Strengths and Weaknesses for Job Interviews! You Should Know Before Answering

Angelina Robinson

It’s very common in job interviews for the interviewer to ask you to talk about your strengths and weaknesses. This question is important because it helps the interviewer understand what you can uniquely contribute to the role. Being able to talk about your strengths and weaknesses in an interview in a thoughtful way is an important skill that can help you land the job. 

Why Interviewers Ask About Strengths and Weaknesses?

Interviewers ask about your strengths and weaknesses for a few key reasons as mentioned below.

  • To get a full picture of you as a candidate, beyond just your work history and qualifications that are on your resume
  • To understand how your skills, abilities and positive attributes could potentially meet the needs of the role and company  
  • To see what areas or skills you need to develop, and how that might fit with their training programs and company culture
  • To gauge your self-awareness about your abilities so they know what kind of support you might need if hired

Here’s an expanded guide on effectively discussing your strengths in a job interview as well as suggestions for good answers:

Why Discussing Your Strengths Matters?

Highlighting your relevant strengths is arguably the most important part of answering the “strengths and weaknesses” question.

It’s vital that you identify which of your strengths directly aligns to the role’s requirements and the company’s needs.

This shows the interviewer the unique value you can contribute due to talents, knowledge, and competencies you already possess.

Steps for Discussing Strengths

1. Carefully Evaluate the Job Description

  • Underline all key hard and soft skills needed for excelling at the role. You’ll pull your strengths directly from this list.

2. Identify 3-4 Relevant Strengths You Possess

  • For example, if analytical abilities are needed, some strengths could be: data analysis, critical thinking, or problem solving. 

3. Choose Specific Examples That Demonstrate These Strengths

  • Prepare stories that provide concrete evidence of using these strengths successfully. 
  • Make sure the examples demonstrate a positive result or impact due to leveraging your strengths.

4. Explain How These Strengths Will Enable Your Future Success

  • Describe how you foresee applying these strengths to add value in this job at this company.

Examples of Good Strengths and Responses

Communication Skills

I effectively collaborated cross-functionally and presented complex findings to senior executives as part of my last company’s annual strategic planning, which always resulted in smooth project execution. I look forward to bringing my strong communication abilities to help merge insights across teams and clearly report recommendations to leadership.

Analytical Skills

In my previous supply chain analyst role, I automated inventory optimization models that decreased waste by 18% annually. For this position, I’m excited to leverage my analytical skills in pricing analytics to uncover ways to improve profitability.


As founder of my university’s Consulting Club, I provided coaching and development to a team that helped 5 local businesses boost sales by average of 30% year-over-year. Leadership is my standout strength and I can’t wait to apply it to lead projects seamlessly from planning to execution as a key part of this new team.

Discussing Your Weaknesses

Discussing weaknesses in an interview can seem tricky, but framing them constructively is key. 

Here’s an in-depth guide on how to effectively approach weaknesses, along with strong example responses.

Why Discussing Weaknesses Matters

Interviewers want to understand areas you struggle with to gauge if they might impact your performance. 

However, discussing non-critical weaknesses shows self-awareness and growth orientation.

Admitting you have weaknesses, yet highlighting efforts to improve, can impress interviewers.

Steps for Discussing Weaknesses

1. Identify Non-Critical Weaknesses

  • These should be learning gaps unrelated to the core competencies needed for the job. 
  • For an accounting role, an example is struggling with public speaking anxiety. This can be improved without damaging performance.

2. Choose a Weakness You’ve Been Actively Working On 

  • Interviewers want people keen on self-improvement. Highlight your dedication to personal growth.

3. Provide Examples Demonstrating Improvement  

  • Share a clear story showcasing how you’ve recently upgraded abilities in this area, exhibiting positive trends.
  • This proves the weakness will not hinder you.

4. Redirect Back to Strengths Whenever Possible

  • Conclude any weakness example by linking back to one of your strengths or motivations that will ensure excellence despite shortcomings.

Example Weakness Responses:

  • Attention to Detail

Early in my auditing career, I failed to catch a small accounting error that impacted a client report. However, I used that experience to overhaul my approach to ensure much greater rigor and quality control.

I invested in workshops on validating data and process improvement strategies like Lean Six Sigma to address my weakness. 

Although attention to detail will always be something I need to actively manage, I now have the tools and diligence to do so.

  • Public Speaking   

Presenting to crowds has always been nerve-wracking for me. Realizing public speaking is key for executive roles.

I challenged myself to lead sales presentation training weekly this past year. With practice, I’ve made tremendous progress and even surprised myself recently when I nailed a perfectly smooth pitch to 200 clients! To keep building skills.

I enrolled in a public speaking course and joined Toastmasters. With my drive to succeed, this early weakness has evolved into a new strength.

I’m happy to provide additional example responses. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Wrapping Up

Discussing your strengths for most of the time, while framing your weaknesses constructively, will leave the interviewer with assurance that you will thrive and grow in the role. Being thoughtful about how you deliver these answers can really make you stand out as a self-aware, dedicated candidate.


Here are some commonly asked FAQs about discussing strengths and weaknesses in an interview with sample answers:

Q: What if I’m asked about strengths but draw a blank in the interview?  

A: Take a breath, and ask the interviewer to give you a moment to think it over. Reference the job description and your own experience. Strengths could relate to hard skills (e.g. data analysis proficiency) or soft skills (e.g. communication abilities). Share 2-3 skills you’ve cultivated that directly meet their needs.  

Q: What if I cannot identify any weaknesses about myself or draw a blank?

A: Everyone has areas for improvement, so it’s about how you frame your response. You can mention improving time management, public speaking anxiety, delegation abilities, or achieving greater technical fluency. The key is choosing a non-critical area unrelated to the core competencies needed for high performance in the specific role. 

Q: Is it ok to use a weakness that I’ve fully improved on as an example? 

A: Yes, interviewers appreciate when candidates have shown dedication to actively developing themselves. Just ensure the weakness you highlight is no longer going to hinder you. For example, you’ve taken concrete steps around honing organization skills and are now highly productive and still improving.

Q: If I have a weakness directly related to the job requirements, should I admit that?

A: No, because you don’t want to seed doubts about your capabilities. Find an area for improvement peripherally related or entirely separate instead. Use your judgment; if Excel skills are mandatory, better to build Excel skills than admit weakness there. 

Let me know if you have any other questions on best strategies to discuss weaknesses while putting your strengths and potential front and center!

About the author

Hey, it's Angelina Robinson! If you're confused by Excel, don't worry, I've got your back. I've spent years mastering it, and I want to help you make the most of it.

I got into Excel because I was fascinated by everything it can do. Now, I help people and companies use it better for their work.

So, my blogging story started when I met my friend Angelina Robinson. We hit it off and decided to team up. Now, in our 50s, we've made to share what we know with the world. My thing? Making tricky topics simple and exciting.

Leave a Comment