In a job interview, your strengths and weaknesses paint a picture of who you are. To interviewers, this is a chance to know which candidate will be able to do the job or which one to drop.
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As a job seeker, a job interview is a marketing platform for you, it is the golden time to show off your skills, competencies, and most importantly demonstrate your core strengths and weaknesses.
Why are your strengths and weaknesses important to discuss in a job interview?
Unlike other technical and competency-based questions, the ability to discuss your strengths and weaknesses and how best you demonstrate them will be a selling point in a job interview. Why? Hiring managers are more interested in the candidate’s attitude to do the job rather than their experience. Therefore, to take advantage of this secret, here are 20 examples of strengths and weaknesses that could make your job interview a success.
Here are tips on how best to discuss your strengths during a job interview
It is always advised that you use examples from your work experience and daily life to highlight your strengths and weaknesses. While discussing your strengths, show how they helped you achieve something or made you a better person.
Let's reflect on these examples below;
I believe that the best way to give all you can to a task is by ensuring that your focus is 100%. There are a lot of distractions that come up as we work, but your willingness to get the work done should overrule everything.
For example; During our Christmas break, we had a client who had a lot of orders. As much as this was good news, I had made plans with my friends to travel since I thought work would be closed off early. This was a difficult decision to make as the client’s orders were going to take up five more days into the Christmas holiday. I decided to let go of my trip since we have always had it every December and concentrated on the client’s order. I was so proud of myself that the client turned out to be our biggest customer the following year. ”
The willingness to get work done no matter how many inconveniences one faces is a great strength to have in any workplace. Do not miss the strength out in a job interview.
Example; “I love the challenge to get work done in a given period and in a specified way. Once I have all the required tools, I refuse to give up until I have achieved my set target. This has enabled me to meet deadlines and deliver quality work.”
Some of the positions we hold have faced us with hard decisions to make. We are at times caught up between following the values of our company and achieving self-gratification. Employers are always looking for someone who can stand the test of time.
Example; “As a procurement coordinator, I handle a lot of bids from various suppliers. This puts me in a place where people want to persuade me with money to give them a contract even when they do not meet the requirements. I have always looked at the entire company’s needs and looked beyond my own. This has earned me respect from both our suppliers and my employers.”
Respect revolves around us every day. How you communicate during your job interview will show if you are respectful or not. How important is respect to you as an individual? When you can respect yourself, you easily respect others.
Example; “During an internship intake at our workplace, I urged the staff not to look down on the interns placed in their departments. No one was allowed to send an intern to the cafeteria or even give them more work than assigned. I believe that no matter the age or experience, everyone deserves to be respected at work.”
Here are tips on how best to discuss your weaknesses during a job interview
The best way to highlight your weaknesses in a job interview is by coupling them with a solution that is helping you overcome them. Let's look at a few examples below:
For example; “Multitasking is one of my major weaknesses. At times, I fail to complete the many tasks that I have taken on. However, I have learned to plan my tasks in order of priority and urgency. This has enabled me to be able to finish my work on time without fail.” As much as job seekers are convinced that multitasking is a strength, it can be disastrous. Therefore you are at a good advantage highlighting it as a weakness in a job interview.
2. Fear of taking risks
For example; “When it comes to taking risks, I am scared because I fear failure. I do not want to end up doing something that will lead my role or entire company into a red zone. Therefore, I am always inclined to remain in my comfort zone. This is a disadvantage to me because it has limited my growth. I am learning to always conduct in-depth research and consult with my superiors before making a decision. This assures me that the result will be desirable.”
This is a major weakness to many people. Therefore, do not be scared to share it as a weakness. This will show your honesty in a job interview.
Example: “I tend to push my tasks ahead of time with an excuse of doing them later. But I get caught up with time and fail to meet the deadlines. As a solution, I scheduled my work and made my colleagues my accountability partners to make sure I always finished my work a day or a few hours earlier than needed.
Example: “In my role as a Human Resource Officer, I struggled with communicating with colleagues, especially those outside my department. Over time, I have realized that it is important for me to engage with fellow staff and after work. I took on staff gym classes to interact more, which has helped me. Even when I struggle to deal with it around new people, I am certain I will overcome it as I adapt to the environment.”
This can be used as both a strength and a weakness. However, it is very hard to deal with a perfectionist in the workplace. You are much better off pointing it out as a weakness.
Example; “Since childhood, I always wanted to achieve the best of myself in any given task or activity I was given. When I started working, I found it hard to accept my teammates’ contribution because I feared it may lead us to failure. Given the fact that I wanted to do things perfectly, I ended up doing things my way. This affected progress in my work output. After training in leadership and attitude-centered skills/courses, I have come to accept that teamwork makes work easier and everyone’s opinion matters.”
Constant comparison of ourselves to others often injures our focus to become better as we want to become like someone else. This gets in our way of believing in the results we are delivering at work. When it comes to making presentations, your confidence levels drop as you tend to think that you are probably doing everything wrong. The best way to deal with this is more focused on what you do than what others do. Be willing to learn from others but do not compare. This will help you excel in your job interviews.
Example; “At my first place of work, I turned down a supervisory role because I saw myself not being able to work as well as the other supervisors. I failed to realize that my boss had believed in me to get the job done. When I finally came to reflect on what I missed out by talking down on myself, I embarked on a journey of self gratitude. This has helped me know that I am capable of handling all responsibilities given to me.”
Final tip: Let all your responses aim at showing the hiring manager how you are a great fit for the role. With good preparation, you will be able to score highly in your job interviews.