Interviews are the core part of your hiring process. Interviewers determine the best-suited candidate for the position by asking a few easy and some tricky or challenging questions. The human resources department conducts interviews to understand and analyze a job seeker’s complete personality traits, which is why it may include some personal questions as well. However, they ask them from a professional point of view only.
During your interview, you may encounter common questions but still, find it difficult to get to the bottom of them. A good performance is a lock, and the preparation behind it is the key. “What are your greatest strength and weaknesses?” is one fundamental question that may hit you. In this article, we will be helping you to find the best ways to respond and crack your interview with utmost confidence. Keep reading!
The Core Values of The Question
During our academic years, we are taught to understand the question and only then move ahead with its response. The same idea applies to the interview questions too. Whatever they ask, you must try to understand their mindset and intentions. It is far better if you do this practice while preparing.
When people sit at the opposite side of the table asking you to mention your strengths and weaknesses, they are looking for the candidate who has discovered their personality’s positive and negative points.
It is a strong character if you acknowledge and accept your traits. Furthermore, they also want to check if you can fight back with all your capabilities to the challenging situations you may face at their workplace.
In simple words, they want to know you better.
How to Answer “What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?”
When you finally get the opportunity to showcase your abilities, do not let anything pull you back.
Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
Preparation matters! You must make a good preparation strategy to nail the answer in front of hiring managers. Make a plan and execute it without procrastination. You can add your strengths and weaknesses to align your job role and responsibilities. It will be a smart move.
STAR means Situation, Task, Action, and Result, respectively. It is a proven strategy to crack the deal and structure your reply in many behavioral-based interview questions. Take each word into action in the correct order. Describe a situation while explaining your strengths and weaknesses, mention the tasks involved, point up the step you took, and determine the result in a relevant manner.
Curate your answer with the utmost intelligence. Give a short, crisp, and insight-driven reply. There is no need to mention every strength and weakness that your personality possesses. The hiring panel is not interested in listening to your long, happy, and sad stories. They only want to know the direct reply that can make them understand your professional persona. Mention a few but dive deep and explain them well.
- Keep it Aligned With the Job Description
There is no point in mentioning the traits that have nothing to do with the job role and responsibilities. The panel is looking for a perfect fit for the role, and they only want to hear everything related to that aspect. You can mention your positives and negatives related to the position and do not destroy your chances of selection.
“What Are Your Greatest Strengths?” Sample Answers
We hope you are blessed with a good bundle of strength, but as we mentioned above, you must be conscious of selecting the right traits to demonstrate in front of your hiring managers.
Here are some strengths that you can mention during your interview to make a breakthrough impression,
- Technical Skills
- Team Management
- Communication Skills
- Hard work
- Analytical skills
Now, you can choose what suits you to make the perfect answer.
Upskill your creativity and make an impressive response. You need to be dedicated and sincere while answering. Now, let’s practice a few example answers for the “what are your strengths?” interview question.
- I believe in hard work. From my school days till now, I have been an active learner who fills the gap, pushes myself up, and surpasses limitations with my hard-working skills. In my internship, I struggled with a few tough-nut tasks, and then I started working hard, and those tasks became tiny. That is how I realized the importance of hard work. As a fresher, I will try my best to participate in the overall performance of projects through sincerity and dedication.
- I consider communication skills as my biggest strength. I have been working as an HR executive and gained good experience, but at the same time, this role helped me grow as a professional. I believe in clarity, straight talking, and concision while communicating. During my previous experience, I used to give inductions, presentations, and informative workshops. It scaled up my skills to converse.
- As a digital marketing manager, I see creativity as my fundamental strength. Being creative allows me to explore new ideas and ways to implement them. Having experience of 7 years, I know how to integrate my knowledge, skills, and creativity to drive the best SEO results. I have worked on several detail-oriented projects where my creativity is much appreciated. As a creative professional, I can use the best techniques to promote the product and attract leads.
- I am a team player, which drives me to stay positive and focused. I have always preferred being collaborative. Being a responsive team member, I was promoted to team manager during my previous professional role, where I used to tackle different mindsets and increased the team’s productivity by 30%. It is one of my most outstanding achievements.
- As a customer care executive, I believe one must learn to listen, and I adopted empathy as my professional trait. It is necessary to make customers feel important, and if we hear them keenly with complete empathy, we can relate to them. In one of the instances from my previous job, I was asked to handle a very frustrated customer. She was going through a misunderstanding and felt cheated. I made her calm using my good communication skills and explained the features of the plan she had availed. In the end, she was not only optimistic about our services but renewed her service plan too.
