List of strengths and weaknesses: What to say in your interview

As a job candidate, if you're asked the question "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" in an interview, it's important to emphasize what you're good at, and minimize—but be truthful about—what you're not.

Let's say two candidates—we'll call them Francine and William—have job interviews for a customer service manager position. As always, one of the interview questions they'll be asked is about their strengths and weaknesses.

First up is Francine. When she's asked, "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" Francine responds, "My strength is that I'm a hard worker. My weakness is that I get stressed when I miss a deadline because someone else dropped the ball."

This answer is unimaginative, a no-brainer. Most people think of themselves as hard workers—who would actually admit to not being a hard worker? Also, Francine's weakness is technically not a weakness, plus she passes the buck: Someone—not her—drops the ball, which causes her to get stressed.

Now it's William's turn. He also has difficulty with the question. "I really can't think of a weakness," he begins. "Maybe I could be more focused. My strength is probably my ability to deal with people. I am pretty easygoing. I usually don't get upset easily."

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