure on myself, so I have been using software to assign tasks and track their completion. So far this has helped me to trust my co-workers and focus more on my own tasks.
Shyness is something that I struggle with in large groups. I find it intimidating to ask questions or raise points, so I have often remained quiet in the past. I have been trying to be more vocal in smaller groups to become more confident.
I mainly used Python in my last position, so I don't have as much experience with Java. I did a course on Java for one semester at University, but I haven't used it since then.
I struggle with negative criticism and can become obsessed with perfecting my work after receiving notes from a supervisor. While I appreciate the guidance, I think I can learn to be less harsh on myself.
Examples of Weaknesses.
- Lack of knowledge of particular software.
- Public speaking.
- Taking criticism.
- Lack of experience.
- Inability to delegate.
- Lack of confidence.
More Interview Resources.
- How to Research a Company.
- How to Prepare for a Job Interview.
- How to Answer: "What are your weaknesses?"
- How to Answer: "Why Do You Want to Work Here?"
- How to Answer: "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?"
- Questions to Ask Interviewers.
- How To Write A Follow-Up Email After An Interview.
- How to write a cover letter.