Job interview question: your strengths and weaknesses

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When you’re in job search mode, you need to be ready for what’s next. Once you’ve applied for jobs on job boards like ZipRecruiter, hopefully the next step is for a company to ask you for an interview.


Job applicants will likely be asked to name their main strengths and weaknesses during the interview process for a new position. Although this dreaded question may seem daunting, you can use it to your advantage. Understanding why employers want to know your biggest strengths and weaknesses can help you 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. Asking about someone’s strengths and weaknesses helps interviewers understand how self-aware candidates are. They want to know if that person can take responsibility for their actions for good and 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 a successful interview. You will feel confident repeating your answer to this question and thinking of examples to support your strengths and weaknesses. Here are some helpful tips to help you give the perfect answer.

List of strengths.

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

Assets to consider:

  • Collaborative
  • Specific hard skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative
  • Honest
  • Sure
  • Respectful
  • Empathetic
  • Patient

List of weaknesses.

After reviewing the job description, select one of your weaknesses that will not prevent you from succeeding in the role. Be honest, but choose one that doesn’t disqualify you from being considered for the position. For example, if the job you are interviewing for is a position that requires strong public speaking skills, don’t list it as one of your weaknesses.

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

Weaknesses to consider:

  • self-criticism
  • Too focused on details
  • Public speaking
  • Introvert
  • take on too much responsibility
  • Limited experience in non-job related skills

When it comes to landing an interview at that dream company, savvy job seekers turn to ZipRecruiter. This popular job platform uses powerful artificial intelligence technology to match potential candidates with top companies. Considered the #1 job search app on IOS and Android1ZipRecruiter’s intuitive interface and one-click application make job hunting easy.

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