If you’re looking for a list of examples' work strengths and weaknesses, then this article is for you.
I’m going to give you thebeststrengths and weaknesses for job interviews, and word-for-word example interview answers so you can see what a great response looks like.
Let’s get started…
List of Strengths for Job Interviews
If you’re asked about your top strengths in a job interview, you can share work-related skills, such as “project management,” as well as soft skills and personality traits like “communication skills” or “public speaking.”
If you’re asked for your single greatest strength, I recommend you make sure to name a skill that relates to the job description of the position you’re interviewing for.
And if you’re asked for a list of strengths, then make sure that the first strength you mention relates to the job.
The following are examples of strengths at work:
- Hard skills
- Communication skills
- Public speaking
- Being detail oriented
- Leadership skills
- Project management
- Writing skills
- Being a team player
- Critical thinking skills
- Self-criticism/analysis and using this to improve in your work
- Relating to people
- Strong work ethic/being hardworking
- Never missing a deadline
- Being an empathetic person
- Being enthusiastic about your work
Example List of Weaknesses for Job Interviews
The following are good example answers of weaknesses in a job interview:
- A piece of software you’re just beginning to learn or aren’t yet familiar with
- A certain programming language that you’re learning but not yet great at
- A sales or marketing skill like cold calling (as long as it’s not a core duty in the job you’re discussing)
- A leadership skill like training, mentoring, hiring
- A communication skill like giving presentations, leading meetings, etc.
Example Answers: 3 Strengths and 3 Weaknesses
Sometimes, the interviewer will ask you to name three strengths and three weaknesses.
So let’s pull together everything we’ve looked at above in terms of job strengths and weaknesses and run through a couple of full example interview answers now.
Example Answer 1:
My greatest strength is listening and understanding our clients’ needs, and then finding solutions to their concerns. This has helped me excel in both customer service and sales. I have some of my latest sales accomplishments listed on my resume and am happy to go into detail if you want. My other strengths are working as part of a team and working effectively with people of all personalities.
In terms of weaknesses, I’m working on getting better at delivering presentations to large groups. In my past sales experience, I’ve typically presented to one or two people at a company, but not larger teams. So this is something I’m practicing and learning in my professional life, but it isn’t yet a top strength.
Example Answer 2:
Among my work-related skills, I’d say I’m strongest in client account management, general organizational skills, and my ability to never miss a deadline, despite managing the second highest number of accounts among all account managers in my company. In terms of weaknesses, I’m looking to improve on project leadership and my ability to run meetings, which are tasks that are newer to me, but are also areas I’m interested in developing into strengths.
Example Answer 3:
My top strengths are my writing and editing skills, since I do both frequently in my work. I’m also strong in problem-solving. My previous managers have often given me tough problems that needed solving since they knew I could work through the challenge. My greatest weakness may be public speaking, since I haven’t been asked to do much of that in a formal setting. It’s among the skills I’m hoping to develop in my future work, though. I just haven’t had a chance or need to do so yet.
Pay attention to the phrasing of the greatest weakness in that last sample answer above (Example Answer 3). That’s exactly how to present your weaknesses in a job interview.
To recap, you’re naming specific skills, not personality traits, and you’re naming a skill that isn’t vital to the work you’ll be performing immediately in this next job.
Finally, you’re showing a positive attitude and interest or at least willingness to turn that weakness into a strength in the future.
This is demonstrated in the answer above in the final few sentences:
It’s among the skills I’m hoping to develop in my future work, though. I just haven’t had a chance or need to do so yet.
Also, you may have noticed that the example interview answers above don’t name three distinct weaknesses.
Mention What You’re Doing to Improve Your Weaknesses
One way to end your answer to a question about weaknesses is to discuss how you’re working on getting better in that area. You’ll see this in the sample answers above.
Consider this phrase from Example Answer 1 above:
In terms of weaknesses, I’m working on getting better at delivering presentations to large groups…
See how you’re naming a weakness but then immediately talking about how you’re working on turning it into a strength?
This shows ambition and confidence and makes it sound like it’s not even a weakness… more of anarea that could use improvementand that you’ll soon be great at.
So when you’re asked a question about weaknesses, always look for a way to let the hiring manager know that you’re improving in that area.
Ask a Question About Their Team After You Answer
After you answer a question in the interview, it’s a great idea to ask a question directed at the interviewer.
This will set you apart from other candidates, since most candidates ask very few questions overall, and save their questions for the end of the interview.
So after giving an answer to any question above, consider ending your response by asking:
“What do you feel are the team’s strengths and weaknesses right now?”
Also consider asking:
“What is something that you’re hoping a new person can bring to the team?”
Any time you can ask a thoughtful question like this, you’ll be more memorable and make yourself stand out from other job seekers.
4 Mistakes to Avoid When Sharing Strengths and Weaknesses
There are a couple of mistakes to avoid and rules to follow when naming strengths or weaknesses in job interviews.
Don’t give an answer that is longer than 60 seconds.
You don’t need to share a list of 10 strengths and talk for four minutes when the interviewer asks about your greatest strengths.
In fact, it’s often more impressive to just share one or two top strengths, especially those that relate to the job you’re discussing.
If you try to sound like you’re great at everything, you’ll sound like you’re great at nothing. So pick and choose what they share.
This goes for weaknesses, too.
Don’t mention every weakness you can think of.
Pick one or two weaknesses that won’t scare the interviewer into thinking that you won’t be able to perform the work.
Name those, and then stop.
Be strategic in your answer. If the interviewer asks for your greatest weakness, you don’t need to share your absolute top weakness.
Instead, think about multiple weaknesses and hand-pick the one that won’t hurt you in this job.
Don’t interview without preparing and practicing your answers ahead of time.
You don’t want to have to decide which weakness to share at the last minute, with the interviewer staring you down.
So always take time to plan and practice before your interview: What strengths and weaknesses will you name in your answers, and what examples will you give to explain those choices?
Know what you’ll say if you’re asked for:
- Your greatest strength and/or greatest weakness
- Your two to three strengths and/or weaknesses
That brings me to my final mistake:
Don’t answer without tailoring your response to the company’s needs.
Before the interview even begins, and before you share your strengths and weaknesses, always review your resume and the job description to make the best decision for this particular job interview.
Conclusion: The Best Strengths and Weaknesses to Discuss in Interviews
If you read the tips above, you know what to say (and not say) in an interview for greatest weaknesses and strengths.
It’s good to be aware of your strengths and it’s not bragging to share when asked. So be ready!
And some honest self-criticism and the ability to identify at least one weakness is also important in your interviews.
Fortunately, if you read the tips and example lists of strengths/weaknesses above, you’re ready to answer all types of questions about work strengths and weaknesses so you can land a better job.