Everyone has heard the saying, “Know thyself.” It is sage advice, especially when it comes to job interviews. The first step in finding a job that is the right fit for you is this exploration. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses for freshers can work in multifold ways during their interviews and eventual selection for the right job position.
Strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, that is “you”, after all. To find them, you have to be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself –
What are you good at? What can you do without breaking a sweat? What do people compliment you on?
And what don’t you like doing? What bores you? What makes you feel incompetent?– from www.needlemover.me
There are so many questions to help you on this road of self-exploration. Thinking about these questions will give you a good idea of where your career should go.
When it comes to job applications and interviews, one of the most common fresher interview questions that you will face is: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Let us dig deep into this common interview question for freshers. It can be helpful for you since you are just starting your professional journey. So, let us explore why this question is asked, how to handle it. We’ll give you some sample answers for giving you a kickstart to prepare your answer to such a question. Last but not least, we will also guide you about how you can find out your strengths and weaknesses.
So read on for all the information you need! Here is how we will cover it.
- Why do interviewers ask questions on strengths and weaknesses
- How to identify your strengths and weaknesses
- How to answer, “What is your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”
- 5 Powerful Tips while answering on Strengths and Weaknesses
Why interviewers ask, “What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?”
According to interview statistics, the ideal length for an interview is between 45 minutes and an hour. Most of this time is used by the interviewers to understand you in as many details as they can.
One of the main tools in their arsenal to do that well is this question, “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Therefore, you should have a detailed response prepared in advance that explains who you are as a person.
4 key reasons why interviewers may ask you this question
1. First, the interviewer is trying to understand how you view yourself. They are in a way checking your self-awareness. Your answers can reveal whether you have a realistic understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.
2. How you respond gives them a hint of your communication skills. What you cover in your answer can give them insights into your particular skillsets and areas of improvement.
3. They can subtly understand if you are balanced. It is quite possible that you may give them a hint of overconfidence or lack of confidence. As a fresher,
4. Interviewer is also gauging your fitness for the job. So, for example, if your weakness is that you’re terrible at public speaking, but the job requires regular presentations to clients, then that’s not going to be a good match. Similarly, if your strength is creativity, but the job is around marketing or content writing, then you may be a good fit either.
Interviewers will ask this in multiple ways.
- What is your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
- What are you really good at and where do you need to improve the most?
Overall, interviewers want to know if you’re aware of your strengths and if you’re humble enough to admit to your weaknesses. Interviewers also want to see how you’ll handle difficult questions. So, when answering this question, be honest and concise.
How to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
Let us look at 4 simple and useful ways to discover your strengths and weaknesses
1. One of the best ways to identify your strengths and weaknesses is to speak with someone who knows you well, such as a family member or friend. Ask them to give you an honest assessment. They will likely provide insights that you may not be aware of yourself.
2. Another way is to do online research about personality tests or strength assessments. These tests can help you better understand your personality and what areas you may excel in.
3. Ask yourself a few powerful questions like “What comes naturally to me?” or “What do others compliment me on?” you can start to form an idea of your strengths.
4. Conversely, when considering weaknesses, ask yourself, “What are the areas that I need to work on?” or “Where do I tend to struggle?”. By thinking about these things, you can better understand which areas you need to focus on to improve.
Assessing Your Strengths
Out of the 118 people that apply for a job, only 20% of them are invited to an interview. This is why it’s critical to create a strong impression on the interviewer. How you present your strengths can help in you this regard.
When assessing your strengths, it’s important to consider not just your innate talents but also the skills you’ve acquired over time. Especially focus on the skills that make you uniquely qualified for the job at hand.
So, How can you identify your strengths?
One approach is to think about the knowledge-based skills that set you apart from other candidates. Ask yourself …
1. What do you know how to do especially well?
2. Are there particular areas of expertise or experience that would make you a standout choice for this position?
3. Are you creative? Driven? A team player? Which qualities or traits are central to your nature, that have helped you so far?
On the other hand, transferable skills are abilities that you’ve developed in one area of your life that can be applied to another area. Some common transferable skills include communication, problem-solving, organization, time management, and leadership.
Finally, personal traits define who you are as a person. Common personal traits include honesty, integrity, discipline, compassion, and determination.
Quick Tip: When discussing your strengths in an interview, be sure to highlight both transferable skills and personal traits. This will show the interviewer that you're a well-rounded candidate with the potential to excel in the role.
Useful Reading: 40+ Powerful Strengths in Resume for Freshers
Assessing Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses, but who wants to admit to them? Admitting your weaknesses is a very strong move during interviews. It shows that you’re aware of your limitations and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to improve.
Let us look at a few examples of common weaknesses.
Being too critical is usually seen as a weakness because it can damage relationships and make you difficult to work with. However, if you can learn how to be more constructive in your criticism, it can be a valuable asset.
Some people may be too agreeable and try to please everyone.
Some of us may be unfamiliar with the latest software or technology.
Being aware of these weaknesses ahead of time can help you redirect the conversation back to your strengths. Stay positive and focus on your strengths – which will likely stand out more than any perceived weaknesses.
Quick Tip: To find your weaknesses think about your struggles, troubles, failures, and experiences where you felt yourself falling short of your expectations considerably.
Also Read: Tell us about yourself
List of Strengths for Freshers
Let us quickly go over this list of strengths that can give you a starting point in your self-assessment of strengths.
Good communication skills
Quick Tip: Keep in mind that it's critical to show how your strengths line up with the job description while still differentiating yourself from other applicants.
