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List of Strengths and

Weaknesses
Part 1: List of Strengths
Assess your skills, and you will identify your strengths. This is an exercise worth doing before any interview. It
would also be wise to identify your strengths and assess your skills. Come up with a list then divide them into the
following areas:

Transferable skills
The skills that one gets in a work environment (e.g. people skills, planning skills, communication skills
and much more)
2

Personal traits
Those that make you unique (e.g. hardworking, friendly, reliable and dependable, ability to work with
little to no supervision, expressive and punctual)
3

Knowledge-based skills or credentials


Skills acquired from education and experience (e.g., computer knowledge, languages, degrees,
training and technical ability).
4

Examples of strengths
Once youre done, take three or five of those strengths and compare them to see which ones are up to
the requirements of the job description, and make sure you can give accurate examples, stating why it
is your strength when questioned further.

Integrity

This is a virtue that includes confidentiality, observing


policies and procedures, being able to maintain value and
ethics when under pressure or when faced with
opposition.

Self-discipline

It includes avoiding distractions, self-motivation, setting


goals, not procrastinating and controlling personal
behavior.

Communication

This includes both written and verbal communication


skills. Examples of verbal include presentations, conflict
management and active listening among many while
written includes correspondence and reports.

Problem solving

Being able to analyze problems, to find cause and


possible solutions, ability to identify and define
problems, coming up with and implementing best
solutions.

Teamwork

Communicating effectively with team members,


listening and encouraging them, respect, contributing to
team objectives and working effectively in a team.

Initiative

This is simply taking steps to make your job and the


company better. e.g. identifying needs and coming up
with solutions, providing ideas for improvement, etc.

Persistence/
Resilience

Includes staying enthusiastic after a setback, overcoming


obstacles to achieve, taking criticism positively, dealing
with disappointment effectively and handling rejection.

Judgment/
Decision making

It includes following through on decisions, coming up


with viable alternatives, gathering the necessary
information to make a sound decision after considering
the pros and cons of each.

Planning and
organizational
skills

Includes multitasking, meeting the set deadlines,


managing time, keeping up with calendars or schedules,
setting and achieving objectives and goals.

Diligent/ Strong
work ethic

Includes working hard, maintaining good quality work,


doing more than that which is required, taking on extra
hours, finishing projects before or on time and working
without supervision.

Part 2: List of Weaknesses


1
We all have weaknesses, and you should present your weakness as a problem that can be solved so
that it wont disqualify you from the job. Hence, it is vital to explain showing ways of overcoming the
weakness. By showing initiative on self-improvement, you can convince the interviewer that your
weakness can be turned into a positive
2
You may not have much experience so you have to show interest in the job you are applying for. Be
ready and focus on the qualities you have that would make you a viable candidate for the job. It would
also be in your best interest to give the courses taken in detail in preparation of the job.
For example if the job youre applying for doesnt involve a lot of calculations or statistics you can point
out that mathematics is your major weakness. At this point, you can tell the interviewer that you have
some knowledge in computers on how to automate calculations as a way of overcoming your
weakness.
3
You can also use a weakness that can be turned into strength. For example, you can say that because
you are eager to get things done very quickly you may say you are working on being more patient. In
tackling the problem, you try to reconsider your to-do list and find it effective in task prioritization.
4

List of weaknesses

Impatience

Being impatient with co-workers on their standard


of performance or that their pace is slower than
your expectation.

Over-talkative

These people are always a distraction to others


and are constantly being distracted. They are not
discreet and are almost never at their desks.

Unassertive

They agree on anything and with everyone despite


what they feel on the topic and so they are
constantly being used by others. They are not able
to say No.

Stubborn/
Uncompromising

They find it difficult to adapt to changes and are


not flexible. They dont accept new ideas and
communication is often one way.

Procrastination

Always rushing to complete tasks the last minute.


Missing or postponing deadlines and always
asking for help in finishing tasks. Often exhibit
low productivity.

Reluctance to share/
Delegate tasks

Such people dont share tasks and they dont have


confidence in coworkers, they dont utilize the
resources and skills of others fully and are
constantly checking up on coworkers.

Controlling/ Strongwilled

Such people on achieving their goals are singleminded and they dont accept direction easily.
When it comes to the needs or feelings of others,
they can be insensitive as they want to take
charge.

Being too sensitive

This is more like thinking with your heart rather


than your head. One gets too disappointed and
takes things personally.

Being a debater

An individual becomes too passionate with work


and for any changes they require a reason. It can
be good for a project or product, but it might not
sit well with others.

Lack of some skills

No person has all the requisite skills for the job


profile. There is no one person who has all the
skills for the job. Just show them your willingness
and ability to learn.

Part 3: How to Answer "Describe Your List of Strengths and


Weaknesses" in Interview
1

Be honest

This is key during an interview. Be honest with your strengths and weaknesses. Although there are
those answers that seem appropriate for the question
2

Pick the right one


When applying for a job, look at the requirements. Factor in your personal strengths that are needed
in the position youre applying for. Alternatively, choose weaknesses that are minor enough to least
impact your job.
3

Answer the question


We all have strengths and weaknesses and your potential employer is well aware of this. So dont be
ashamed to mention your weaknesses, and at the same time dont be too arrogant or proud in
describing your strengths and never say you dont have any.
4

Dont blame anyone


One of the most admirable qualities is taking responsibility. When youre required to explain a
weakness, do so without pointing fingers. Deal with your personal weakness in a responsible way
without assigning blame.
5

Beware of TMI (too much information) syndrome


During an interview one should know when he/she is revealing a little bit more than they should, and
this can make the interviewer question your judgment. So it would be best to save the stories on
dating coworkers and the dangers of cocktails before board meetings for your friends.
6

Keep it work-related
Try as much as possible to talk about the job in place and your performance and keep it work related.
Stay on topic and give relevant answers. You do not want to be remembered as the person who has 7
cats all named after famous Hollywood sensations.