Potential Follow Up Questions
Don’t get caught off guard by only preparing to answer with one strength. Particularly savvy interviewers will often throw in a follow-up question to ensure they’re getting the full picture and not just a pre-prepared speech. Some common follow-up questions include:
- “Whats your second greatest strength ?”
- “Can you give me an example of how youve used that strength in the past month?”
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How To Answer: What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses
In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. In preparation for an interview, candidates should consider how best to answer this question so that the information is useful to employers while not damaging your chances of being hired.
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Why Do Interviewers Ask What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses
When interviewers ask candidates this question, what they want to know is if your strengths, such as your skills, will be beneficial or not for the organisation and, at the same time, check whether your weaknesses will hamper your productivity. They are also checking your communication skills and train of thought. So, yes, there are right and wrong answers.
So, to avoid answering this question the wrong way during the interview process, lets get down to business.
Lets start with Strengths.
When answering the question What are your strengths? or Describe your strengths? you need to be mindful. You cannot blurt out the first thing you think of or give a cliche answer such as I am a perfectionist or I work too much.
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What Are Your Weaknesses Example Answers
Here are some example answers for What are your Weaknesses:
Example 1: I would like to say that my greatest weakness is that I can be too critical of myself. I have noticed that early in my career, I always focused on what I was not really good at rather than appreciating how far I have come and how I can make myself better. I have found that the best way to break this habit is to actively find ways to reflect and focus more on achievements alongside constantly improving myself.
Example 2: I have always been a perfectionist, finding ways to better something until I feel happy with it even if sometimes I go all out of my way overachieving something. My friends always pointed this habit and I only realised until a few years ago during a college project where my need to strive for perfection almost cost my team the credits of that particular course. I learnt my lesson then and have always tried to accomplish things within time and giving my best and feeling content with the same.
Example 3: My greatest weakness is that I am a procrastinator and only pick up a task once the deadline is looming on my head. I tried to battle this bad habit back in college when I would try my best to finish up assignments a day before the deadline and somehow mastered this habit to combat my procrastination. I am still working on this weakness and would like to say that I have learned to prioritize tasks and make a proper plan so that I dont wait until the final day.
Focus Too Much On Details
One of my most significant weaknesses is that I focus too much on details and overthink projects. To improve on this, I have been practicing focusing on the bigger picture instead of details. For example, I check in with my team to ensure we work towards the goal and do not waste time on small details. By doing this, I have been able to meet deadlines without compromising the quality of my work.
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Fear Of Public Speaking
“Public speaking makes me nervous. While I don’t need to do much public speaking in my role as a web designer, I still feel that it’s an important skill especially when I want to offer my opinion during a meeting. To combat this, I spoke with my manager and she recommended I speak at each team meeting for a few minutes about our project timeline, deadlines, and goals when developing a website for a client. This practice has enabled me to relax and see public speaking as an opportunity to help my team members do their jobs effectively.”
In this example, you mention a skill that isn’t applicable to the role, but one which you nonetheless have been working to improve. This shows your desire to meet more business needs than necessary in your current role, which is admirable. Additionally, it’s impressive if you can show you’re willing to reach out to your manager with areas in which you want to improve, instead of waiting for your manager to suggest those areas of improvement to you. It demonstrates a level of ambition and professional maturity.
When Youre A Perfectionist
Employers dont want to hire people who nitpick every little thing and make life difficult. No one wants to work with that person. Instead, say that youre thorough and you have high standards for yourself and your own work. Its best to leave the word perfectionist out of your interview altogether, even if you identify yourself as one. The Muse explains why.
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Highlight Minor Weaknesses And Focus On Improvements
You can mention areas that are related to but not critical for the job. For example, during an interview for an accountant role, consider mentioning that you have a tendency to invest too much time in projects because you want to execute them flawlessly. Then explain what you have done to decrease the time you spend on each project while still checking that your work is error-free.
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I Can Have Trouble Asking For Help
Asking for help is a necessary skill both when you are lacking expertise in a certain area and when you are feeling burned out or cannot handle your workload. Knowing when and how to ask for help shows strong self-awareness and helps the organization by getting ahead of a possible inefficiency. While having a strong work ethic and being independent are positive qualities, the business should know when to ask for help.
If you know it has been difficult to ask for help in the past, explain why you know it is beneficial and the ways you have tried to improve this skill.
Example:Because I am independent and enjoy working quickly, it has been difficult for me to ask for help when I need it. I have learned that it is much more beneficial both for me and the business to reach out when I do not understand something or feel burned out with my workload.
I also understand that many experts around me have specific knowledge and skills that can make my work better. While I am still working on it, I have been able to produce more high-quality work as a result of getting help from those around me.
Problem Solving / Creativity
Problem solving skills show an ability to approach difficult situations and work through them. This is something that nearly every employer wants in an employee. Similarly, creativity shows youâre an adaptable applicant with a mind for design.
Unlike hard skills, you shouldnât list soft skills in a skills section unless you are new to the job market and lacking in other useful skills. Instead, you should match your soft skills with examples or descriptive adjectives and include them in your work experience section.
To showcase your problem solving and creativity skills, you can use the STAR method: situation, task, action, result. This is a common interview technique, but can also be an excellent way to demonstrate your impact on your resume.
Example of using the STAR method to show problem solving skills:
Solvedinventory management deficit by redesigning inventory control system, quality controls, network integration, and training on-time order fulfillment improved by 45%, profits increased by 23%, and canceled orders decreased by 82%.
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Key Takeaways For Discussing Weaknesses In A Job Interview:
- Prepare carefully for this opportunity to show deeper dimensions of your worthiness as a serious job contender. Introspective insights into your self-improvement goals could give you an edge over other candidates sharing taken-for-granted strengths in common.