List of weaknesses for Freshers
While you need to speak carefully about your weaknesses, the following is a list that can kickstart your process to find your own weaknesses (or shall we say .. areas of improvement?).
Too much details-oriented
I’m not comfortable with public speaking or networking
Lack of comprehensive understanding of the company’s products or services
Hard time letting go of the project
I need improvement in my presentation skills
Trouble saying “no.”
Trouble asking for help
I tend to be overly critical of myself
I’m not familiar with the latest version of the softwareAnalysis Paralysis
How to answer, “What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?”
For freshers, it is advised to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. This shows that you are confident and have a positive outlook.
However, if you must mention a weakness. Give it a positive spin by saying that you are working on improving in it or that you are aware of it.
Mentioning generic weaknesses such as “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard” will make the interviewer question your sincerity. Such cleverness can go against you. Instead, it is better to have specific examples ready to back up your claims of strengths.
6 Sample Answers For Strengths
1. “I am a hard worker who is always looking for new opportunities to improve my skills. I am also a good team player and have no problem taking directions. I like to find ways to help and contribute to the team’s success.“
2. “One of my greatest strengths is my writing skills. I’m quite reliable and can always deliver when required. Another strength is that I am very analytical and quick to understand complex concepts. I believe these strengths will help me excel as a journalist.”
3. “I would say that my strengths include good communication skills and leadership experience. I have used these strengths in various roles, both professionally and personally. For example, as a leader, I can motivate and inspire others, while my communication skills help me collaborate with team members effectively. These strengths have helped me succeed in my studies and extracurricular activities where I was the general secretary of our college. Going forward, I continue to strive to improve upon them.”
4. “My strengths include time management and being a quick learner. I am also a good problem solver. These strengths have helped me in my student life where I have been able to consistently be in top 5 rankers in the class.”
5. “Time management is key because I like to be productive and get a lot done during the day. Being a quick learner helps me learn new things quickly, which is essential in my field, where new technologies are constantly emerging. Being able to solve problems efficiently helps me handle challenging situations effectively. This has helped me to complete 100 different software projects during the 4 years of my graduation.”
6. “I would say that my strengths include being creative and innovative. I have a lot of ideas and am always looking for ways to improve upon things. I also think outside the box, which helps me develop new solutions to problems. This is why I have been successful in various science and literary competitions during my college and schools days.”
5 Sample Answers For Weaknesses
1. “I am detail-oriented, to a fault. I like to have everything planned out and organized, and I can get wrapped up in the small details. This can sometimes hinder, especially when making decisions or being flexible. But it’s also one of my strengths because it allows me to be very thorough and precise.”
2. “I am not always very comfortable with public speaking or in networking with people. I find it difficult to make small talk, and I often feel like I don’t know what to say when I’m around new people. This can be a challenge because networking is crucial in today’s job market. But fortunately, I’m working on these skills, and I’m getting better every day.”
3. “I care a lot about the projects that I take on and have difficulty letting go of them, even if it’s clear that it’s not going to work out. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead me to work on something too long or not admit defeat quickly enough. It’s something I’m working on improving, though!”
4. “I would say that one of my weaknesses is that I have trouble asking for help. I pride myself on being self-reliant and sometimes struggle to admit when I need assistance. This can be a hindrance at times, particularly when seeking guidance or support from others. I’m learning and setting myself up for growth and development. I am also opening myself up to the possibility of receiving help from others, which can only be a good thing.”
5. “One of my weaknesses is that I’m have not explored the latest version of the software. As a result, I usually stay a couple of versions behind so that I can be comfortable with the changes and have time to test them out. I know that’s not the most up-to-date solution, but it works well for me and allows me to be productive without worrying about changes in the software interface.”
5 Powerful Tips while answering on Strengths and Weaknesses for freshers
1. Address your weaknesses first
This can make you sound humble and honest. The natural tendency when candidates face this question is to be defensive. So they start talking about the strengths first. If you observe people around you, you will see that those who are “confident” can talk about their weaknesses with ease. So it can also be seen as a sign of confidence.
2. Talk about strengths carefully
Talking about your strengths can seem a simple thing to do. Ironically, it can be fairly difficult. You need to balance 2 critical things in your response.
First, you need to sound humble. Second, you need to align your strengths with the job requirements. If this is not handled well, you can sound overconfident or even bombastic.
3. Choose the weaknesses considering the job requirements
Imagine if you said that you find it hard to start conversations while giving a sales interview! It is obvious that your chances of selection will take a big hit. But for the same position if you talk about your “impatience” your weakness may just turn into your strength for the role. This is because impatience is common in salespeople. They just need to learn to handle it.
This shows, how choosing the wrong weakness can adversely impact your chances while careful consideration may just have an exactly opposite effect.
4. First strength or weakness, then their context, and then their example format
This shows your clarity. The key thing to understand here is context decides if any of your qualities or skills is a strength or weakness. Context is the king.
When you back the context with a good relevant example of your past experiences, it adds to your story.
5. Keep calm and stay relevant
You may get very energetic while talking about strengths and can sound nervous when opening up about your weaknesses. Both of these are not necessary. Remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This will help you remain calm and focused.
This also helps you avoid irrelevant blabbering that may happen because of the pressure at that moment.
Next on Strengths and Weaknesses for freshers
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The key is to focus on your strengths and find ways to work around your weaknesses.
The bottom line is that you should always be prepared to talk about your strengths and weaknesses in an interview. However, it’s important to note that the focus should be on your strengths.
Your interviewer wants to know what you’re good at, so make sure to emphasize your strengths. And if you do have any weaknesses, try to frame them in a positive light by explaining how you’re working on addressing them.