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Strengths and weaknesses: 85 good examples of job interviews
The question of strengths and weaknesses has become a classic among interview questions. Preparing for this is important because when you're nervous, it can be difficult to answer something smart.
We have made a list for you with various examples of strengths and weaknesses that you can name in the interview. You can find them further down in the article and as a PDF list.
We also give you tips on how to charmingly package your answer and a few formulations with which HR managers camouflage the classic question of strengths and weaknesses.
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Name strengths and weaknesses: This is how you score in the interview
The question of strengths is easier for many people than the question of weaknesses. Nevertheless, you should weigh up which of your strengths suit the position you are applying for. We have put together a few examples for you here:
Knowledge and skills:
- language skills
- numeracy skills / dealing with numbers
- technical knowledge, technical understanding
- organizational skills
- analytical thinking
- spatial imagination
- good memory
- high concentration
- logical thinking
- rhetorical skills
- speak freely in front of groups
- Structure complex content and make it clear
- Bring statements to the point
- communication skills
- a lot of experience with program X
Also read: According to the study: If you meet these criteria, your job chances increase
- structured way of working
- solution-oriented thinking
- a lot of initiative
- careful work
- Cost awareness
- environmental awareness
- goal-oriented work
- Ability to work in a team
Attitude and personality:
- sense of responsibility
- readiness for action
- Strength of opinion
- Critical ability
There are several assumptions about how to answer the interview weakness question. For a long time, humorous weaknesses were considered a good answer, for example: "I love to eat chocolate." Exaggerated adherence to strengths (e.g. working too much, being overly punctual) is an often recommended answer.
However, the following applies now: Show yourself authentically. Here we have listed a few examples of weaknesses. You can read below how to pack them.
Knowledge and skills:
- poor foreign language skills
- poor numeracy skills
- no technical understanding
- poor organizational skills
- lack of spatial imagination
- poor rhetorical skills
- Difficulty speaking in front of groups
- Cannot get to the point of statements
- limited creativity
- poor assertiveness
- poor leadership
- Little experience with program X
- Careless mistakes
- Difficulty getting up and moving early in the morning
- unstructured way of working
- rarely show initiative
Attitude and personality:
- sensitivity to noise
- sensitivity to stress
- poor flexibility
- low spontaneity
- Difficulty expressing your own opinion
- low self-esteem
- low criticism
- weakness of decision
- great need for retreat and rest
- Difficulty saying no
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Strengths and weaknesses: PDF list as download
With our Strengths and weaknesses PDFyou can simply save our examples, which you can give in the interview, on your computer or print them out.
The next interview is sure to come - bet, have your strengths and weaknesses changed again?
>> Download PDF with strengths and weaknesses here for free!
Package strengths and weaknesses correctly
You should definitely think about how you describe your strengths and how you charmingly package your weaknesses. With these tips you will find the perfect answer in the interview:
1. Give examples
Even with the specific question of naming three strengths and three weaknesses, it is not enough to list them bluntly. Rather, you should give examples.
"In my current job, I often give lectures to other teams. That is why it is now easy for me to speak freely in front of groups."
2. Healthy self-confidence
In addition, when naming your strengths in the interview, you should be careful not to appear boastful or overestimate yourself. On the other hand, HR managers often do not see excessive restraint and modesty as positive.
3. Relate weaknesses
For example, you can use terms like "sometimes" or "occasionally". That way, a negative quality doesn't seem so bad any more.
It is also important to show that you have recognized your weakness and are already working on yourself. Anyone who admits to the HR manager of an international company that they have little knowledge of foreign languages should explain in the next sentence that, for example, they are already attending an English course to solve the problem.
4. Do not mention any serious weaknesses
In principle, however, you should not choose a weakness that is essential for the position you are aiming for. Speaking of low self-esteem or low assertiveness when interviewing for a managerial position is not recommended. Sensitivity to noise or nervousness are better suited at this point. Because with noise-canceling headphones (or your own office) and a yoga class, these weaknesses can easily be brought under control.
5. Don't reinterpret strength as weakness
To reformulate a strength as a weakness ("I'm too perfectionist.") or to respond with humor ("My biggest weakness is chocolate") is also not recommended - although this advice is very well known. The recruiter wants to find out something about you and your personality. Therefore, show yourself honest, authentic and reflective.
In fact, studies have shown that candidates who answer truthfully are more likely to be hired. One example is a Harvard study in which 80 percent of recruiters would hire the few candidates (23 percent) who admitted real weaknesses.
Also read:Finally become more self-confident: the best expert tips
This is how HR managers disguise the critical question
Many HR managers now consider the request to name three strengths and three weaknesses to be outdated and old-fashioned. There are a number of similar questions that recruiters use to camouflage their intentions a little. They want to find out whether the candidate is capable of criticism and reflective and whether he is dealing constructively with his weaknesses.
Examples of the camouflage questions:
- What would your friends say about you that you are particularly good at?
- What qualities would a teacher criticize in you?
- Which situation did you master particularly well? What do you think it was? What could you have done better?
- When was the last time you became angry with yourself and why?
- Describe yourself in three words.
- What annoys you when you work?
- What things would you change about yourself if you could?
- Some HR managers also use questions of scale: "On a scale from 1 to 10, how good are your organizational skills?" This is about assessing yourself well and not appearing too boastful.
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