What do you consider to be your biggest strengths and weaknesses?


Young nurse is in a middle of her first job interiewJob seekers typically do not like this question. After all, we try to sell our skills to interviewing panel, so why to talk about our weaknesses? From this common opinion we can see once again how little job seekers understand about the true goal of various interview questions…

Recruiters and interviewers (at least most of it) are qualified to assess your strengths and weaknesses in a course of a long interview. After first few questions they know how you react, communicate, if you are a good, or a bad listener, and so on. Some personal traits, such as responsibility, or detail-oriented personality, can be read directly from your resume (the way you composed it) or observed in your behavior and seen in your non-verbal communication.

Now the question is: If they can figure out my strengths and weaknesses, why do they inquire about it?

The reason is simple: To see if you are honest, if you can talk about, and admit your weaknesses. If you have healthy self confidence and simply if you can realistically assess yourself as a human being and as a nurse. Answer to this question tells much more about you as one may think…

Be honest, show willingness to improve on your weaknesses

Be honest. Do not pretend to have no weaknesses. We are human beings and every single person in the world has some weaknesses… But instead of just naming it honestly, talk about your efforts to improve on it. That’s the attitude interviewers seek in the very best job candidates.

As to your strengths, try to choose something job-related. For example being a good listener, detail-oriented nurse, responsible team player, empathic human… But again, be honest. If you struggle with communication in an interview, it makes no sense to pick communication skills for your answer… If you did so, you would lose all the credibility.

Sample Answers

Sometimes I struggle with concentration. It happens to me that I find myself thinking about something outside of work while on shift. That should not happen to me. However, I am aware of this weakness and try to work on my daily concentration. As to the strengths, people say that I am a good listener and have an ability to uncover the needs and desires of other people. Hopefully I can use it for the benefit of patients in this clinic.

I am very responsible, never late to job. I always stick to my promises. Also I believe that it is quite fun to work with me and that I bring good mood to the office with me. On the other hand, sometimes I think too much of myself, my results and reputation and I forget about the true goal of a job and human life. But I am aware of it and try to improve on my attitude to work. It’s actually better now as it was one or two years ago.

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