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How to Talk About Your Strengths and Weaknesses in Interviews

While every job interview is different, there are common questions you can expect to be asked in each one. A type of question you can plan for is to tell them about your strengths and weaknesses. Much like being prepared for all parts of the interview, it’s a good idea to prepare for this question as employers dig into your abilities and things you need to work on and assess if that’s a good fit for their organization. Here’s how to prepare talking about your strengths and weaknesses in an interview.

Do an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses beforehand. It seems obvious, but one of the worst mistakes you can make before attending an interview is not being prepared. Looking at the job description in front of you, list your positive and negative traits related to the job. Be honest, because at this point, no one sees this list. You will just use it to start to formulate some good answers to this question during the interview.

Choose a weakness that is easily remedied. Think about it this way, everyone has flaws, and no employer is expecting you to be perfect. The best way to talk about your weaknesses is to think about ones that have viable solutions. One example is not being up on the latest version of a software. Try to avoid giving answers that are really self-complimenting in disguise—for example, that you are too hard on yourself. They might see through these answers. Instead, give them something with some teeth, like you can be shy and have trouble asking questions.

Choose a strength that benefits the company. It seems obvious, but when choosing a strength to reveal to an interviewer, select one that will grow and advance the company. For example, if you’re a great athlete, this likely won’t mean much to an employer (except for certain fields of course!) But, if you’re an excellent communicator or can lead a group of people then jackpot! These are the traits potential employers love to hear about.

As you can see, responding to this question takes a little bit of strategy. If you play your cards right, the answers you choose can only help you show you are the best candidate for the position. It’s easy to have a lot of nerves going into the process, so having responses ready to go is helpful. Also, practice your answers to this question with a friend or mentor and see what feedback they have for you.

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