How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

You never know when you’ll be faced with a question related to your strengths in an interview. Some interviewers ask this question and some don’t, but these questions are usually asked across the board.

They may want you to speak about your strengths asking an interview question ‘What is your greatest strength?’ or ‘What are your strengths? You’d be wise to prepare your answer before the upcoming job interview.

Job interview tips: what are your strengths?

Talking about your strengths is a tricky one. You do not want to come across as an ego driven personality when answering about your strengths. You also don’t want to sound boastful and give a wrong impression about yourself.

Interviewers know that questions about strengths and weaknesses are difficult for the candidates as it put them on the spot. Often they want to see if you can keep your composure while you assess your professional strengths. They’d want to see if you have self awareness – Your answer should be grounded on real self assessment, if you want it to be genuine.
Listing your personal strengths in a job interview gives you the opportunity to show how you are the perfect fit for the position!

How to list your greatest strengths in an interview

You want to find strengths that are related to the job. Three simple steps are required:

  1. Read the job description carefully and write down the skills/abilities/traits for the position you are applying for. If those skills are not detailed enough, you can always list the must-have known ones for your area/industry. Read hereunder.
  2. Assess your strengths and also those skills known as competencies, which are skills you consciously posses and gained thru your life.
  3. Do you recognize equivalents between your strengths and the skills required for position? If you do, mark these strengths.

Job Interview: Key Strengths Examples

Here are the three important personal strengths recognized in the business world today:

  1. Adaptive to change: If you’re not only good in adjusting to changes but can also lead a change, it is even a better strength.
  2. Communication skills: having verbal and written interpersonal skills, people oriented person, friendly, loyal to friends, team player, cooperating, listener, respectful, honest, empathetic, flexible, tolerant, caring and ready to help and always go the extra mile to help out.
  3. Self motivated and learning agility: a headstrong personality. Someone who’s not only intelligent but loves to learn new things and to be challenged – a determined personality, a quick learner that has high level of energy.

You can categorize some strength per occupation, as follows:

– For sales/marketing, customer service, managers and leaders positions: self confident, effective organizational and prioritization skills, negotiator, presenter, initiator, good planner, persuasive, adaptability, patient, cooperative, goal driven, stress tolerant, effective decision maker and problem solver.

– Technical or financial positions: analytical skills, strong in math, programming and engineering, accuracy and attention to details a handy man.

Answers to Interview Questions about Your Greatest Strengths

Here are some examples:

A leader
High level executive, who wants to describe leadership as his strength – Leadership of change and leadership abilities:
“I am a leader – I have the ability to share a sense of vision and common purpose. I can inspire loyalty and commitment and believe I have an adaptable leadership style depending on individuals and circumstances. I can create and build teams. I have transformed strategic objectives into firm actions. I work with others to implement change and always help to clarify and avoid ambiguity. I take responsibility for driving things forward and can identify the need of change and initiate a change.”

Customer Service
People applying for customer service positions, who want to emphasize their customer awareness:
“I have great customer service skills that can be demonstrated by my ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. I can recognize the prime importance of the customer and even anticipate future customer needs. I will always go the extra mile for the customer. I will take responsibility for developing long-term relationships with customers and forge partnerships that contribute to future growth opportunities for both customer and my own organization.”

Decision-maker
“I can make high-quality decisions based on the information to hand using logic and analytical skills. I use to break complex issues into component parts and can consider the outcomes of varying courses of action. I know how to draw reliable conclusions from disparate and often conflicting sources of data and can make sound decisions in a timely manner.”

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions wellDescribe your weaknesses please‘ or ‘what are your weaknesses?’ is probably one of the most common interview questions asked by employers and is undoubtedly one of the most troubling questions for most interviewees.

Download our free eBook: Own That Interview: 9 Common Interview Types and How to Ace Them All and go nail that interview!

People think you shouldn’t expose a real weakness

There is common belief that tells that you should never expose a real weakness of yours if you want to pass an interview. Moreover, you should be smart and cunning and present a strength in disguise such as ‘perfectionism’ or ‘stubbornness’ or ‘finding it hard to strike a work-life balance’ or that ‘I tend to work too much’ as a weakness of yours. That should do the trick…. right?

We all seem to think there is an unwritten code and that in fact the interviewer expects such an answer. Better yet, if we were to actually disclose a real weakness, chances are we would be disqualified at that very point in the interview.

