What’s Your Greatest Strength and Weakness?

If you're a hiring manager, you may want to know a candidate's greatest strength and/or weakness. Unfortunately, if you ask openly like this, it becomes a not-so-hot interview question. See Practice Before Interviewing. If you were to ask me about a weakness, I could answer this way, “Well, I have a tendency to work a lot before a release, because I'm so intent on making sure the product releases.” Doesn't sound so bad, eh? Except, if you don't ask me about the defects I introduce or bad decisions I make because I'm tired and have lost perspective, I've managed to turn a weakness into a strength.

I'm not the only smart person who's figured out how to turn a weakness into a strength. Instead of asking about a weakness, try one of these:

  • When was the list time you received feedback from your manager? (make sure the feedback is current) What did your manager suggest you try to improve? What actions did you take? How was that for you?
  • What's the one thing you learned from your last project? (and then see where this one goes)
  • Are there any strengths you're trying to improve on, or weaknesses you're working on? (I don't like this question much, but I did use it once, and it was useful)

I have to admit, no one ever asked me in an interview about my strengths 🙂

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