How To Speak Correctly About Your Strengths And Weaknesses


Tell about your merits and demerits at the interview in the right way

You do not know how to present yourself, don’t you? Well, if yes, this post on strengths and weaknesses will inform you about what personal qualities it is better to tell your potential employer, and what are better not to mention. This is a human nature – we can not praise ourselves and especially criticize ourselves. However, such skills are necessary. Especially if you want to pass an interview successfully and get a job. Our best resume service offers you to learn how to properly deliver information about your advantages and disadvantages to your potential employer. This post on how to speak about your strengths and weaknesses will help you to do it correctly.


What do recruiters want to hear?

Making a question about your positive and negative qualities an HR manager does not expect that a candidate will tell him a story about his life or will name very personal character features (for example, I am kind, softhearted, I do not drink and do not smoke).

The recruiter’s target is:

  • to figure out how a candidate behaves in unusual situation;
  • to define how much adequately a candidate can evaluate himself and the results of his work;
  • to realize whether a candidate meets the vacancy requirements he is applying for and the corporate culture.

You can be asked to characterize yourself in different ways:

“Tell about your positive and negative qualities”, “Name your three positive and three negative qualities”, “Name your strong and weak sides”, “What your personal qualities can help or prevent from your duties implementation?”, “What are your advantages and disadvantages?”.

You should be ready for any development of a situation. That is why you should prepare in advance at least three strengths and three weaknesses of yours, and match them with the employer’s requirements. The recommendations given below will help you.

How to speak about your strengths

At the interview answering the question “Tell about your positive and negative qualities” you should start with the strong sides, which allowed you to become successful as in your personal life, so as in your profession. Get prepared the day before an interview. With the help of easy techniques define your best qualities and match these qualities with the vacancy requirements.

1. Make a list of your 10 main merits. Be creative making this list, get rid of your shy inner editor and write all the strong feature of your character. Choose those qualities that you really have.

2. Study the vacancy attentively, try to figure out what qualities should a worker have applying for this position. Coincide yourself with such a worker. Focus the attention on your knowledge and experience in a professional sphere, and only after that mention your personal qualities.

3. Limit the list of your positive features to three-five points. Select those ones, which it will be comfortable to discuss.

4, Each strong quality illustrate with an example. It would be great if you give more than one example. The more suchlike positive characteristics of yourself you will have, the better. Recruiter may ask to tell more and more.

Here are some examples how to build an answer.

Example #1: “I have analytical mind, I write competently, in interesting way, in different styles and genres. If necessary, I can write with humor. I also create unique content, and not only text, but also graphic. I have wide experience in interviewing. By the way, interview is my favourite genre, because it implies new meetings and communication, and I am a sociable person”.

Example #2: “I know how to get along with people. I can find approach to almost any person, and it does not matter how old he or she is, and what position occupies. I also like that with the help of conversation you can achieve any result: avoid a conflict or convince your interlocutor to buy something. For example, at the last workplace I…(tell how you manage to achieve set goals with the help of communication)”.

Example #3: “I believe that ability to find extraordinary ways out of difficult situations is my strong side. I also look positively at the world. At the same way I try to deal with the problems. I am not afraid of them, vise versa they mobilize me. I can give such an example…(tell a real story)”.

How to speak about your weaknesses

Answering the question about the negative qualities, you should not name abstract or “good” disadvantages. Your task is to show that you realize your defects, and you know how to cope with them. Such a presentation can make positive impression on an employer more than the list of your advantages.

How to do it:

1. Make the minuses pluses

“I am meticulous and scrupulous. Many people say this is my disadvantage. However, since I am an analyst, it is important for me to check all the data thoroughly, analyze all the details. I will not calm down until I do it. There was a case in my practice… (give an example when your meticulousness helped to find an error)”.

2. Clarify that you work on your disadvantages. Admit that, of course, you have negative qualities, but you do your best to improve them. “I am a bad speaker. When I need to speak to a big audience, I feel confused. I realize that for a journalist this is an essential disadvantage, that is why I attend the oratory courses for a month. I am not Cicero yet, but there is certain success already”.

3. Compensate your negative qualities, if you realize you can not turn them into pluses and there is nothing you can do with them. “I like to sleep for a long time. That is why I may be late for the work. However, I do not mind to stay in the office a little bit longer to fulfill all the planned for a day tasks. I am more productive in the second part of a day, so usually I do everything in time and never miss deadlines”.

