What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

You have probably some experience with answering this question. It is a typical one. However, it has a special meaning in an interview for human resources positions. Recruiters do not ask it to find out what your own strengths and weaknesses are. They are paid for an ability to be able to uncover it on their own… They ask it to see if you can assess yourself and clearly define your strong and weak points.

If you can not assess your own abilities, how could you assess the strengths and weaknesses of the others? How would you be able to say if someone is motivated for the job or not, if someone struggles? You simply need this ability while working in HR and therefor you should be able to name your own strengths and weaknesses honestly and without hesitation.

 

She speaks about her strengths and weaknessesSpeak as an HR employee would speak

Instead of just listing your strengths and weaknesses, elaborate on each one saying how it is relevant for the job you apply for, if it influences your suitability for the role and if you work on the improvement on it. Doing so, you think and speak as a good HR employee would. Interviewers will get a feeling that you have the right personality for this job – what is priceless.

However, do not caught yourself in the trap! You should speak mostly about weaknesses that are not so important for this job. Otherwise, it could happen that you accidentally convince the interviewers that you can assess the weaknesses of the others, but at the same time you sink yourself, declaring that you have too many weaknesses relevant for the job…  After all, I would suggest you to be more focused on the strong points. If you speak about weaknesses, it is better to always explain how you try to improve on it.

Sample answer

Well, I have good understanding of the others and can read people well, in terms of both skills and emotions. From my point of view, this is a crucial ability for a good HR worker. My communication skills are also good, at least based on my experience. I was always able to communicate any problem or conflict with the others. This also matters for HR worker and I thought a lot about it when choosing my career. Based on my experience with leading small teams, I believe to be able to motivate the others and make them interested in their job.

From my weaknesses I would say I am not good with computers. However, I try to improve on it as I understand computers belong to every workplace and one should be able to work with it fast and without struggles. I attend evening courses and also practice a lot at home, to improve on my skills.

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