However, ff this is indeed the case, then what is the point of asking this question in the first place? Is it written in some ‘interviewer protocol’? If both the interviewer and interviewee know the ‘correct’ answer to this question, then what exactly is the point of them asking it?

How to describe your weaknesses

The fact of the matter is that this question is in fact a key interview question and there is most likely no agenda behind it. When the interviewer asks ‘can you describe your weaknesses?’, they mean exactly that.

So does this mean you have to tell him/her that you are intolerant and at times suffer from panic attacks? Or you have serious trouble accepting any sort of criticism? Or you find it hard to sit down and get to work every morning? Or that you have a nasty habit of daydreaming? The answer to these questions is definitely NO!

When describing a weakness of yours the first thing to do is imagine yourself in a work environment. There is no point in bringing up weaknesses that are exposed when socializing with friends or at home; these environments are irrelevant to the workplace and the interviewer has no interest in them (or at least should not have).

Assuming you are an intelligent person aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you probably know better then anyone around you what are your weaknesses and what are your biggest challenges.

How to make a real weakness a strength

Failure and weaknesses are human – we all failed in the past and we all have our weaknesses (including the interviewer). This is all part of life. The main distinction between those that fail and those that pass this interview question is our ability to learn from our mistakes, acknowledge our weaknesses, embrace them and show how we strive to improve them.

Demonstrate to the interviewer you can face this question head on. Name a real weakness of yours and show how you consistently strive to improve it. Moreover, in many cases a weakness is a strength in disguise.

For example a person who is ‘talkative’ may be a very good ‘negotiator’. A person who is not very ‘sociable’ is very ‘conscientious’ and does not like to be distracted at work. In fact, when describing a real weakness and showing how you are working hard to improve it, or better yet demonstrating how it can actually work to your benefit – you are likely to impress the interviewer.

If you claim that ‘perfectionism’ is a weakness, not only is the interviewer unlikely to be impressed; you are likely to compromise your credibility and reduce your chances of success.

When asked to describe your weaknesses – do not avoid the question and do not hesitate or be reluctant to answer it. You are expected to answer it not avoid it. Face the challenge and expose a real weakness of yours.

Do not expose a weakness which is irrelevant to the work environment or a weakness that can seriously compromise your chances of success; yet be honest and sincere. Show that you are aware of your weaker qualities and that you in fact are trying to learn from them and improve your ways; demonstrate that you are a worthy and serious candidate.

Weaknesses that you may wish to disclose at a job interview:

  • Suspicion
  • Criticism
  • Being too demanding
  • Controlling
  • Lack of humor
  • Being too sensitive
  • Lack of assertiveness (for IT professionals such as programmers)

Think of this “what are your greatest weaknesses” interview question as an opportunity to show the interviewer what you are really ‘made of’ and that you are on the path to success.

For more tips on describing your weaknesses for interviews, check out our YouTube video below: “How to Answer What are Your Weaknesses.”

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. In preparation for an interview, candidates should consider how best to answer this question so that the information is useful to employers while not damaging your chances of being hired.

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What employers are looking for:

Hard skills (defined by the job description)

Soft skills (such as public speaking)

Ability to work in a team

How to Address Your Strengths & Weaknesses:

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

Read through our guide to answering “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” in a professional and impressive way.

Think carefully about what you should reveal.

Use the job description to frame your answer.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

Your strengths and weaknesses should reflect the requirements of the role. Ensure that you highlight your skills that are listed in the job description, and explain how you will gain or improve critical skills that you lack.

In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.

Your weaknesses can include a hard skill set out in the job description, provided that you emphasize your desire to acquire this skill through a course or program. Similarly, listing a soft skill you lack should be supported with a plan to learn or improve this skill.

Try not to reveal too much.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

While it is important to be honest about your weaknesses, there are a few traits that are not appropriate or beneficial to mention in a job interview. This includes tardiness, poor attention to detail, and an inability to meet deadlines.

Example Answers:

Strengths:

I consider my leadership skills to be one of my greatest strengths. During my time as a department head, I successfully merged two teams and organized training programs for all team members to ensure that everyone was confident in their new role. As a result, we were able to increase sales by 5% within our first month as a new team.

