50 Examples of Strengths and Weaknesses to Use in a Job Interview

Examples of strengths and weaknesses

What is your greatest strength? What are your weaknesses?

Tell me three strengths and three weaknesses of yours...

The question about professional strengths and weaknesses is a job interview classic. But do you worry you might be lost for words?

You may be asking yourself:

How can I come up with some really convincing strengths and weaknesses?

Well, here's your answer: a ready-made list of 50 strengths and weaknesses (with concrete, practical examples).

Take a look right now at these examples of strengths and weaknesses and pick out the ones that work best for you!

List of qualities and defects for job interview

So, 50 strengths and weaknesses await you (25 strong points and 25 weak points). That all?

Actually, no:

There are plenty of lists of strengths and weaknesses out there. But as they really are just that - lists - they're not really all that practical.

That's why we have decided to give you something more:

Every strength and weakness comes with a brief explanation clarifying the meaning of the term.

But that's just the beginning.

What's more, we've come up with a practical example you can use in your answer, which you can find under each strength or weakness.

This means you can use our list straight away. And when you're asked about your strengths and weaknesses (it's still one of the 100 most common job interview questions), you'll know exactly what to answer.

Want to know the best part?

Because we're nice like that, we've even added a bonus section at the end…

So don't waste any more time - get looking for your greatest strengths right away!

25 Strengths Ready for Use at Your Next Job Interview [with Concrete Examples]

Examples of strengths

We have chosen 25 personal strengths that will help you ace your next job interview.

For each one, there is a brief explanation to help you match the strengths with your own personal and professional qualities, plus a concrete example.

Sounds good?

And if you want to be sure you use your strengths in the best possible way, read our article on how to answer the strengths job interview question.

#1 - Passionate

When enthusiasm casts its spell on you, you feel supercharged and capable of doing anything. You throw every ounce of yourself into what you do.

Answer example:

My favourite quote is “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I try to apply this rule on a daily basis as it's a real source of motivation for me. Take the time when…

#2 – Enterprising

You're always full of ideas and know how to turn them into reality. Your actions show spirit of initiative.

Answer example:

My main strength is my ability to get moving and kick-start others into action. Any project, no matter how well-designed, is useless if isn't followed through. That's why I've always got a whole load of projects on the go. Take the time...

#3 – Reliable

The people around you know they can always count on you. You finish the work you are assigned and never let people down.

Answer example:

I'm the person that gets assigned the most awkward jobs, because my colleagues and supervisors know they can trust me. I think everybody started to appreciate this key quality of mine when... 

Question about positive qualities in job interview

#4 – Creative

The beaten track holds no interest for you. Instead, your mind forges new paths into unchartered territory.

[A word of warning: “creative” continues to be one of the most commonly used words in professional profiles. So use it only if it really is one of your main qualities.]

Answer example:

My greatest strength? Being able to think in a different way to everyone else. I'm not lacking in common sense, but I definitely feel more at home when I'm trying to do something radically different. This has proved useful at work on a number of occasions...

#5 – Consistency

Sprints might not be your thing, but over long distances nobody can live with you. Once you hit your groove, nothing affects your performance levels.

Answer example:

Consistency is one of my strengths: I always complete the projects assigned to me not because I'm the one who gets through the most work in a day, but simply because there's never a day when I do less than the day before...

#6 – Patience

Undeterred by failure and unaffected by others losing their cool, yours is truly the patience of a saint.

Answer example:

As a very calm, thoughtful person, I'm well acquainted with the virtues of patience. So when we got a group of really angry customers, I volunteered to take care of them and managed to get the best out of what was a very difficult situation.

#7 – Versatile

You're able to deal with a range of different situations and still come out on top. You approach new challenges safe in the knowledge that you will be able to perform at your best, whatever the circumstances.

Answer example:

Without a doubt, one of my main qualities is my versatility: I've taken on a number of fairly varied roles and have always managed to successfully adapt to the specific circumstances. There was one time in particular...

Professional strengths

#8 – Ambitious

You're driven by success. It's what you desire and you will do whatever it takes to achieve it.

Answer example:

Ambition is a part of me, in fact I see it as one of my key strengths. I align my personal goals with the needs of the company; my natural ambition drives me to always achieve the set objectives. A concrete example of how this has benefited me was when...

#9 – Determined

Once you've identified a goal, you reach it no matter what the cost. There's nothing that can stop you from finishing what you start: you possess granite-like willpower.

Answer example:

My greatest quality is that I never let difficulties get in my way. I carried on undeterred even when...

#10 – Self-starter

You don't need somebody constantly telling you what to do. You know what you have to do and are able to complete your work on your own initiative.

