Interview questions, generally speaking, can be divided into two categories: ‘the common’ (nice) and ‘the curveball’ (not so nice).
The following questions: ‘What are your greatest strengths?’ and it’s ‘evil’ twin, ‘What are your greatest weaknesses?’ bridge both camps, but are amongst the top ten questions you’re most likely to be asked so there’s no excuse for being unprepared.
What are your greatest strengths? A gift of a question for those who want an opportunity to sell themselves! Concentrate on three or four proficiencies, partly to stay focused and secondly, so you don’t appear overconfident (that goes in the weakness pile). Also ensure that for any strength cited, you’ll be expected to give examples to support your claim. Our top ten examples of strengths and aptitudes are:
What are your greatest weaknesses? Clever candidates will have learned by now that, like the metaphorical cloud, behind every weakness is a silver lining. (Humbly, not arrogantly) offer up a weakness that could be perceived as a ‘strength’, perhaps adding ways in which you’d learned to overcome it. Examples may include:
The other alternative approach to this question is citing a weakness that is experience but not ability or aptitude based. Experience can be gained in a new role; core competencies, however, will be required to secure that job!
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