Thanks to my experience as an HR representative, I have gained excellent communication skills. I was responsible for facilitating informational workshops for staff members and mediated any conflict in the workplace. I have also completed a course on effective communication from UCLA.

I have 5 years of experience as a copywriter and consider myself to have strong writing skills. I was promoted to an editorial position after five years at the company, so I have also improved my editing skills thanks to my new role.

I am very honest. When I feel that my workload is too large to accept another task, or if I don’t understand something, I always let my supervisor know.

My people skills are my greatest strength. I find it easy to connect with almost anyone, and I often know how to empathize with others in an appropriate way.

Examples of Strengths.

  • Communication skills.
  • People skills.
  • Writing skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Honesty.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Patience.
  • Writing skills.
  • Empathy.
  • Initiative.
  • Self-motivation.
  • Computer literacy.

Weaknesses:

I find public speaking intimidating and have often struggled with presentations. As a result, I am currently taking a public speaking course at a community college to become more confident and learn to structure a speech more effectively.

I often struggle with delegating and choose to take on a larger workload to ensure that a task is completed perfectly. This puts more pressure on myself, so I have been using software to assign tasks and track their completion. So far this has helped me to trust my co-workers and focus more on my own tasks.

Shyness is something that I struggle with in large groups. I find it intimidating to ask questions or raise points, so I have often remained quiet in the past. I have been trying to be more vocal in smaller groups to become more confident.

I mainly used Python in my last position, so I don’t have as much experience with Java. I did a course on Java for one semester at University, but I haven’t used it since then.

I struggle with negative criticism and can become obsessed with perfecting my work after receiving notes from a supervisor. While I appreciate the guidance, I think I can learn to be less harsh on myself.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. In preparation for an interview, candidates should consider how best to answer this question so that the information is useful to employers while not damaging your chances of being hired.

Send jobs to 100+ job boards with one submission

Post Jobs for FREE

  • Completely free trial, no card required.
  • Reach over 250 million candidates.

What employers are looking for:

Hard skills (defined by the job description)

Soft skills (such as public speaking)

Ability to work in a team

How to Address Your Strengths & Weaknesses:

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

Read through our guide to answering “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” in a professional and impressive way.

Think carefully about what you should reveal.

Use the job description to frame your answer.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

Your strengths and weaknesses should reflect the requirements of the role. Ensure that you highlight your skills that are listed in the job description, and explain how you will gain or improve critical skills that you lack.

In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.

Your weaknesses can include a hard skill set out in the job description, provided that you emphasize your desire to acquire this skill through a course or program. Similarly, listing a soft skill you lack should be supported with a plan to learn or improve this skill.

Try not to reveal too much.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

While it is important to be honest about your weaknesses, there are a few traits that are not appropriate or beneficial to mention in a job interview. This includes tardiness, poor attention to detail, and an inability to meet deadlines.

Example Answers:

Strengths:

I consider my leadership skills to be one of my greatest strengths. During my time as a department head, I successfully merged two teams and organized training programs for all team members to ensure that everyone was confident in their new role. As a result, we were able to increase sales by 5% within our first month as a new team.

Thanks to my experience as an HR representative, I have gained excellent communication skills. I was responsible for facilitating informational workshops for staff members and mediated any conflict in the workplace. I have also completed a course on effective communication from UCLA.

I have 5 years of experience as a copywriter and consider myself to have strong writing skills. I was promoted to an editorial position after five years at the company, so I have also improved my editing skills thanks to my new role.

I am very honest. When I feel that my workload is too large to accept another task, or if I don’t understand something, I always let my supervisor know.

My people skills are my greatest strength. I find it easy to connect with almost anyone, and I often know how to empathize with others in an appropriate way.

Examples of Strengths.

  • Communication skills.
  • People skills.
  • Writing skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Honesty.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Patience.
  • Writing skills.
  • Empathy.
  • Initiative.
  • Self-motivation.
  • Computer literacy.

Weaknesses:

I find public speaking intimidating and have often struggled with presentations. As a result, I am currently taking a public speaking course at a community college to become more confident and learn to structure a speech more effectively.

I often struggle with delegating and choose to take on a larger workload to ensure that a task is completed perfectly. This puts more pressure on myself, so I have been using software to assign tasks and track their completion. So far this has helped me to trust my co-workers and focus more on my own tasks.

