This article is part of a series that highlights key themes from our student library – a collection of documents that helps you navigate updating your resume, preparing for interviews, and meeting with future employers. Sign up for Vocate and receive full access to our student library. These short posts provide a snippet of our resources that can help you unlock your potential.
How to present your strengths and weaknesses:
One of the most frequently asked questions during an interview is what your strengths and weaknesses are. So, not only will critically thinking about these attributes help impress a future employer with a comprehensive response, but will also help you realize your ideal career environment.
Evaluating strengths is the fun part of this process. Highlight a few of your past accomplishments and unpack all the factors and actions that went into your personal success. Framing strengths in the context of a story helps you organize key attributes in an organic manner, easy for the interviewer to understand. Be sure to phrase your strengths in an appealing way – you don’t want to sell yourself short. Ultimately, going into an interview, you should have three broader strengths already identified that you can describe through the experience of a personal story.
Weaknesses are not as fun, and often times, not as easy to assess. However, it is critical that you have three prepared to discuss with an interviewer. Your thought process here is similar to identifying strengths. Reflect back to a time when you failed, unpack the experience, think about traits you could have improved, then think of ways to overcome this weakness. The last part of this process is absolutely vital. You must identify a means of improving and working through a weakness. This will prove to a future employer that not only are you human, but you are also constantly putting forth great effort to reach your potential. Similar to how you presented your strengths, frame these weaknesses in the context of a story to help narrate your attributes to an interviewer.
For examples, what not to do, and thorough steps in preparing for this aspect of your interview sign up for Vocate.