What are your strengths and weaknesses? How to market yourself in an interview

What are your strengths and weaknesses? How to market yourself in an interview

What exactly does it mean to do well in an interview? For many, it means demonstrating that you have the necessary credentials and experience, as well as that you're a good fit for the role and the company's culture.

"What are your strengths and weaknesses?" is one of the most frequently asked HR interview questions that most of us have or will face at some point during a job interview. Many candidates are unsure how to respond to this question; however, establishing the proper context can provide recruiters with an honest and thoughtful response. Highlighting your awareness as well as your professionalism can help you secure the role or a next interview.

Defining your strengths

Many candidates are unsure To answer this frequently asked question with ease, you can make a list of strengths that are listed in the job description that will showcase your qualifications for the position. To demonstrate your versatility, incorporate a variety of strengths, such as soft skills, technical skills and appealing personality traits or to respond to the question "what are your strengths?" without sounding conceited or arrogant. It's important to prepare for this question with a ready statement, as this will help you stand out from the rest.

Easyresume.io presented 10 strengths samples with responses for a successful job interview:

1. Flexibility

Sample Answer: “I’m able to handle change. In my previous job, I worked with several clients and had to be flexible enough to jump from one project to the other without jeopardizing my performance, which has taught me a lot about versatility.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are adaptable, versatile, and adjustable.

2. Dedication

Sample Answer: “I’m extremely passionate about what I do and that shows in my work. When I’m involved in a project, I give my 110% and make sure the results we’re achieving for the client are as fruitful as possible. I use my dedication and eagerness to accomplish goals efficiently and effectively.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are passionate, effective, and loyal.

3. Positive Attitude

Sample Answer: “My biggest strength is my positive attitude. I know how stressful this industry can get, but I’m able to keep my calm and power through by focusing on the end goal - and I’ve been told in the past that this attitude has had a positive impact on my colleagues.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are upbeat, motivated, and forward-thinking.

4. Creativity

Sample Answer: “I love being creative and developing solutions that are completely out-of-the-box. In my previous job, I had the opportunity to work on a tech project that was all about innovation and creativity, and we ended up receiving three industry awards for our results.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are a problem solver, innovative, and clever.

5. Leadership

Sample Answer: “I’ve been a natural leader ever since I can remember. For the past 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to use these skills in my career which involves managing a large digital marketing team. In my previous job, I was promoted to team leader after one year of working there and ended up working closely with the agency’s CEO.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are a captain, able to guide and lead.

6. Determination

Sample Answer: “I’ve never been one to give up, even on my personal life, and that personality trait has definitely transpired into my career. When I’m involved in a project, I like to feel like I actually contributed to it in a significant way and that’s what feeds my determination and focus.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are motivated, focused, and decisive.

7. A Particular Hard Skill

Sample Answer: “My writing skills are very strong: I’ve been a copywriter and content creator for the past ten years and I’ve had the chance to learn from some of the best in the industry. So much so, that my work has been published in Forbes, The Inc, Entrepreneur, and other major publications.”

8. Organization

Sample Answer: “After being in the labor market for six years, I know I can never perform to the full of my abilities when things are messy, whether it is my desk, my laptop, or my brain. Knowing this has allowed me to work on my organizational skills, and to develop working processes that help me ensure I never miss a deadline.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are efficient, process-oriented, and a systems thinker.

9. Empathy

Sample Answer: “Relating to people and understanding their emotions and needs is something that has always come naturally to me, and that might even explain why I’ve started my career in customer service. In my previous job, I got a call from a customer who was not satisfied with our service, and I was able to defuse the situation, explain what had happened and how we could make it up to him.”

Alternative words: This also means that you are caring, thoughtful, and a listener.

10. Continuous Learning

Sample Answer: “I’ve been working in finance for two years now and one of the most important things for me has been continuous learning and improvement. I know I have so much in my career to look forward to and I want to be as prepared as possible, which is why I’ve been investing in relevant online courses for the past year. I’m happy to show you my certifications!”

Alternative words: This also means that you are curious, wise, and seek knowledge.

Defining your weaknesses

You must appear humble and eager to learn without scaring off the hiring manager with a major flaw that you cannot overcome. Avoid saying you don't have flaws or responding to weaknesses excessively, as this will be a turn-off. Consider a weakness on which you are actively working; you can also highlight the step you are taking to transform that weakness into a strength.

Hubspot provided examples of how to answer the question "what is your greatest weakness?" and why they work.

1. Lack of Patience

Sample Answer: "I don't have much patience when working with a team — I am incredibly self-sufficient, so it's difficult when I need to rely on others to complete my work. That's why I've pursued roles that require someone to work independently. However, I've also worked to improve this weakness by enrolling in team-building workshops. While I typically work independently, it's important I learn how to trust my coworkers and ask for outside help when necessary."

This answer works because the weakness — the inability to be patient when working with a team — doesn't hinder your ability to perform well in the role, since it’s a job that doesn't rely on teamwork to succeed. Additionally, you display an eagerness to develop strategies to combat your weakness, which is a critical skill in the workplace.

2. Lack of Organization

Sample Answer: "I struggle with organization. While it hasn't ever impacted my performance, I've noticed my messy desk and cluttered inbox nonetheless interfere with my efficiency. Over time, I've learned to set aside time to organize my physical and digital space, and I've seen it improve my efficiency levels throughout the week."

