How to Answer ‘What are your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?’

How to Answer ‘What are your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?’

Although there’s no exact format in an interview, the question ‘What are you greatest strengths and weaknesses?’ is a common Job Interview question.

Picking out your strengths is the easier one, it is easier to understand and know what you are good at, what you excel in and use experiences to back up your claims. However, when answering what your weaknesses are, it can be tricky. You don’t want to spoil your chances of getting the job, but then again you can’t say you have no weaknesses! So let’s break down this question into two questions.

Read on to to find out KennedyPearce’s examples and tips on how to answer: ‘What are your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?’ below:

1. What are your greatest strengths?

A strength can be defined as a combination of talent, behavior, skills and knowledge that you apply consistently to produce a successful result. If it feels satisfying when you are performing an activity the chances are that you are using a strength, because strengths are things that come naturally and relatively easily to you.

First of all identify your top transferable competencies from your previous work and life experiences. It’s best to be sincere with your strengths, so below are just a few examples to help get you thinking about your own strengths:

– Strong Work Ethic

– Delegation

– Teamwork

– Planning

– Organisation

– Public Speaking

– Self Discipline

– Initiative

– Problem Solving

– Analytical thinking

Now you have outlined a few of your main strengths, it’s time to back up those strengths with examples. Interviewers want to hear how you’ve put these strengths of yours into good use, so give examples of actual work situations.


2. What are your Weaknesses?

Everyone has a weakness or two. Again be authentic with this one, but be sure to avoid focusing on a weakness that is a core competency for the job! A good idea is to describe general behaviors that impact on a number of areas of your life – personal, home and work. Here’s some examples:

– Impatience

– unassertive

– Controlling/Strong willed

– Working in Groups

– Analytical thinking

– Data Analysis

– Delegation

Look at the suggestions above and know what your weaknesses are. Now you need to think about how your weakness can be managed and develop a constructive interview answer that acknowledges the weakness, but then goes on to describe what you are doing to improve on it and what appropriate behaviors you use to compensate for it.

For example, if your IT ability is not at the level it could be, state it as a weakness but tell the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills. If your weakness is delegation, state how you’re always looking for opportunities to manage small groups and gain their feedback as a way of improving yourself. The trick here is to acknowledge your weakness and then say what you are doing to work on it, this can then be perceived as a strength!

What would you say were your Strengths and Weaknesses? Tweet us at @KennedyPearce

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