You can compile your answer or customize the above-mentioned responses to master your interview. We hope that you are not out of ideas now, at least.
“What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?” Sample Answers
To be a strong candidate, you must prepare thoroughly, as we have already stated above. You must know which particular skills can be trusted to avoid and mention. When you explain your weaknesses, show a positive attitude. Do not show yourself as a miserable one who cannot overcome it.
Avoid mentioning those weaknesses that are too personal and have nothing to do with the job opportunity. You can also add how you finally conquered this negative trait. It will help the interviewer understand your abilities to face the challenges within yourself.
While stating your weakness, be honest and do not exaggerate or underestimate yourself. Below is a list of a few common weaknesses that you can choose from,
- Over sensitive
- Lack of patience
So, you can choose an appropriate weak characteristic according to your relevance.
Now, let us go through a few sample answers to the interview question, “what are your greatest weaknesses?”
- Sometimes, I underestimate myself. During my college days, I used to feel restricted within myself to try out new things and explore different and mindful ideas. This weakness has prevented me from being creative and outspoken. During my internship, I decided to overcome it. I was working as a content writer for a project, and I started taking personality development classes. It helped me a lot. Side by side, I executed everything that I learned in my workshops. I started believing in myself and slowly turning out as a confident professional.
- I am a procrastinator, and it sometimes really stresses me out. Though, I am trying hard to overcome it. In my previous work experience, we, as a team, had to deliver a project within the given deadline, and the team had to hang upon only because of my procrastination. I made everyone suffer, and that hit me hard. It was an excellent lesson for me, and I started doing tasks on time and delivering them within assigned deadlines. I make my daily timetables and follow them strictly. A ray of hope is always there!
- My biggest weakness is being too hard on myself. I always think more critically than needed. At times, it grains me out and affects my mental health. During my last job as an HR executive, I had to look for ways to help myself as it was obstructing me from working correctly. I started watching video lesson series for self-love and celebrated achievements, even the smallest ones. I also meditate and keep telling myself, “It’s ok, it’s fine, it happens, etc.” Today, I found myself compared to a few years back, and I am still improving.
- I have seen a lot of achievements in my career, which made me overconfident. Self-reliance is necessary, but overdose is toxic. I used to believe that I could do everything on my own. Once during a project at my last workplace, I did not complain about the cloud server issues to the developer and started looking for a solution on my own. I ended up creating a more deep mess, thankfully, the developer was a friendly guy, and he didn’t take it personally. I apologized for my mistake and learned a strict lesson. Since then, I have returned to my roots and worked thoroughly without being overconfident.
- I am an introvert and lack communication skills. It has not affected my digital marketer career till now, but I tend to resolve this issue within myself. I interact with people more often compared to my school and college days. Communication skill is a value-added advantage as a professional, and I want to explore them further. I study great public speakers, practice breath and voice controls, and rehearse. Once in a team meeting with international members, I was full of ideas but couldn’t manage to say anything. I was not shy but lacked skills. Since that incident, I have been trying hard, improving, and believing in overcoming it very soon.
In the responses mentioned above, we have mentioned weaknesses along with methods, strategies, steps, and most importantly, willingness to overcome them, which matters!
What To Avoid While Answering the Interview Question: What Are Your Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses?”
Here are a few crucial things that you must not mention in your answer. Take a note!
- “I am a strong person with no weaknesses but have loads of strengths.” It is a negative response throwing out a wrong impression of your personality. Even the physically and mentally strongest people possess weaknesses.
- “My parents are my biggest strength.” Well! It is such a beautiful thing to say, but NO! Not in your interview. Interviews are conducted to know about your professionalism, not personal aspects. You can lose points.
- “I am still exploring.” It is not mandatory to know everything, and completely fine to keep exploring yourself, but being clueless is a terrible idea. Interviewers will try to find to expect anything and consider you a proper fit if you are unaware of yourself.
Also Read: Interview Question: Why Should We Hire You?
Interviews can be daunting and may flood your mind with a set of long questions, but you can always ace them with the right strategy. There is nothing to overwhelm with. Be calm and positive, try developing confidence, showcase the best you have, and be respectful, and that’s all to nail the response.