Plenty of people have messy desks. This answer works because it's a relatable and fixable weakness. You note that disorganization doesn't interfere with your ability to do your job, which is critical, but you also acknowledge it might make you less efficient. To ensure you're performing at 100%, you mention personal steps you've taken to improve your organization skills for the sake of self-improvement alone, which suggests a level of maturity and self-awareness.

3. Trouble with Delegation

Sample Answer: "I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. However, when I became manager in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project management system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently."

This answer allows you to demonstrate an ability to pursue a new skill when a role calls for it and suggests you're capable of flexibility, which is critical for long-term growth. Additionally, you can showcase a level of initiative and leadership when you mention the successful implementation of a new process that enabled you to succeed in your past role, despite your weakness.

4. Timidity

Sample Answer:"Often, I can be timid when providing constructive feedback to coworkers or managers, out of fear of hurting someone's feelings. However, in my last role, my coworker asked me to edit some of his pieces and provide feedback for areas of improvement. Through my experience with him, I realized feedback can be both helpful and kind when delivered the right way. Since then, I've become better at offering feedback, and I've realized that I can use empathy to provide thoughtful, productive feedback."

This answer works because you've explained how you were able to turn a weakness into a strength through real-world experience. Typically, timidity can be seen as a flaw in the workplace, particularly if a role requires someone to provide feedback to others. In this case, you're able to demonstrate how timidity can be used as a strength, through thoughtful reflection and practice.

5. Lack of Tactfulness

Sample Answer: "My blunt, straightforward nature has allowed me to succeed over the years as a team manager, because I'm able to get things done efficiently, and people often appreciate my honesty. However, I've recognized my bluntness doesn't always serve my employees well when I'm delivering feedback. To combat this, I've worked to develop empathy and deeper relationships with those I manage. Additionally, I took an online leadership management course, and worked with the professor to develop my ability to deliver feedback."

Often, facets of our personalities can help us in certain areas of our work, while hindering us in others. That's natural. However, you must demonstrate an ability to recognize when your personality interferes with the functions of your role, and how you can solve that.

In this example, you first explain how your blunt nature allows you to be successful in certain situations. Then, you mention that you understand your bluntness can be seen as a lack of empathy and provide examples of how you've attempted to solve this issue. Ultimately, your awareness of how you might be perceived by others shows a level of emotional intelligence, which is a critical asset for a team leader.

7. Weak Data Analysis Skills

Sample Answer: "I'm not great at analyzing data or numbers. However, I recognize this flaw can prevent me from understanding how my content is performing online. In my last role, I set up monthly meetings with the SEO manager to discuss analytics and how our posts were performing. Additionally, I received my Google Analytics certificate, and I make it a point to analyze data related to our blog regularly. I've become much more comfortable analyzing data through these efforts."

In this example, you're able to show your desire to go above and beyond a job description and actively seek out skills that could be helpful to the success of your company as a whole. This type of company-first mentality shows the interviewer you're dedicated to making yourself an asset, and try your best to understand the needs of the whole department, rather than just your role.

8. Indecisiveness

Sample Answer: "Sometimes I struggle with ambiguity and making decisions when directions aren’t clear. I come from a work environment that always gave clear and direct instructions. I had such a strong team and leadership that I haven't had much practice making decisions in the heat of the moment. I'm working on this by leaning more into my experience and practicing listening to my gut."

This answer works because you're demonstrating that you can both follow a leader and sharpen your leadership skills. It's alright to not know what to do in the moment. Admitting that you relied on strong leadership shows that you can be a follower when needed, but knowing when to step up is important, too. With this answer, you’re showing that you’ll step up if a situation calls for decisiveness.

9. Harsh Self-criticism

Sample Answer: “My inner critic can be debilitating at times. I take pride in producing good work, but I feel like I struggle with feeling satisfied with it, which has led to burnout in the past. However, I’ve started to push back against this inner voice by taking care of myself before and after work. I’m also learning to recognize when my inner critic is right and when I need to dismiss it.”

This answer works because your interviewer may relate; we all have harsh inner critics. It’s also effective because 1) It shows that you’re willing to work on your weaknesses outside of work, not just during business hours, and 2) It demonstrates your inner critic may have valid points. Discerning when to dismiss it is key to prevent burnout and increase productivity. Realizing how the inner critic may inhibit good work ethic demonstrates your willingness to grow and be an effective worker.

10. Micromanaging

Sample Answer: “I used to work in industries where I had to cultivate a solid work ethic in my employees. This style of training has been so ingrained in me that I’ve forgotten to discern who may need that coaching and who does not. I’ve been reading books on effective delegation and team building to work on this shortcoming. One technique that works for me is assuring myself that if I establish clear expectations, then my team will follow. I’ve also learned to trust my team members.”

This answer works best if you’ve been in a leadership position before and are applying to a managerial role. However, you can still apply it to past experiences where you did have to show leadership. This answer shows that while you may be used to running your crew or team a specific way, you’re willing to admit when your method isn’t the most effective. Showing your flexibility demonstrates your ability to grow.

The portion of the interview where you are asked about your "strengths and weaknesses" is regarded as difficult. It makes one feel exposed and vulnerable. However, how you respond might have a significant impact on the story the interviewer comes away with. Being real, demonstrating preparation, signaling self-awareness, and making oneself human are the greatest ways to deal with it. It's a chance to strike up a conversation with the interviewer. You might just take the award home if you do a great job with it. In addition, do you need some career tips in Tech related jobs? In addition, we've compiled a 2022 career guide for tech jobs. Check out the entire blog here

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https://www.easyresume.io/career-advice/strengths-and-weaknesses-for-job-interviews https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-your-greatest-weakness