Talking about your greatest strength or things that you’re good at should be a breeze. Unfortunately, you can’t just spew off a list of qualities and think you’re done. Interviewers ask this question and expect a specific type of response that may make or break the interview. We are going to work on some ways to answer, so your job search is more successful.
Hiring managers like to discuss a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses to see if you are a good fit for the position. The weakness question is important to prepare for. Your greatest weakness should show that you are honest and aware of your limitations but are actively working to grow. It shows that you’re serious about problem-solving and will work through challenges when addressing your greatest weaknesses.
On the other hand, the strength question convinces your potential employer that you are not only qualified for the job but will excel at it. Job interviews almost always include a question about your weaknesses, and it is an opportunity to demonstrate your self awareness.
How to Answer
Name Skills that Are Not Crucial to the Job
You never want to raise red flags with a hiring manager, and show that you are not capable of doing the job. Therefore, naming a non-essential skill is one way to answer a question about a real weakness.
one way to answer a question about a real weakness.
First, before going into your interview, review the job requirements. Identify the skills and personality traits necessary for the job. Avoid saying these skills in your answer. Any weaknesses you have should not impact your ability to do the job.
Let’s look at a sample customer service position:
Manage incoming calls and customer service inquiries
Identify and assess customers’ needs to ensure satisfaction
Handle customer complaints and provide appropriate solutions or alternatives
Keep records of customer interactions
Follow company guidelines on communication and resolution procedures
A few critical skills may be:
Clear and honest communication
Empathetic listening skills
Product and procedural knowledge
Detail-oriented and diligent note-taking
It is vital that you pick a weakness that is not critical for this job. A job interview should be honest, but you have to know how to turn a weakness into a strength.
For example, for a one-on-one customer service position, you may say that your greatest weakness is public speaking. You do not perform well in front of large audiences. This is something a company can work with because this is not a job requirement. These non-essential skills don’t necessarily make you less of a suitable candidate. Everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone knows how to present them in a job interview.
Mention Skills that You Have Already Improved On
Spouting off your greatest strengths is easy. Interviewers want to know your limitations. Then, they want to know what action you took to address them. You can use this to show that you are working on a weakness, and you can improve.
You want to be an asset, rather than a liability. When talking about weaknesses, show how committed you are to self-improvement, and a weakness can be eliminated over time.
Talk about any extra training or classes you took to help you improve your weaknesses. Mention any workshops that you took for continued education. These courses can be company-sponsored or something you did on your time. Identify the tools or techniques you use to better yourself.
Finally, after you’ve taken these steps, did you notice an improvement? Did a supervisor also see a change? Were there any clear results from your training? Show how a weakness is overcome, as most companies are results oriented.
For example, you may say, “At my previous job, we dealt a lot with customer complaints. We also built strong customer relationships to make more sales. However, sometimes I felt limited with my knowledge about the product.
I took an online course to learn about the digital marketing industry. Now, when I meet with the product teams, we have more productive discussions. I understand when they explain the product updates. I can also clearly explain how we can improve our products based on customer feedback.”
Turn Your Weakness into Your Strength
This technique shows how a weakness is a strength in disguise. Turn a negative into a positive. However, make sure to mention that you know how this characteristic impacts your work.
For example, a new graduate may say that some people may consider his lack of experience as a weakness. However, because he is a fast learner with no bias, he is highly motivated to do the job correctly and efficiently.
Remember that your answer should always highlight the positive qualities that make you an ideal candidate. Be ready to pick a few different weaknesses to talk about. That job offer is for someone who is honest but constructive.
Here are some sample answers you can use to frame your own response:
My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. I am highly attentive to details. Sometimes I end up checking my work several times for accuracy and proper presentation. However, I know that this sometimes interferes with productivity.
I have learned better time management by prioritizing tasks and making a schedule. This technique helps keep my team on track, and we always meet deadlines."
"In my previous job, we used older software on the computers. It got the job done but has not always been the most efficient. Technology has advanced so much, and even the new Microsoft suite has improved in recent years.
To keep up with technology, I took 100 hours of training in the newer Microsoft Office products. I was able to show my supervisor these new software features and help the company make the change to newer technology."
"My greatest weakness is that I am an independent worker. I prefer to do things myself instead of delegating work to others. I realized that I was spending a lot of time doing tasks that others were perfectly capable of doing. I was not working well as part of a team.
I began using the Wrike project management tool. I was then able to structure my team's projects, assign tasks and receive task status updates. By communicating with my team and visually seeing our progress, we were completing projects faster and meeting deadlines."