What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses? Interview Answer Examples

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Interviews can be stressful for some, and being prepared is a must. Fumbling through an interview or just ‘winging it’ is not one that is proven to succeed. While it is alright to maintain a conversational tone, our regular speech patterns and idiosyncrasies fail us when we are asked to think about things that we are not used to actively thinking about. Thus, it is imperative to prepare for an interview by structuring your thoughts and going over a possible list of questions that may be asked depending on where you apply.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

A very common question that is asked in an interview is the one which asks you to detail your strengths and weaknesses. In this article we will learn some general principles about how to answer this frequently asked interview question as well as look through some examples of the same. The key to making a good impression is confident candour. You don’t want to seem too practised nor do you want to seem unsure in the presence of your interviewer. To make a good impression, it is important to be honest but without veering off-topic and making sure the information you’re providing about yourself is presented in a well-structured manner.


Make sure that you are honest, display self-reflexivity and criticism. Show that there is room for growth with your weaknesses and even with your strengths. Avoid portraying yourself as stationary being that is incapable of change. Use language and descriptions to showcase that you’re a dynamic human being with a propensity to change. For example, if you want to talk about how good you are at coding you could say “I’m really good at coding, I have proficiency with 4 different languages and experience coding in all of them” which is a good way of putting it. However, if you were to say “When I first started learning C++, I was really confused, but it became easier when I was learning python and subsequently easier as I learned Java and Julia as well”, this will make you seem more like an appreciating asset which your potential employers will want to secure.


Something to avoid when you’re answering this question is being too clever or trying to treat it like a trick question. Another thing people do is try to disguise the weakness in order to seem like they are more desirable. For example, someone might say “my greatest weakness is that I work too hard”. While this is indeed a clever response to the question, it can come off as lacking character. When faced with a response of this kind an interviewer might be inclined to think that you are incapable of seeing your own flaws and as a result may think you’re not a growing asset or that you’re too immature for the position. Hence it is really important to talk honestly about your shortcomings but also make it seem like you’re capable of growth in that area e.g.: “I am prone to procrastinating so what I have done is made myself a routine where I start working every time I make a cup of coffee, so as long as you have a coffee machine, I should be a good fit for your company ha-ha.”

Example of strength

“I think I am really good at public speaking, it’s a skill I mastered by working on it through a public speaking class near my school. I’ve always been interested in public speaking so much so that I would take every opportunity to participate in the same when I was in school. I even read speeches and essays before I rest sometimes. I was not very great at it but picked it up through the class”

Example of weakness

“I’m quite bad at speaking publicly. I have major stage fright and I have worked on it a little by participating in theatre activities in college. I’m actually quite a good mime when I’m in a group. However, the singular attention on me when I’m speaking in front of an audience, when I’m the only voice in a room full of people, I can’t handle it. It makes my legs turn to jelly. Hopefully, I’ll be able to conquer it some day”

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