What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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What are your strengths and weaknesses? - Friday, September 04, 2009 11:48 PM
What are your 'weaknesses and strengths?

Don't you just hate that moment in a job interview when you're asked to reveal your strengths and weaknesses?

As if you are going to answer truthfully. "My strengths include being a really good party host and my weaknesses include the fact that my mind often wanders to thoughts about my next party when I am supposed to be adding up figures."

However, when interviewing with experts such as recruitment consultant or a human resources professional using humor is unlikely to get you anywhere but onto the reject pile.

Asking a candidate about their strengths and weaknesses is an important way to test his or her suitability for a particular role. The recruiter is trying to see if the person has a sense of his or her own limitations. They also want to know what you are good at and how you might fit into the role you are trying to fill. The interviewer wants to make sure that you have the right 'behaviors' and skills for the job.

It is very important to provide specific examples to demonstrate your "strengths". This is known as "behavioral interviewing", this is where you are asked: "Tell me about a time when you …." So make sure you have specific examples to back up everything you rehearse for your interview.

A manager in hospitality could be "passionate about customer service" and recall a time of going out of their way to fulfill a customer or guest's request. Make sure your examples are truthful and can be verified by your references.

Okay, now for your "weaknesses".

"Start the sentence with, 'my area for improvement is',". Also, nominate a skill you don't actually need on the job like word processing. Being able to say you are actively trying to change your weakness into a strength is also a good idea.

For example, "My area for improvement is public speaking and I have just enrolled in a toastmaster's course."