Shyness is something that I struggle with in large groups. I find it intimidating to ask questions or raise points, so I have often remained quiet in the past. I have been trying to be more vocal in smaller groups to become more confident.

I mainly used Python in my last position, so I don’t have as much experience with Java. I did a course on Java for one semester at University, but I haven’t used it since then.

I struggle with negative criticism and can become obsessed with perfecting my work after receiving notes from a supervisor. While I appreciate the guidance, I think I can learn to be less harsh on myself.

Strengths and weaknesses interview questions are some of the most common interview questions you’re likely to come across. But how do you answer these tricky, and sometimes counterintuitive-seeming questions? Here are our top tips on how to answer the greatest strengths and weaknesses questions in an interview.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

What’s your greatest strength?

When an interviewer asks this question, they are trying to determine several things. Firstly, they’re looking for evidence that you fit the role specifications. Secondly, they want to know that you understand the scope of the role and can pick a competency that’s relevant. Additionally, they’re testing your confidence and ability to prepare. Learn more about what leading communications expert Gwyn Day has to say about this key competency question.

Other ways this question might be phrased

  • “If I asked your project supervisor, what would they say is your greatest strength?”
  • “What special quality can you bring to this organisation?”
  • “Why are you a good candidate for this role?”

How to handle the strength question

  • Pick a quality that you’re particularly strong in (if you’re not sure, ask someone who has taught or employed you).
  • Give some concrete proof that you’re good at it. What have you been recognised or rewarded for? What’s given you a feeling of pride?
  • Explain why you think it’s relevant to the role.

You should prepare several strengths. Before each interview, you can choose which of your options best matches the role you’re interviewing for. If there’s a clear role description, it should list several core competencies for you to choose from.

What not to say

  • Don’t give a long list of strengths – it suggests you don’t have the ability to analyse the situation and choose the most relevant answer.
  • Don’t pick anything irrelevant to the role (again, check the role description).
  • Don’t be self-effacing. Nobody likes to boast, but this is a time where you need to emphasise that you have something other candidates don’t.

Sample answer

“My greatest strength is my ability to deal with the unexpected. When a member of our debating team dropped out at the last minute, I volunteered to take on her role. With help from my teammates, I used the journey to research and prepare. Although I could have done better with more time, the key result was that we didn’t forfeit and still managed to gain several places in the standings. I know this role will involve unexpected situations where I’ll be expected to adapt and respond quickly, so I think I have a lot to offer.”

Potential follow up questions

Don’t get caught off guard by only preparing to answer with one strength. Particularly savvy interviewers will often throw in a follow-up question to ensure they’re getting the full picture and not just a pre-prepared speech. Some common follow-up questions include:

  • “What’s your second greatest strength (and third, fourth)?”
  • “Can you give me an example of how you’ve used that strength in the past month?”

What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

This is the one people really dread – it seems so counterintuitive to admit weakness when you’re trying to impress. But if you’re prepared it’s actually not too difficult to answer and isn’t too nasty of an interview question. The interviewer doesn’t really want to know about your weakness and isn’t expecting 100% honesty. They are far more interested in how you approach the question. Done right, your answer can demonstrate key positive qualities: self-awareness and proactivity.

Other ways this question might be phrased

  • “If I asked your boss/project supervisor, what would they say was your greatest weakness?”
  • “In what areas do you most need to improve?”
  • “What do you think is the biggest challenge to your success?”

How to handle the weakness question

  • Pick one of your qualities that needs work (if you’re not sure, ask someone who has taught or employed you).
  • Explain why it’s a weakness and what kind of effect it’s had on your work.
  • Explain how you’re addressing it.
  • Talk about what you want to achieve in the future.

You should have at least three of these prepared – one should be an overarching quality and one a practical skill.

What not to say

  • Avoid the transparent tricks – talking about a weakness that’s really a strength (“I work too hard”) or saying you have no weaknesses. This is a common interview mistake a lot of graduates make. Take a look at some other common interview mistakes to make sure you’re up to speed.
  • Don’t pick any core competencies of the role (check the description!) or anything that could legitimately prevent you from doing your job.
  • Don’t pick a weakness that’s irrelevant (“I can’t cook”).

