Interviewing 101: Know Thyself (Your Strengths AND Weaknesses)


A job interview is a chance to sell yourself to the hiring manager. You must be able to clearly articulate what you have to offer in order to set yourself apart from the competition. Discussing your strengths and weaknesses might feel a bit awkward, but unless you are unable to handle these questions in a cool, collected and decisive manner, you will not get the job.

How to Sell Your Strengths and Weaknesses to an Interviewer

Learn how to best respond to two of the most common inquires used by hiring managers to gauge your fit for the position:

What is your greatest strength?

You are a talented professional with many positive attributes. However, if you are only asked to give one strength, choose the one most relevant to the job. Add weight to your claim by providing a specific example to back it up. For example, if you say leadership is your greatest strength, give an example of a time your outstanding leadership skills really made an impact.

What is your greatest weakness?

Sharing less-than-flattering information with a prospective employer may feel unnatural, but you cannot evade the question. Saying you cannot think of a major weaknesses will not be an acceptable answer. Neither will a sugarcoated response, such as I work too hard or I care too much. Instead, choose a real weakness, but opt for something that does not clash with your ability to do the job. Give a specific example and explain the actions you have taken to overcome this flaw.

Responding to these somewhat awkward questions can be difficult to do when unprepared and on the spot. Assume they will be part of the conversation and arrive at the interview with well-rehearsed replies. If you are able to clearly explain your strengths and weaknesses,  you will gain the leverage needed to position yourself as the best fit for the position.

Sell yourself as the best person for the job.

Finding the right job for your skills and interests can be a challenge. Allow RealStreet, a leading recruiting and talent management firm, to aid in your search.  Our team strives to match candidates with rewarding career opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction communities. Contact us today to get started!

After a string of failures trying to find the right person on our own, RealStreet came through for us. The first person they recommended was the person we’d been looking for all along. It doesn’t get better than that.

Joshua A. Woolley

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