- Like any other aspect of a tailored job search strategy, the weaknesses you pinpoint should be customized to the hiring situation. Make sure there is no diminished impact on your ability to fulfill essential or important job requirements.
- Frame your weaknesses in a positive, proactive context as works in progress, emphasizing corrective steps with successful outcomes.
What Do Employers Want To Know About You In An Interview
Your strengths and weaknesses will determine if you are able and qualified to succeed in a job. In short, the employer wants to understand why you think youre a good match for the position and the organization. They might also want to consider what challenges could arise. Overall, its an opportunity to evaluate your capacity for self-reflection for them. Thinking about and naming your strengths and weaknesses effectively is a skill you will use in every interview, whether the question focuses on your positive or negative attributes.
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Tips On How To Answer What Are Your Strengths In A Job Interview
- First off, you will want to prepare for the interview, including how to answer interview questions the night or day before the interview. To answer What are your strengths?, seek help from your family members, friends or colleagues. Ask them what they think is your strength, something that you are particularly good at, and make a list of your strengths.
- Pick strengths that would fit the position youre applying for. For instance, if the job is for a sales manager, your strength could be your people skills or even strong work ethic.
- When the time comes to answer the question, take a breather and collect your thoughts.
- Stick to the point. Do not derail.
- Explain how your strengths have been beneficial for you.
You can take your strengths from the following skills assessments:
- Personal Traits: Your personality traits can include both your personal qualities and characters such as punctuality, determination, honesty, flexibility, creativity, dependability, etc.
- Knowledge-based skills: These are the skills that you get from learning or experience, such as your computer skills or language skills, among many others.
- Transferable skills: This is where your soft skills, such as analytical and communication skills, are included.
I Have Been Uncomfortable Working With Ambiguity
Many jobs require candidates who are comfortable individually defining tasks and working towards goals. This means they should be experienced, thoughtful and responsible with ambiguity in the workplace. While it is certainly a beneficial skill to closely follow detailed instruction, it is also necessary to be able to determine what it takes to achieve the desired outcome.
If this is the weakness you are presenting in an interview, explain the success you have found following instructions but also your career potential when finding comfort with ambiguity. You should also explain the steps you are taking to define your workday when given ambiguous tasks or goals.
Example:In my last position as a marketing intern, I found that my supervisor gave very specific instructions regarding my responsibilities. Because I became familiar with having a strong direction, I tend to be unsure when approaching an ambiguous assignment or goal.
It is a goal of mine to become not only comfortable but successful working with ambiguity. To do so, I have created a personal framework for times when I feel overwhelmed or confused by an ambiguous task including conducting structured research and asking subject matter experts for advice. Doing so has helped me thrive when working on ambiguous tasks or when working towards less specific or defined goals.
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Strengths And Weaknesses For Hr Interview
After clearing all rounds of the interview process, you have finally reached the HR interview round. Congratulations! Here is a list of strengths and weaknesses for the HR interview that you can utilise:
List of 7 Strengths
- Stress caused by an impending deadline
Strength And Weakness For Fresher
As a fresher, answering What are your strengths and weaknesses? may be new to you. As we have mentioned above, when interviewers ask candidates this question, what they want to know is if your strengths will be beneficial or not for the organisation and, at the same time, check whether your weaknesses will hamper your productivity. They are also checking your communication skills and train of thought, including if you are willing to overcome those weaknesses. So, yes, there are right and wrong answers.
Take a look at the list of strengths and weaknesses below and pick the strengths and weaknesses that will work in your favour when answering them:
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Tips On How To Answer What Are Your Weaknesses In A Job Interview
- First, you need to know how to find your weaknesses. Then accordingly, you need to prepare and practice answering What are your weaknesses? before your interview. Seek help from your family members, friends or colleagues, and ask them what they think is your biggest weakness. Ask them to help you do a mock interview.
- You need to make a list of What are your greatest weaknesses?. Pick a weakness that you can turn into your strength or something you are working on where there is room for improvement.
- When the time comes to answer the question, take a breather and collect your thoughts.
- Stick to the point and avoid going into too much detail. Do not derail.
Applicable Certificates Or Degrees
If you earned a certificate or degree, that hard skill has earned a place on your resume. Even if your degree is in a different field from the one you currently work in, your education shows that you are hard-working and committed. You should put these types of hard skills in a section titled âEducationâ or âEducation and Certifications.â
When the job posting description includes certifications or degrees as a requirement, be sure to include them on your resume. If you donât meet these requirements, you may want to hold off applying for this type of job until you have earned them.
Notice that this item says âapplicable,â though: there are cases when your education might not help your resume, such as in these examples:
An expired realtorâs license from 15 years ago is not going to help you become the next technical writer for toaster ovens. You can safely leave that out of your skills section.
Your high school diploma is implied if you hold an associate, bachelor, or other higher degree. Save the space for another skill.
Multiple certifications on similar topics might make your resume look cluttered. Pick your top three based on issuing entity, recency, or preference and add the other ones to your LinkedIn.
If you donât have the training or experience an employer wants, you can always learn a new hard skill! Unlike soft skills, which are mostly innate, hard skills can be acquired and improved all the time.
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Example Weakness : Procrastination
Ive always been a procrastinator. I used to think it wasnt such a bad habit because I was only creating stress for myself. But when I was working for XYZ Company several years ago, I was on a group project where I could see how my putting things off to the last minute created stress for everyone else. It was a wake-up call. I started creating daily schedules that hold me accountable to my team, and I broke the habit. It was hard at first, but using the Agile process was a real breakthrough in my workflow and mindset.
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