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Job Interview Question: Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Learn what interviewers look for when they ask about your strengths and weaknesses.

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When you're in job-seeking mode, you need to be prepared for what comes next. Once you've applied for jobs on job boards like ZipRecruiter, hopefully the next step is that a company will ask you for an interview.

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Job candidates will likely be asked to name their biggest strengths and weaknesses during the interview process for a new role. While this dreaded question may seem intimidating, you can use it to your advantage. Understanding why employers want to know your biggest strengths and weaknesses can empower you to craft the perfect answer and ace your interview.

The purpose of an interview is to get to know a candidate. Questions range from behavioral, to technical, to situational, to open-ended. Asking for someone's strengths and weaknesses helps interviewers understand how self-aware candidates are. They want to know if this person can take responsibility for their actions for the good and the bad. This question also gives them insight into your character. They want to make sure you can answer the question honestly.

Preparation is the key to nailing any interview. You'll feel confident rehearsing your response to this question and thinking of examples to back your strengths and weaknesses. Here are some helpful tips to empower you to give the perfect answer.

List of strengths.

You want to mention strengths demonstrating that you're the best candidate for the position. Refer to the job description to see what skills are required for the role you're interviewing for to use. Provide specific examples of your strengths in action and try to approach this part of your response as being confident without bragging.

Strengths to consider:

  • Collaborative
  • Specific hard skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Detail-oriented
  • Creative
  • Honest
  • Dependable
  • Respectful
  • Empathetic
  • Patient

List of weaknesses.

After reviewing the job description, select one of your weaknesses that won't prevent you from succeeding in the role. Be honest but choose one that doesn't disqualify you from being considered for the job. For example, if the job you're interviewing for a position that requires solid public speaking skills, don't mention that as one of your weaknesses.

The other key to using this question to your advantage is to address your weaknesses and how you're actively working to improve them. Demonstrate how you are working to turn your weakness into a strength.

Weaknesses to consider:

  • Self-critical
  • Too detail oriented
  • Public speaking
  • Introverted
  • Taking on too much responsibility
  • Limited experience in non-job-related skill

When it comes to landing an interview at a dream company, savvy job seekers head to ZipRecruiter. This popular job platform uses powerful AI technology to match potential candidates with top companies. Rated as the #1 job search app on IOS and Android1, ZipRecruiter's intuitive interface and one-tap apply make job searching a breeze.

1 Based on job seeker app ratings, Feb 2021 from AppFollow for ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster.

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