Sample answer

“I sometimes have problems knowing when to ask for help. For example, when I was doing my biochemistry research project I tried out an unfamiliar technique and ended up making a mistake. If I had asked for a demonstration from my advisor beforehand I’d have saved myself some repeated work. I’m glad to be a person who takes initiative, but since then I’ve been much more careful about judging when I need to stop and get advice. I know I’ll have a lot of individual responsibility in this role, so it’s really important to me.”

Potential follow-up questions

  • “What’s your second greatest weakness (and third, fourth)?”
  • “How do you think that weakness would affect you in this role?”
  • “What could we offer you to help you overcome it?”

Preparation is key – learn more about the interview process with Bright Network Academy

Making sure you’re properly prepared for your interview is definitely time well spent. Learn more about mastering the interview process with the Bright Network Academy application processes module and further your application skills before your next interview.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

How to Describe Weaknesses in a Job Interview

A HIRING MANAGER ENTERS a job interview with three main questions: Can the candidate do the work? Will the candidate do the work? And will the candidate fit into the organizational culture?

These “can do, will do and fit” criteria translate to “ability, attitude, and affability.” No matter the format and sequence of a job interview, every question is an opportunity to communicate fit on one of these axes. Each response you give should address one or more of these key themes.

That’s true of this common job interview question: “What is your greatest weakness?” Handled correctly, it presents a good opportunity to put doubts to rest and reinforce strengths. Those who come well-prepared for this inquiry will have responses that reinforce their suitability for the position. Unfortunately, the greatest weakness question is tricky. Just as doctors pledge to do no harm when taking the Hippocratic Oath, job seekers should promise not to harm their chances by bungling this classic question.

To that end, candidates should never claim to have no weaknesses, because dodging the question will be interpreted as shallow, evasive and unrealistic. They should also avoid spinning an unequivocal strength as a weakness. Saying “I work too hard” or “I care too much about my job” is like an athlete claiming that “scoring too much” is a weakness. It won’t fool anyone, and it may annoy interviewers who see you as flippant and unreflective.

When considering a thoughtful and helpful response, remember these five C’s. For the purposes of a job interview, an acceptable weakness is one that it is credible, coachable, correctable, confessable and not critical.

The weakness must be believable. A weakness that does not seem to fit the personal brand of the candidate is not effective. A military veteran and endurance athlete who claims occasional bouts of low energy as a weakness will not be considered realistic. Similarly, an accounting CPA won’t get far by declaring a lack of interest in numbers or detail as a weakness.

It is best for you to have already overcome the weakness. The skilled interviewee will employ stories to show growth and improvement in communicating weaknesses. For example, “I used to be too quick to write and submit my news copy. Then, my first editor encouraged me to sit on a draft overnight for at least a few hours and then revisit the text with fresh eyes. I found my writing improved markedly as a result of this tip.”

Correctable

A correctable weakness is one that has not been fixed yet but could be addressed in the future with some degree of conscientiousness. For example, “I sometimes tend to overestimate the receptiveness of my team to new ideas. I have to remind myself to slow down and get support for intermediate steps before I pitch a large change or idea.”

Confessable

Confessable weaknesses are those that you could share with a relative stranger without discomfort. The concept of “too much information” applies here. A job interview is no time to confess that “I am a total mess without my anxiety medication” or “if I don’t have a significant other, I feel very lonely emotionally and I don’t function well at work.” An interviewer is not a best friend or family member and you should not take the weakness question too literally or personally.

Not Critical

Be sure that the weakness you advance is not central to the job description. For example, “I have trouble concentrating on multiple data points” is nothing that should come out of the mouth of an aspiring air traffic controller or accountant. Likewise, “I don’t like people” or “I have a big problem with rejection” would disqualify any salesperson.

Accepting Silence

Some interviewers will follow up the weakness question with a second or third iteration of the same interrogative, so it behooves the job seeker to thoroughly prepare three weaknesses as job interview examples.

Finally, the job candidate should learn to stop talking after offering a response. It is a common error for the candidate to toss in a throwaway bonus response that can be damaging. Usually, these extra lines are ill-considered Freudian slips. “Oh, and I am sometimes not that honest” or “I guess I also don’t get along with most people” are some of the harmful responses that sneak out of the unguarded mouth. Instead, follow the rule of accepting silence after responding.

