The Strengths and Weaknesses You Should Mention in a Job Interview

We've compiled a list of strengths and weaknesses that you might want to mention in a job interview. We also give some guidelines on how to speak about them.
The Strengths and Weaknesses You Should Mention in a Job Interview
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 09 May, 2023

One of the most highly anticipated moments in a job interview occurs when the candidate is asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, depending on their replies many people are ruled out at this stage. Therefore, we should all know how to face this question.

The success of an interview is based on sincerity. So, make sure you don’t lie about a particular ability or skill if you can’t support it later. For example, don’t claim to speak another language if you don’t. Put this kind of strategy aside and focus on the skills you can prove.

Main strengths

Research suggests that the most important action to take in a job interview is to focus on your strengths. After all, these can overshadow your weaknesses and make you eligible for the position.

Although they depend on your personal skills, there are certain general strengths valued by every employer. We’re going to give you some examples in this article. Make sure you choose or describe those that are coupled with your personality, attitude, and way of behaving.

People talking in an interview
Honesty is the most important element in a job interview.

1. Teamwork skills

Teamwork skills are strengths that every company values in its employees. In fact, research claims that it’s one of the most prized skills by employers. This is especially the case in contexts in which the participation of a group is required.

Furthermore, being a team player is an indicator of many other elements appreciated by a prospective employer. For example, communication skills, the ability to share knowledge and help others, idea management, etc. Therefore, be sure to include teamwork skills among your strengths.

2. Creativity

Creativity involves your ability to generate new original ideas. These kinds of ideas can facilitate the management of a company, promote its development, or guide it toward success. Indeed, given the changing context of today’s society, creativity is undoubtedly one of the greatest strengths to mention in a job interview.

Furthermore, experts claim that creativity is a mediator for teamwork performance. Therefore, if you include it among your strengths, you can connect it with your teamwork skills. This means you’ll avoid mentioning any unrelated factors that have no interest or value for your prospective employer.

3. Specialty or skill

Having a specific skill, whether it’s practical or theoretical, is a valued asset for a company. Although it’s true that workers with more general skills or those capable of covering different fields tend to be preferred, a specialty can make a noticeable difference in the ecosystem of a company.

A specialty originates from your experience and studies. However, it’s your experience that has the greatest value. For this reason, the more you accumulate, the more attractive you’ll be to an employer. But beware: don’t boast of a great deal of experience if you think it’ll make you overqualified for the job.

4. Organizational skills

Organizational skills are valued in all jobs. In fact, whether it’s face-to-face or remote work, having an organized attitude will work in your favor. Organization translates into being more efficient, systematic, and attached to processes that guarantee successful achievement. It also signifies you’re a systems-based thinker.

You might also like to mention empathy, the capacity for self-criticism, dedication, a positive attitude, flexibility, and punctuality in delivering commitments.

You don’t need to list them all. Just choose a few that best describe you and have them to hand when the interviewer asks you the question.

Main weaknesses

The other side of the coin is your weaknesses. We all have flaws, and they often influence our performance when carrying out certain tasks. Try and choose those that, despite being real, don’t leave you in a compromising situation in front of the employer.

1. Being too much of a perfectionist

Being a perfectionist is a weakness that, at the same time, includes traits of strength. You could explain your perfectionism in relation to the fact that you’re extremely diligent in the minutest of details. As such, you focus so much on perfecting the little things, you won’t settle for something until it meets certain of your personal criteria.

On the other hand, perfectionism can be a disadvantage as it can lead you to delay delivery times, disagree with the concept of ‘quality’ of the group, and even lose the general notion of focusing on the specifics. Of course, you should let the interviewer figure these details out for themselves. However, keep them up your sleeve in case they want to know more.

2. Extremely extroverted or introverted

Being extremely introverted or extroverted can also be considered a disadvantage in certain contexts. As a matter of fact, both of these personalities can work against each other when working as a team, making creative suggestions to the company, valuing the opinion of others, and maintaining a cordial and pleasant atmosphere at work.

If you’re one of these personality types, you should explain that you’ve worked on your issues and are now on a path of greater balance and stability. Don’t go into too much detail, but make it clear so you avoid giving the image that you’re unable to control your emotions.

3. Delegation issues

Many people have trouble delegating tasks. Their perfectionism or mistrust of the performance of others may lead them to want to complete every task on their own. As a rule, people who assume this position are extremely efficient, responsible, proactive, and competent. On the other hand, there are times when it’s essential to be able to delegate.

4. Impatience

Impatience is another weakness that you might mention in a job interview. It isn’t the least harmful of weaknesses, but it is one that you can use to your advantage. For example, you might say that you become impatient in finishing projects since you tend to connect so much with them that you can’t wait for them to come to fruition.

Other weaknesses that you might mention include being too direct, disorganized, a little indecisive, or overly critical. Being honest about your flaws is crucial. The employer will appreciate that you know how to consider the spectrum of your strengths and weaknesses.

Girl talking about her flaws in a job interview
A communicative and relaxed attitude is valued by a recruitment team.

How to communicate your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview

As important as preparing your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview is managing how you explain them. Here are some guidelines.

  • Be honest. No matter what strengths and weaknesses you mention in the interview, if you’re not honest they’ll be of little use to you. Tell the truth, so you don’t find yourself being fired when you don’t live up to your promises.
  • Be brief. A job interview isn’t a soap opera, so don’t elaborate too much. Think about the quality of your responses, not the quantity. A good communication style is another strength that the interviewer will appreciate.
  • Give examples. Give an example of each of your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure these illustrations demonstrate how they’ve worked for or against you in the past. Stick to being honest and use real examples.
  • Stay relaxed. If you stay relaxed, you’ll reinforce your explanation of your strengths and weaknesses. After all, first impressions always determine final decisions, so you should maintain a relaxed attitude right from the start.

Experts recommend rehearsing before applying for face-to-face or virtual job interviews. By doing this, you can prepare your responses, modulate your gestures, instill confidence in the employer, and avoid having to improvise halfway through the interview. This will complement your explanation of your strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, if you take all of the aforementioned into account, rest assured that you’ll tip the scales in your favor when applying for any job that you need or are passionate about.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.