How you should not answer

If an HR manager does not ask you to name your strengths and weaknesses, do not start talking about it on your own initiative. But if the question was made, you should answer it quickly. Do not be silent and embarrassed. However, remember that you are not at confession, do not tell the recruiter all your positive and negative qualities.

If we try to formulate the basic rule of an effective answer to the question about advantages and disadvantages, it will be like this: “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. A mature person knows that he has strong as well as weak sides and he is not ashamed to admit it. An of course he will not lie or wriggle about his personality.

Our successful resume company reminds that lying in a resume or at the interview you can ruin your career. So first of all, be honest with yourself and with others, be persuasive and confident. Confidence is an important helper in employment process. Keep it in your mind.

How to tell the truth at the interview and get a job

Why you should not lie to seem netter

Communication with a recruiter can be compared with a medical examination. To understand your professional “diagnosis”, an HR manager needs to get as much truthful information as possible.

Some questions may confuse you or make you feel unconfident, that is why candidates sometimes start to lie to present themselves in the best light. However, our professional online service recommends you not to avoid the truth, but learn how to tell it correctly.

1. “A fly in the ointment” that can play in your favor

Imagine that you answer successfully and honestly all the questions of a recruiter, even when they seem senseless, and it looks like you perfectly fit the position. And suddenly you hear a question that you are afraid of the most: “Do you have children? Who can stay with them if you need to go to work immediately?”. And you have three children and there is no one who could watch them for a while, and all your hopes are about understanding of your potential employer and your legitimate sick leave.

Do not panic. Say honestly that you are not ready to leave your kinds on their own, and in case if they get ill, you will go on a sick leave. At the same time you should demonstrate that you are disciplined and organized enough and you will manage to combine children care and remote work staying in touch. Show that you are a universal soldier who is able to make informed decisions, which will not influence the working process.

Yes, you will have to show flexibility, and yes, no one has the right not to give you a sick leave and so on. However, keep in mind that giving you a job, employer wants to be sure that you will cope with the duties you have without breaking the deadlines and stopping the process of work.

A perfect option is to remove your boss from intrafamily problems. Tell him that your children are your concern, and the fact that you have kids will not affect your productivity (if you are sure it is so). Or say that you are ready to do your best if it does not harm the children’s health. At least, you will be honest.

Do not forget that not only you want to get a job, but also a company wants you as a good specialist. That is why if you are sure about your strengths suggest your own ways out of suchlike situations. This will show your ability to solve contentious issues and negotiate.

2. Use humor

The best way to tell the truth is to tell it in a form of a joke. When a company is interested in you as in a professional, an employer needs guarantees that you will not leave the job in a month or in six months searching for something better. But can you give such guarantees? If you are not sure that you are ready to spend years at one workplace, then it will be hard to answer the question “Would you like to change your job in a couple of months?”. It will be the same difficult to answer the question whether you are planning to go on maternity leave. When the answer definitely does not satisfy the employer, and you do not want to tell lie, use humor.

Say that you plan is to conquer the galaxy at least, but for now you are ready to take a little break and do something more “down-to-earth”. Tell that you dream about big family with many children, but now you are working on the material basis and so on.

Anyway, do not try to hide behind the lie to get the desired position, because nothing good begins with a lie. It is better to use humor to endear your future employer and gain the trust.

3. Honestly but mildly

The truth should be given in portions. Do not enter the recruiter’s office claiming that you are a super professional, and five other companies are also waiting for you, but you have decided to give the company a chance to struggle for you. Also do not begin with the questions “Do you provide your workers with vacations? What are the conditions?”. Present the fact step by step when you see you have managed to attract the employer’s attention. Say that you are ready for compromises and flexibility in response to the reciprocity.

A candidate, who appreciates his labour, time and efforts, always stands out among those, who want to please an HR manager telling the lies. No one will believe that having three children you are ready to refuse from the sick leaves and work irregular schedule. As well as no one wants to deal with an incompetent worker who pretends master. Even if you do not have work experience, speak about it honestly. Demonstrate your desire to learn ensuring the loyalty to the company.

Do not use lie to seem better than you are. Our professionals advise to tell only the truth at the interview and generally in life. Clearness and transparency of your answers are better that any bright lie. Show that you are an open person and it is a pleasure to work with you!