Few people enjoy contemplating their shortcomings, but everyone has some characteristic, skill gap or tendency that is less than ideal. The savvy job seeker will expect the “What are your weaknesses?” question and prepare responses that are thoughtful, insightful and appropriate to the personal brand he or she is conveying through the hiring process.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

“What is your greatest strength?” may seem like one of the easier job interview questions you’ll be asked. But for many candidates it can be tricky—either they’re too modest in their response or they don’t highlight those strengths that most closely match the job requirements.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

The main reason interviewers ask this question is to identify whether your strengths align with the needs of the company and the job’s responsibilities. The company wants to learn whether you’re a good fit for the role you’re interviewing for. The goal of the interviewer is to make a match between your credentials and the skills needed to succeed in the job.

Your response will help the employer decide whether or not you are the strongest applicant for the position. That means if you’re applying for an accounting job, it’s not helpful to highlight that your strength lies in event organization.

When you are asked questions about your strengths, discuss attributes that will best qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates.

It’s important to show the interviewer that you have the qualities the employer is seeking. There are certain strengths that all employers seek in the candidates they hire. Others will be specific to the job and the company.

Interview questions weaknesses help and advice. How you respond to the job interview weaknesses question says a great deal about you and that’s why it’s been around so long.

It reveals a number of things:

  • how well prepared you are for the interview
  • your self insight
  • your self-awareness and honesty

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

These are actually the qualities the interviewer is assessing, not the actual weakness itself.

List of Weaknesses for Job Interviews

Go through this list of weaknesses as they present in the workplace and decide which applies to you – everyone has a weakness or two!

  • Look at the suggestions on how you can improve on your weakness
  • Develop a constructive interview answer that acknowledges the weakness
  • Go on to describe what you are doing to improve on it and what appropriate behaviors you use to compensate for it

Interview Questions Weaknesses

Procrastination

Misses deadlines, rushing at the last minute to complete tasks, needing help to complete tasks, unprepared for meetings, low productivity.

Frustration with others who perform at a slower pace or to a lower standard than you expect of yourself. Doesn’t accept mistakes easily.

Reluctance to delegate

Doesn’t assign tasks to others, lacks confidence in co-workers, doesn’t fully utilize other staff members, checks up on others.

Unassertive

Reluctant to speak up and contribute in group situations. Agrees with others despite own feelings. Allows others to take advantage. Difficulty in saying “no”. Puts other’s needs ahead of own.

Adverse to taking risks and trying new things, difficulty in accepting change, continually reviews all details before making a decision or starting on a task. Over-analyzes outcomes.

Uncompromising or stubborn

Inflexible, difficulty in adapting to changes, resistant to different ideas, one way communication.

Strong willed or controlling

Single minded on own goal achievement, does not take direction easily, can be insensitive to feelings and needs of others, wants to be in charge. Tries to control other people’s activities.

Distracting and distracted, indiscreet, does not get the job done, wastes time, often away from desk.

How to answer “What are your weaknesses?”

When disclosing job interview weaknesses avoid focusing on something that is a core competency for the job. Rather describe general behaviors that impact on a number of areas of your life – personal, home and work.

Respond to interview questions weaknesses with answers such as:

“My family tell me I am impatient. I acknowledge this is a weakness of mine at home and sometimes in the workplace – I like things to be done promptly and in the way I regard as best. When that doesn’t happen I get frustrated.

I am making a conscious attempt to see it from the other person’s point of view, recognize that people approach things differently and not impose my own methods and expectations on others. I find if I provide constructive help rather than getting impatient it improves the situation.”

This answer provides honest feedback while positively highlighting that you are a results-driven person.

Be aware of your interview body language when answering questions about your weaknesses.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

Sample weaknesses interview answers

Example of weaknesses interview answers. Sample interview answers when your weakness is:

Choose from these sample answers to the weakness interview question and get ready to impress as an insightful and considered job candidate.

“What are your strengths?”

Go here to view a comprehensive list of strengths that can be used to successfully answer this interview question.

Find out how to determine your own strengths using this personal strengths finder

For free interview answers to the interview question What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

What Are Required Skills for a Nurse?

Once you have completed your education to become an RN and received your license, you are most likely going to be looking for a job in the nursing profession. Whether you are new to nursing or simply looking for a new job within the field, you will be required to complete an interview. The interview is a vital part of the hiring process for companies and businesses, even in the medical field. The interview process will require you answering questions about your nursing strengths and weaknesses.

