As a job seeker and candidate, you can always expect that job interviews will involve a lot of talking about yourself. Among the topics that do not go missing during any interview are strengths and weaknesses. The question, what are your strengths and weaknesses, is somewhat of the same level as how do you describe yourself when it comes to being simple yet tricky interview questions.
It will be easier to talk about your strengths and weaknesses with some planning. The first step is to understand why employers and interviewers ask about them in the first place.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and while they help define you personally and professionally, what matters more to interviewers is how you talk about them. The way you talk about your strengths and weaknesses will show how honest, mature, communicative, and self-aware you are.
Now, let’s take a look at the five smart ways to talk about your strengths and weaknesses during a job interview.
1. Be honest about them
Employers do not want to hire candidates who do not know their own selves. Before you go to an interview, take the time to evaluate yourself. By knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, you can talk about them more honestly. Interviewers appreciate genuine answers more than calculated and generic ones.
One of the things you want to show the interview is that you are capable of self-reflection and that you are matured enough to accept your weaknesses as much as you do your strengths. However, it’s also important to exhibit your willingness to improve your weaknesses.
2. Tell a story
It may be easier to talk about your strengths than weaknesses. While the former gives you the chance to ‘sell’ yourself, the latter may be the opposite — if not done properly.
A good way to talk about your strengths and weaknesses is to tell a story. Pick an experience where you were able to practice or exhibit your strengths. Meanwhile, you may also tell a story where your weaknesses somewhat caused issues, but you should also tell how you were able to rise up despite the problems.
3. Link your strengths and weaknesses with your goals
It’s not enough to talk about your strengths and weaknesses per se. You should also be able to show how your strengths will help you move forward in the position you’re applying for. When it comes to the weaknesses, it’s important that you also talk about how you’re working on improving them.
4. Keep your answer short
Less talk, less mistake — this should be your mantra when talking about your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on a maximum of two strengths and weaknesses, depending on how the question was asked. Keep calm and stay concise.
5. Don’t worry too much
There are a lot of factors that will make an employer want you, and more often than not, they won’t base their decision solely on your strengths and weaknesses. Treat this part of the interview as just one factor of the process.