When you’re interviewing for a job, you’re likely to be asked a version of the strengths and weaknesses question, requiring you to tell your interviewer why you are the right fit for this job. The way you answer this question could be really good for your prospects if your strengths align with those the potential employers are looking for, and when you provide examples, you can show how well suited to the job you are.
Whether to focus on strengths that are in the job description or highlight excellent transferable skills, job seekers will make the most of this opportunity by taking some time to prepare sample answers to this question and practice presentation skills. Strong communication skills are important in most job roles, and this is a good opportunity to show that you have them, and that you know why they are valuable.
If you’re interviewing with a company, the chances are that you have researched their values and ethos. Getting specific with your background research can open up the opportunity to give the best answers by matching your strengths to areas you know the company is interested in. If you know that the hiring manager is looking for an effective team member with good people skills to work on a group project, you can tailor your strengths and weaknesses question to this aspect of the job. If, however, you know that this job requires extremely strong writing skills or problem solving skills, you will be able to come up with example answers that highlight these strengths instead. You can find out more about the company and the job you are interviewing for by researching them in general and then by calling to discuss any aspects of the job or the company culture that require further clarification. Ask questions and find out exactly what they’re looking for before you decide what to focus on.
It can be very difficult to feel relaxed and comfortable in a job interview and this makes it hard to answer an interview question well. However, this is your opportunity to excel and demonstrate your critical thinking skills so it’s well worth getting yourself into the right frame of mind. Take a moment to reflect on your personal strengths, take a deep breath and see this question as a chance to describe your positive attributes and show that you have the necessary skills to fit this job.
The best approach to this popular job interview question is to show your transferrable skills and illustrate these with relevant examples. Don’t just list vague strengths, get specific about your work style to show the hiring manager your skills. You should select talking points from your professional life to demonstrate your soft skills and continuous learning as well as your personal strengths. With reference to the job description, you can relate the question to the job’s responsibilities and show that you are good at innovative solutions, for instance. It’s a good idea to have a couple of example answers to choose from in case the job interviewer has already asked you about something you thought you would use in this question. Job interviews can be unpredictable so it’s helpful to feel that you’ve fully prepared with a few sample answers!
Whether you’re interviewing for a job in project management or as a customer service representative, you’ll need to show that you have good transferable skills. Employers like to see that you are committed, enthusiastic and highly motivated, but they’ll also want to see your integrity and other soft skills shining through. Focus on a particular strength that you have used in your previous role and use your personal experience to show how your personality traits can also make you a good fit for this job. Give specific examples of how you have been able to meet deadlines, show off your writing skills and deliver high quality work, for instance, but mention these within the context of being a confident leader of group settings or good at problem solving and you’ll set yourself ahead of the other candidates. The best answers will refer to a number of skills in one, showing your work ethic and your greatest strength.
The whole interview question is designed to showcase your communication skills, and your soft skills such as time management are on show here too. As you answer questions, consider whether you want to show yourself as a detail oriented candidate or someone who excels at giving presentations, and you’ll be able to answer this question in the most useful way to show your work ethic.
Key takeaways are to do your research, give more examples and think about your soft skills. The best ansaawers stay focused on the question and show that you are self aware. Seek feedback when you receive a job offer or a rejection – if you didn’t make the cut this time, you can use this guide to polish up your answer for the next interview! Talk to us at Careerwise for more interview question skills and additional tips on what to do when you receive a job offer.
Ken Murphy graduated from University College Cork in 1987 with an Electrical Engineering degree before moving to the US as a Network Design Engineer with BellSouth Corporation. His return to Ireland in 1989 heralded a career which concentrated on the multinational sector, and involved working with companies such as Apple Computer, Cabletron, FMC Automotive, Moog, General Semiconductor and Technicolor.
Ken is a specialist in quality management, purchasing, logistics and supply chain management. He has significant expertise and experience in managing the changing demands of the global media, electronics and automotive sectors at operational and project management levels.
Ken leads CareerWise Recruitment’s Cork operations. He has served on local and national committees of IPICS (The Supply Chain Management Institute), CIPD, the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA), and has completed a three-year term as Chair of the UCC Alumni Board.
Ken has recently been elected as a Director of the Cork Chamber for a four year term to help promote business and drive policy objectives for the Cork Region
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