If you have ever done some jobs interviews before it is likely you have been asked by the interviewer ‘What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?’. This is one of the more common Job Interview Questions asked, perhaps it may have may have been put to you in a different format such as ‘Tell me About Yourself’ which is kind of the same thing.
While this question is very common it is amazing the amount of people who struggle to answer confidently and effectively. The main fears people have is that they are reluctant to overstate their strengths in case they come across as arrogant or cocky and likewise they may be hesitant to state their weaknesses in case it goes against them for the role on offer. In this Blog Post we provide some answers to these questions that will help you give hiring managers an honest, thoughtful answer that shows your self-confidence and professionalism.
Before we begin to look at suggested answers it would be worth a minute or two of your time to think about which you would answer first – Your Strengths or Your Weaknesses! The correct way to proceed is to in fact discuss your weaknesses first. Why? Well this allows you to end on a positive note as you will finish discussing what strengths you have.
When discussing your weaknesses there are two area’s to consider – (1) skills related weaknesses for example technical qualifications or job experience you are lacking and then there are (2) personality traits that you feel work against you, for example you may lack confidence or be over-critical of yourself. Of-course this also applies when you are discussing your strengths. You may also need to consider the role on offer. If it is a very technical role, the interviewer may not be over concerned with your some of the personal traits that you feel hold you back once you have a high technical skills level and can do the role effectively. However, if it is a customer facing role for example a lack in confidence could work against you.
While the examples below do not cover all scenarios, they hopefully we will give you a good idea of how to put your position across in the best possible way.
Weakness Example 1: Lacking Confidence – ‘I have never been a very confident person and found myself very shy speaking in public and talking to strangers. While I have improved in this area as I reached adulthood, I still felt I could do a lot better. I made a point of joining some clubs outside of work that have helped me make great strides in this area plus I took on extra duties in my current role where I am customer facing. I have seen huge improvements in the last 12 months.’
Weakness Example 2: Lack of Experience – ‘While I have not used the particular software package you use in your company; I am somewhat familiar with a similar one from a previous job I was in. I am prepared to undertake any courses you suggest to get me up to speed as quickly as possible. I enjoy learning and have a strong aptitude for technology.’
Strength Example 1: Leadership Skills – ‘I understand leading a team will be a big part of this role. I have managed teams in the past in previous companies with great success. I have great organisational and time-management skills and I am very good at working with different personalities. I am also very proud of my ability to get cross-functional groups working together. I am constantly working at improving my skills in this area.’
Strength Example 2: Persistence Skills – ‘I love a challenge. I enjoy not only reaching but surpassing all targets set for me. I do not see targets as challenges but as a way to assist me in helping me do my job more effectively. I have many references from previous employers acknowledging how hard a worker I am.’
Getting on top of common Interview Questions such as ‘What are your Strengths and Weakness’
While discussing ‘Your Strengths and Weaknesses’ may be a dreaded interview question for many, you can see from this article that preparing a thoughtful response in advance could in fact increase your changes of making favourable impression and perhaps even assist in securing your dream job. For more hints and tips on Job Interview Techniques visit our Blog regularly. To view our latest Fintech Jobs vacancies please click the highlighted text.
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