Answer example:

I would say my main strength is my ability to self-start. Experience has shown me that the ability to manage your own time and objectives as you work towards a final goal is a huge advantage, not just personally but for the whole team. For example...

Personal qualities

#11 – Calm and Composed

No matter what is happening around you, you never lose your calm. Even in the middle of a major crisis you keep your composure, because you know that acting hastily is never advisable.

Answer example:

The ability to remain calm is one of my key professional strengths. People admire me for being able to deal with difficult situations that other colleagues with a more fiery temperament are unable to handle. Take, for example, all the customers I have successfully managed...

#12 – Charisma

You were born to lead. When you speak, others listen. You inspire others through your words and your actions.

Answer example:

I'm naturally good at getting the best out of people. As a result, people are happy for me to lead them. An obvious example of this was during the last company event, when...

#13 Strength and Weakness – Competitive

If you don't have a goal to reach, or somebody to compare yourself with as you work towards it, you feel like something important is missing. Competition brings out the best in you.

Answer example:

Once I had a project in which I was the only participant. My performance was barely half what it normally is when I have others to compare myself with. That was when I realized that my true strength is my competitive nature...

#14 – Rational

You are objective and don't let emotions affect your decisions. People can always count on you and your ability to be impartial.

Answer example:

My strength is my ability to be rational: when everybody else is letting their emotions get the better of them, I stay focused. For example, there was the time when everyone wanted….

Example of a professional quality

#15 – Efficiency

You work quickly and your results are always excellent. Once you get started, you function like clockwork.

Answer example:

I work out how to achieve success in a specific situation by applying a series of tried-and-tested processes. So I would say one of my key strengths is my efficiency. I've got plenty of examples to back this up, for instance...

#16 – Curiosity

When you were little you never stopped asking questions. And now you're grown up, you haven't changed a bit. You're never content with what you already know and always want to find out something more.

Answer example:

My stand-out quality and the strength that has helped me most at work is my curiosity. For me, being curious means never being satisfied with what you know - always wanting to take it that bit further. And the more you know, the more options you have when it comes to taking a decision. This proved particularly useful when...

#17 – Courteous and Well-mannered

There is no situation, no matter how formal or important, that can put you off your game. You never embarrass yourself or the company you are representing.

Answer example:

There is no form of human interaction that can function without courtesy and good manners - it really is the foundation of every relationship. And what is a sale after all if not a relationship between customer and company? To be a successful salesperson, you need to be courteous and respectful, which is why I have worked on this and turned it into a key strength. For example...

#18 Strength and Weakness – Perfectionist

There's not a single detail of your work which isn't exactly the way you planned it. You aren't satisfied with anything less than 100% perfection.

Answer example:

I demand the best from the people around me and above all from myself. Being a perfectionist has never been a problem, though. In fact, it's one of my key strengths. Take, for example, the time...

Three strengths for job interview

#19 – Good Listener

There's a huge difference between hearing and listening and nobody knows this better than you; you seem to effortlessly understand people's needs.

Answer example:

There's no dialogue if nobody listens. That's obvious enough at a personal level, but I've also realized just how important the ability to listen is at work. Which is why I see my skills as a listener as bringing great added value. It certainly helped when...

#20 – Organized

You are able to organize your work so that nothing escapes your attention and always assign tasks their appropriate level of priority.

Answer example:

I believe that organization is critical for any successful project, which is why I have worked hard to make the ability to organize one of my greatest strengths. My professional career contains numerous examples of the benefits of this quality...

#21 Strength and Weakness – Critical

You are always probing beneath the surface of things, looking for hidden motives to subject to critical scrutiny. You know that reality is never as simple as it seems and love trying to figure out what's really going on.

Answer example:

I'm unable to accept things at face value. Facile explanations don't satisfy me. Saying something is a certain way “because it is” just doesn't cut it for me. Everybody sees this as one of my strengths - this critical nature which makes me continually call things into question, including myself. It brings huge benefits though...

Question about three professional strengths

#22 – Problem Solver

You analyze the lie of the land and find the most suitable solution for every situation. Where others see problems, you see solutions.

Answer example:

I have an original way of looking at and solving problems. It's definitely one of my main strengths. For example there was the time when nobody could work out...

#23 – Collaborative

You know that the team performance is much more important than that of any one individual. You're willing to work with others, socializing and sharing and creating a climate conducive to team-work.

Answer example:

I would definitely choose the ability to build a rapport and work as part of a team as one of my strengths. I could reel off a whole host of examples from my professional career to back this up. For example...

#24 – Altruist

You put the interests of others before your own and are happy to do something useful for somebody else. You're willing to lend a hand to anybody who asks you, without hesitation.

