How to Answer Strengths and Weaknesses Interview Questions 

  • October 18, 2023
Employment Gap

How to Answer Strengths & Weaknesses Questions in an Interview 

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but they’re also opportunities to showcase your qualifications and personality to potential employers. 

One of the most common and challenging interview questions you'll likely be asked is about your strengths and weaknesses. While it may seem straightforward, answering this question requires careful consideration and preparation. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of effectively addressing questions about your strengths and weaknesses.

Why do employers ask about strengths and weaknesses?

Before diving into the specifics of how to answer this question, let's understand why it's asked in the first place. When employers ask about strengths and weaknesses, they’re looking for a well-rounded understanding of your self-awareness and your willingness to learn and grow. By discussing your strengths and weaknesses, you showcase your character and potential for future development.

How to identify your strengths

As part of your interview prep, it’s important to think about what key strengths you have that’ll help you succeed in the role. Here are some tips to help you pinpoint your key strengths:

  • Self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your past experiences, both professionally and personally. What tasks or activities have you consistently excelled at? What skills do you possess that set you apart from others?
  • Feedback: Seek feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or mentors. They can offer valuable insights into your strengths, often highlighting qualities you might not recognise in yourself.
  • Refer to the job description: Identify key strengths that you know are relevant to the role and the company’s culture.

How to answer strength questions

Once you've identified your strengths, it's crucial to think about how you’ll address them during the interview. Here's how to do it effectively:

  • Be specific: Instead of vague statements like "I'm a hard worker," provide concrete examples of how your strengths have benefited your previous employers. For instance, you could say, "I consistently meet and exceed project deadlines, which has resulted in increased client satisfaction.”
  • Show impact: Explain how your strengths can add value to the potential employer. Highlight how your abilities can contribute to the company's success or help solve specific challenges they face.
  • Avoid overconfidence: While it's important to showcase your strengths, avoid coming across as arrogant. Try to stay modest and acknowledge that there's always room for improvement.

How to identify your weaknesses

Discussing weaknesses can be more challenging, but it's an opportunity to demonstrate your self-awareness and willingness to develop and grow. Here's how to best approach it:

  • Choose a relevant weakness: Select a weakness that is not a critical requirement for the job you're applying for. For example, if you're interviewing for a technical role, you could mention a weakness in public speaking.
  • Show improvement: Discuss the steps you've taken or are taking to address your weakness. This could include enrolling in relevant courses, seeking guidance from mentors, or proactively practising to improve.
  • Emphasise positives: Highlight how this weakness has taught you valuable lessons or led to personal growth. For example, you might say, "My previous struggles with time management taught me the importance of prioritisation and organisation, skills that I've since honed.
  • Avoid common pitfalls: Try not to use clichés like "I'm a perfectionist" or "I work too hard" as weaknesses. These can come across as insincere. Interviewers are familiar with these responses and may see them as evasive.
  • Don't overemphasise it: While you should address your weakness, don't dwell on it. Keep your response balanced by also discussing your strengths and how they outweigh the weakness.
  • Use the "challenge-solution" approach: Frame your response as a challenge and solution. Describe the challenge (the weakness), the actions you took to overcome it, and the positive outcomes.


Addressing strengths and weaknesses during a job interview is not just about providing the right answers; it's an opportunity to demonstrate your self-awareness, growth mindset, and suitability for the position. 

By identifying your strengths, crafting positive responses, and addressing weaknesses proactively, you can navigate this common interview question with confidence and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. Remember, interviews are a two-way street – they're a chance for you to assess whether the company is the right fit for you as well. 

Check out our face-to-face interview tips for more advice. Good luck! 


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