Feared by candidates during job interviews, the question of strengths / weaknesses is one of the classics of the interview. This question is often used by recruiters as a way to destabilize candidates to analyze their reactions. It is also a way to better identify them, assess their interpersonal skills and get an idea of how they act in a professional environment.
Thus, this question which at first glance seems to be a trap, can be used by candidates as a way to stand out. But beware, for that, you have to be prepared and be able to argue. It is not a matter of answering this famous question with a long silence, or with a sentence like “Oh, it’s never easy to talk about your weaknesses …”.
When the recruiter approaches the subject of strengths, this is an opportunity to put yourself forward and to score points. Generous, versatile, selfless, there are thousands of strengths, each more commendable than the next. Be careful, however, to remain true and humble in your choice. Assigning yourself strengths to appear better in the eyes of the recruiter can cost you dearly! Indeed, stating strengths is not enough in this exercise. You also need to be able to illustrate them using, among other things, personal examples.
To give your application an even better chance, make connections between your strengths and the job you are applying for. Show the recruiter how you can be useful. In this way you will prove that you have prepared the question well and that you know your strengths.
Examples of qualities acclaimed by recruiters:
Above all, do not confuse lack of competence and weakness! Being impatient is a weakness, not knowing how to speak Spanish is a lack of competence. It’s important that you know the difference in preparing for the interview.
During the interview, when the recruiter asks the long-awaited question, resist the temptation to give a “false weakness” or a “disguised strength” such as “I am too dynamic”, or “I am too perfectionist”. The recruiter will see clearly in your game! Likewise, avoid weaknesses that have almost no application in the professional world. Except if you want to work in catering, saying that you are greedy will not bring anything to the recruiter and may even serve you. You have to prove that you are aware of your weaknesses.
Whatever weakness you give, try to highlight the “positive” aspects that result from it. For example, if you tell the recruiter that you tend to want to control everything, add that this pushes you to provide always impeccable work and that it does not prevent you from delegating.
Finally, be careful that the weaknesses you choose do not contradict the position you are targeting and always tell the recruiter that you are working on your weak points!
Example of weaknesses accepted by recruiters: