What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

Job seekers do not like this question in an interview. There’s not wonder. We try to sell ourselves there. So why to talk about our weaknesses? On the top of that, interviewers should be able to uncover it on their own. They get their salary for such an ability.

However, this question hides more than as a typical job seeker thinks. Interviewers ask it not only to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. In fact, they try to uncover something different:

  • If you are humble.
  • If you are trustworthy. (If you pick a non-sense strength, they will spot it and won’t believe you anymore)
  • If you are a responsible man who tries to work on his strengths and weaknesses, or if you do not care about it at all.

Job related strengths and inessential weaknesses

Software development team using agile in their jobYou should choose a strength that is really related to the job you apply for, a strength that characterize good software developer/tester/project manager. To such belongs analytical thinking, problem solving, mathematical skills, ability to work quickly, detail-oriented personality and some other related strengths.

When talking about your weaknesses, choose something that does not matter. For example, managing other people or struggling to communicate with non-IT guys, is not something that should bother a  tester heavily. Or you can even pick a weakness that some interviewers consider  as a strength, for example being  impatient.

Then you should elaborate on it explaining the interviewers what you do to further improve on your strengths and eliminate the impact of your weaknesses, at least to certain extend. That is what they want to hear from an ideal job applicant.

 

Sample answers

I really like to test software and therefor my motivation is very high in job. I can work quickly and act responsively, what I believe is crucial for agile development. On the other hand, I am sometimes impatient, what may cause troubles to other colleagues. However, I am aware of this weakness and always remind it to myself to stay patient in job.

My analytical thinking and problem solving abilities are exceptional. I work on it constantly, solving new problems and learning new technologies. On the other hand, I am not very good in managing other people and leading teams. I tried it in the past, but I was not good at it. I hope to improve on it, but it’s not easy.

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