The interview process for a registered nurse may be more intense than most other professions. This is why it is important that you properly prepare yourself for any interview process as the interview will determine whether you are accepted into the position you desire or not.

How to answer strengths and weaknesses interview questions well

What Are Required Skills for a Nurse?

A nurse needs to know how to properly record their patient’s medical history, administer any treatments or medication appropriately, and be able to educate their patients and patients’ families about all treatment options and recover procedures. A nurse must also be able to operate any hospital machinery to perform tests as well as be able to offer appropriate emotional support and interaction.

Nurses are required to:

Have a strong knowledge base that includes medical terminology and medication

Know how to properly administer injections and anesthesia

Work well as a team with doctors, physicians, and other nurses

Control their stress levels so that they are able to remain calm in all medical situations

Have reliable time management skills

Have the ability to determine the best immediate action for patients depending on their current circumstances

Communicate effectively with patients, families, and other medical staff

However, the skills also vary a lot concerning the specific specialization. As an assistant to a surgeon, nurses need to have basic knowledge of surgical procedures; while a nurse who specializes in emergency care is required to have knowledge of emergency protocols and emergency medication application.

Strengths

Know the job requirements and be relevant!

Understanding the job requirements is the best thing you can do to properly answer any interview questions about your strengths. You want your answer to reflect strengths and competencies that relate to the specific job for which you are applying.

Prior to the interview, it is a good idea to create a list of 3-5 strengths you have that relate to the specific position. Items such as your leadership skills, interpersonal relationship building skills, and optimistic approach are great strengths you can use to your advantage.

Think about the unique strengths

Technically and clinically astute

Do you participate in nursing conferences and journal clubs? Are you the first person your colleagues come to when they are having difficulty determining lab results or clinical findings? You may also find that you are easily and quickly able to learn new technology such as IV pumps.

High ethics about service

Are you reliable and willing to volunteer to help other staff members or patients? Maybe you are already the chair on a social committee, or you find that you are willing to take control to ensure that the sick colleague has your support.

Superb hand-eye coordination

Do you have a keen eye, superb hand-eye coordination, an extremely steady hand, or a combination of all three? Being able to quickly decode a medication or quickly and effectively insert an IV are qualities of a great nurse.

Easily build relationships

Are you a person who easily builds friendly relationships with coworkers and patients? Do you have the keen ability to discover what you can do to best support and encourage a grieving loved one or a sick, depressed patient? This ability makes you a great asset to any team.

Sample response

I find that my communication skills are of great help to me in my career. I love speaking with parents and patients, which helps me build a strong relationship with them. Having this relationship is what helps me support and encourage parents and patients as they struggle with their child’s health. My organizational skills are a vital part of my ability to work well as a team member. Keeping my schedule organized allows me to effectively use my time to help all patients and co-workers.

Weaknesses

Pick minor weaknesses

There are certain weaknesses such as nervousness and the inability to handle pressure which can greatly dissuade your interviewer from recommending you from hire. It is important that you overcome these weaknesses so that you can effectively perform your duties as a nurse.

Before you attend the interview, determine which weaknesses will impede your ability to get the job and which will not. Weaknesses such as emotional involvement are great weaknesses to share with your interviewer as they do not impede your ability to perform the job.

Put emphasis on what you have done to improve the weakness

When you are answering questions about your weaknesses, it is important that you also share how you are working on converting your weaknesses into nursing strengths. As an example, if you mention poor communication skills as your weakness, it is important that you counter that statement with ways you are working on improving your skills, such as attending training or practicing with coworkers.

Always be sure that you use specific examples. Being vague conveys the message that you are not being truthful. It is important that you remain honest during your interview. If you keep your integrity intact, you will be able to show that you know your weaknesses and ways you can improve them.

Sample responses

I was very shy and had difficulty speaking up for myself during the first month at my current job. I was being blamed for losing a patient’s chart one day, so I knew that I had to say something. I discussed the issue with the DON so that I could show her how I didn’t go into work until after the patient had been discharged. I was very nervous, but I knew that I did not lose the chart so I had to tell the truth. I have become better about speaking my mind thanks to this circumstance

I have been diligently working on my time management skills. I have taken time to learn how to batch my duties and always have enough supplies on hand. I am becoming better prepared so that I can save time by anticipating what my patients might need.