In most interviews, the topic of strengths and weaknesses will be addressed. This is because your prospective employer wants to know your work style, how you interact or relate with others and most importantly your personality. Hence, it would be advisable to think through before answering this question so as to leave a good impression. Below is an approach that can be considered helpful in making your list of strengths and weaknesses.
Identify the strengths that will contribute to a successful job performance. In particular, one should identify the strengths that are needed for a positive outcome. In this regard, you should know your own strengths and weaknesses. Focus mostly on your strength and explain giving examples of how your strength is evident in your work performance.
Part 1: List of Strengths
The skills that one gets in a work environment (e.g. people skills, planning skills, communication skills and much more)
Those that make you unique (e.g. hardworking, friendly, reliable and dependable, ability to work with little to no supervision, expressive and punctual)
Knowledge-based skills or credentials
Skills acquired from education and experience (e.g., computer knowledge, languages, degrees, training and technical ability).
Examples of strengths
To make the list of strengths and weaknesses more specific for you, we list here some examples of strengths. Once you’re done, take three or five of those strengths and compare them to see which ones are up to the requirements of the job description, and make sure you can give accurate examples, stating why it is your strength when questioned further.
This is a virtue that includes confidentiality, observing policies and procedures, being able to maintain value and ethics when under pressure or when faced with opposition.
It includes avoiding distractions, self-motivation, setting goals, not procrastinating and controlling personal behavior.
This includes both written and verbal communication skills. Examples of verbal include presentations, conflict management and active listening among many while written includes correspondence and reports.
Being able to analyze problems, to find cause and possible solutions, ability to identify and define problems, coming up with and implementing best solutions.
Communicating effectively with team members, listening and encouraging them, respect, contributing to team objectives and working effectively in a team.
This is simply taking steps to make your job and the company better. e.g. identifying needs and coming up with solutions, providing ideas for improvement, etc.
Includes staying enthusiastic after a setback, overcoming obstacles to achieve, taking criticism positively, dealing with disappointment effectively and handling rejection.
Judgment/ Decision making
It includes following through on decisions, coming up with viable alternatives, gathering the necessary information to make a sound decision after considering the pros and cons of each.
Planning and organizational skills
Includes multitasking, meeting the set deadlines, managing time, keeping up with calendars or schedules, setting and achieving objectives and goals.
Diligent/ Strong work ethic
Includes working hard, maintaining good quality work, doing more than that which is required, taking on extra hours, finishing projects before or on time and working without supervision.
Part 2: List of Weaknesses
We all have weaknesses, and you should present your weakness as a problem that can be solved so that it won’t disqualify you from the job. Hence, it is vital to explain showing ways of overcoming the weakness. By showing initiative on self-improvement, you can convince the interviewer that your weakness can be turned into a positive
You may not have much experience so you have to show interest in the job you are applying for. Be ready and focus on the qualities you have that would make you a viable candidate for the job. It would also be in your best interest to give the courses taken in detail in preparation of the job.
For example if the job you’re applying for doesn’t involve a lot of calculations or statistics you can point out that mathematics is your major weakness. At this point, you can tell the interviewer that you have some knowledge in computers on how to automate calculations as a way of overcoming your weakness.
You can also use a weakness that can be turned into strength. For example, you can say that because you are eager to get things done very quickly you may say you are working on being more patient. In tackling the problem, you try to reconsider your to-do list and find it effective in task prioritization.
List of weaknesses
Being impatient with co-workers on their standard of performance or that their pace is slower than your expectation.
These people are always a distraction to others and are constantly being distracted. They are not discreet and are almost never at their desks.
They agree on anything and with everyone despite what they feel on the topic and so they are constantly being used by others. They are not able to say No.
They find it difficult to adapt to changes and are not flexible. They don’t accept new ideas and communication is often one way.
Always rushing to complete tasks the last minute. Missing or postponing deadlines and always asking for help in finishing tasks. Often exhibit low productivity.
Reluctance to share/ Delegate tasks
Such people don’t share tasks and they don’t have confidence in coworkers, they don’t utilize the resources and skills of others fully and are constantly checking up on coworkers.
Such people on achieving their goals are single-minded and they don’t accept direction easily. When it comes to the needs or feelings of others, they can be insensitive as they want to take charge.
Being too sensitive
This is more like thinking with your heart rather than your head. One gets too disappointed and takes things personally.
Being a debater
An individual becomes too passionate with work and for any changes they require a reason. It can be good for a project or product, but it might not sit well with others.
Lack of some skills
No person has all the requisite skills for the job profile. There is no one person who has all the skills for the job. Just show them your willingness and ability to learn.
Part 3: How to Answer "Describe Your List of Strengths and Weaknesses" in Interview
This is key during an interview. Be honest with your strengths and weaknesses. Although there are those answers that seem appropriate for the question
Pick the right one
When applying for a job, look at the requirements. Factor in your personal strengths that are needed in the position you’re applying for. Alternatively, choose weaknesses that are minor enough to least impact your job.
Answer the question
We all have strengths and weaknesses and your potential employer is well aware of this. So don’t be ashamed to mention your weaknesses, and at the same time don’t be too arrogant or proud in describing your strengths and never say you don’t have any.
Don’t blame anyone
One of the most admirable qualities is taking responsibility. When you’re required to explain a weakness, do so without pointing fingers. Deal with your personal weakness in a responsible way without assigning blame.
Beware of TMI (too much information) syndrome
During an interview one should know when he/she is revealing a little bit more than they should, and this can make the interviewer question your judgment. So it would be best to save the stories on dating coworkers and the dangers of cocktails before board meetings for your friends.
Keep it work-related
Try as much as possible to talk about the job in place and your performance and keep it work related. Stay on topic and give relevant answers. You do not want to be remembered as the person who has 7 cats all named after famous Hollywood sensations.
Now after all the info mentioned above, you must have your own list of strengths and weaknesses. Use it to your advantage and stand out in your interview!