How to answer “What are your strengths and weaknesses?"

You are seated in front of the recruiter. Everything is going well, and you feel like you could be the perfect fit for the role. Then suddenly, the hiring manager asks you: “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” It’s time to shine! In this article, you will find all our interview techniques and best practices to handle challenging interview questions and get your dream job.

The importance of the Question of Strengths and Weaknesses in Job Interviews

Everybody has both qualities and flaws. During a job interview, the recruiter needs to assess who you are to guess whether you would be a good addition to the team or not. Being able to discuss your strengths and weaknesses shows the recruiter your self-awareness and willingness to improve and learn, which are crucial for personal and professional growth. And yes, in case you were wondering, there are good weaknesses for interviews, as well as good strengths. But keep in mind that being honest is the number one rule.

10 strengths to mention in an interview

Some of the qualities valued by employers are:

  • 1. Team player: : knowing how to collaborate within a team, help each other.
  • 2. Patient: : keeping your cool when something goes wrong, making collaboration easier.
  • 3. Dedicated: : being focused on tasks and staying motivated to work hard.
  • 4. Detail-orientated: : delivering quality work.
  • 5. Organised: : not missing deadlines or losing track of tasks.
  • 6. Flexible: : being resourceful and adapting quickly to any situation.
  • 7. Leadership skills: : bringing the best out of people to deliver quality work on time.
  • 8. Mastering specific skills or software: : being an expert in something makes you valuable to a company.
  • 9. Problem-solving: : working well under pressure.
  • 10.Creative: bringing new and innovative ideas.

Enunciate the quality that you’d like to highlight. Then explain how you developed this strength, and the ways it will help you satisfy the requirements for the role.

Here are some real-life examples:

“My positive attitude is something that I cultivate. Working in a team can sometimes be a challenge, and people’s willingness to stay open to others is important. I learnt that staying optimistic and encouraging our co-workers is a great asset. If I were to be chosen for this position, I would keep stimulating everyone.”

“I am a very detail-orientated person. Being a copywriter, I always fact-check my information, and I spend quite some time writing my articles to make sure that the reader does not need any extra effort. In my previous position, I was the one everyone called to make sure that there were no typos. I think that double-checking our own work is crucial so as not to waste time. I intend to keep this quality in the future.”

Do not hesitate to add some personal anecdotes to illustrate your point, and to emphasise that you focus on continuous improvement.

9 weaknesses to mention in an interview

  • 1.Shy, or uncomfortable at public speaking : taking acting or speaking classes can help with your enunciation and stress-management.
  • 2.Sensitive or emotional : it tends to make you have a better understanding of people and things, which is useful in a team.
  • 3.Not skilled at delegating tasks : it shows you are dedicated to your work and want to do your best.
  • 4.Not comfortable asking for help : it is a sign of independence, but you need to show that you are trying to improve.
  • 5.Not comfortable at taking risks : it shows the recruiter you will be more careful when making decisions.
  • 6.Too self-critical or insecure : it encourages you to question yourself to make sure you deliver a quality job.
  • 7.Limited experience in a skill or software : it is easy to learn a new skill, learning is a constant process.
  • 8.Impatient : it can be a sign that you will be less likely to miss deadlines.
  • 9.Having trouble saying “no” : it can make you seem dedicated to your employer, but make sure to say you are working on

Things you should avoid:

Don’t use the “I’m too much of a perfectionist” card. This weakness can sound like a strength, and it might look like you are trying to avoid the question.
Don’t say that you are lazy. Even if you compensate by explaining how hard you are working on this flaw, the recruiter will always prefer someone who says that they are constantly eager to learn new things and to be part of new projects.
To not be taken aback by this question, you can train at home to master the way you express yourself on this topic. Whatever the weakness that you bring up, the key is to talk about the minor consequences of your flaw and to explain how eager you are to address this issue! You can even give some concrete solutions that you have found to become a better person (and employee).

Here are some examples to inspire you:

“One of the traits on which I am working is my shyness. I tend to avoid talking to a crowd and I always feel stressed before a presentation. However, I have been working on that a lot. To reassure myself, I always train before the day itself. In my previous role, I explained to a hundred co-workers how to read the company’s Q3 results via Zoom, and it went very well.”

“In the past, I have had issues delegating tasks to my colleagues. I like to be in charge because I know that if mistakes are made, I can hold myself accountable. I can have a hard time putting trust in others. However, every day is a new chance to become a better manager. I now force myself to give my colleagues and interns a chance. If they do not understand something, I take time to help them and push them to get better at what they do.”


Now, you are well equipped to succeed! And do not forget to be yourself. The hiring manager is not only searching for hard skills: your personality and soft skills can make you stand out too!