While the majority of a job interview is spent talking about yourself, perhaps the most daunting part is being asked about your strengths and weaknesses. This can be a challenging and stressful question to answer, as you may struggle with how your response can help or hinder your candidacy.

However, knowing that these types of questions are likely to come up, you can prepare your answers in advance. Interviewers ask about your strengths and weaknesses for obvious reasons: they are trying to get to know you. They want to see how you talk about your own expertise and flaws. A sense of self-awareness and productive attitude can make all the difference, as this will reflect the type of employee you will be should you get hired.

Honesty is key

Always be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect, so exaggerating or embellishing any skills or experiences would only waste everyone’s time. The Muse says, “A boss doesn’t want to hire someone who can’t recognize and own what they bring to the table as well as what they need to work on. You’ll be a better employee if you can understand and leverage your strengths and acknowledge and learn from your weaknesses.”

Use the job description

When thinking about your own strengths and weaknesses, try referencing the requirements from the job description. For example, many jobs require strong communication. Think of a time in your past positions where you practiced written or verbal communication with your team to reach a specific goal. This will highlight a strength. To address a weakness, pull another requirement from the job description, and explain how you would improve that skill moving forward. The key is to always be learning and growing.

Keep it short

Everyone gets nervous, but rambling won’t help. Be sure to keep your answers brief and to the point. Try to only list one strength and one weakness and keep your focus on those without overexplaining. Remember that this is one of many questions you will be asked during the interview; your candidacy will not be determined on this answer alone, so don’t stress over it too much.

Talk to your recruiter

If you’re using a recruiter, they are there for a reason. Recruiters are experts in tackling job interviews, especially in their specific fields and industries. Prior to your interview, practice and discuss answering these questions with your recruiter. They will know exactly what you should highlight and what you should avoiding bringing up. If you are interested in working with a talented Green Key recruiter, contact us today!

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