Answer example:

I think the true strength of a person lies in the people around them and in the way they help each other out mutually. That's why one of the aspects of my personality I would like to draw your attention to is my altruism, which has helped me on a number of occasions during my career...

Reply about strengths of a person

#25 – Empathy

You are able to naturally connect with and understand the people you come into contact with, even without speaking to them.

Answer example:

Any list of strengths should begin with empathy, which is exactly how mine begins. Connecting with other people and communicating with them without words is a quality others say I have and it's one I have learnt to take advantage of...

And that 25th strength completes our list of strengths to mention in a job interview.

Meaning it's time to move on to the list of weaknesses...

25 Examples of Weaknesses to Use at a Job Interview [List of ‘Good' Weaknesses]

Examples of weaknesses

What are ‘good' weaknesses for a job interview?

You'll notice straight away that some of the weaknesses were also in the list of strengths.

You may wonder why.

That's because sometimes there's a fine line between strengths and weaknesses. Some qualities, taken to the extreme, can become weaknesses.

As with the strengths, each weakness is accompanied by a brief description to help you decide whether that particular flaw suits you or not.

The description is followed by a concrete example of each weakness.

Imagine you've just been asked to talk about a weakness. How would you go about replying?

Don't worry: here's the solution.

And to get the most out of this list of examples, make sure you read our article on replying to questions about your weaknesses!

#1 Strength and Weakness – Competitive

You only work well if there is a goal to be reached or somebody to beat. But the climate at work can suffer from your fierce competitiveness.

How to answer:

I tend to let myself be drawn into competition with my colleagues. To begin with it was a fault I wasn't aware of, but then somebody pointed out that it was becoming a problem so I took note and began to work on it...

#2 – Stubborn

Headstrong and determined, nothing can change your mind once you have taken a decision. You find it hard to admit you have made a mistake and will often persevere with a course of action even when it isn't appropriate.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I'm stubborn. I find it hard to abandon a decision or goal once I've set my mind on it. But I've realized how difficult this was to deal with and so...

#3 – Impulsive

You tend to act quickly without reflecting too much. But this prevents you from thinking through the consequences of your choices properly.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I'm too hasty. I'm essentially an impulsive person and act naturally without reflecting too much on where a certain choice will lead. But I've realized that this can cause mistakes and so...

List of weaknesses for job interview

#4 Strength and Weakness – Critical

You call absolutely everything into question. Sometimes you're right, but you can take things too far and this may hinder your work and that of your colleagues.

How to answer:

One weakness I'm working on is my tendency to analyse every single decision and situation. I've realized that while sometimes it may allow me to identify and fix problems before they even arise, at other times it can hinder the efficiency of work processes that have already been agreed upon...

#5 – Indecisive

You're never sure about anything. Chronic indecision and constant changes of mind make you incapable of following through with a decision without having second thoughts.

How to answer:

I'm not sure which of my weaknesses has the biggest impact on my work… although, come to think of it, indecision is probably the one: if I'm given too much responsibility for making decisions, I'm racked by doubts. I've discovered though a strategy that helps...

#6 – Chaotic

You're unable to organize things the way you want (and need) to and are surrounded by an air of chaos. You have a habit, in the midst of all the confusion, of losing track of, or forgetting important items or appointments.

How to answer:

Organization is not exactly my strongest suit. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that disorganization is my biggest weakness. In the past I found it hard to keep it in check. I would tell myself that “you need to have chaos in yourself to give birth to a dancing star”. But I've realized that too much chaos can be a problem, so I decided to deal with it by...

Professional weaknesses

#7 – Lateness

Your alarm clock is your sworn enemy. Whether it's an appointment or a project deadline, you struggle to make it for the agreed time.

How to answer:

I never forget to reply to an email, turn up to an appointment or deliver an assignment, but I don't always manage to do it within the assigned time period. However, I've found I can curb this tendency and meet deadlines better if I...

#8 Strength and Weakness – Perfectionist

You're only happy when something is perfect. This means you are often unsatisfied, because you don't have time to do things as well as you would like.

How to answer:

It's difficult for me to close out a project if I know that there are aspects that can be improved on. After all, if they can be improved, why not do it? So that's where my perfectionism works against me. I know, however, that there are times when it's more important to have a finished but imperfect project than a perfect project which hasn't been started, so...

#9 – Verbosity

Words come easy to you. What's harder is stopping them. You're incapable of expressing yourself briefly or succinctly and staying on topic can sometimes prove a challenge.

How to answer:

I enjoy talking and discussing and am never short of a topic for conversation. But this can become a problem in situations where it's best to keep the chat to a minimum. It's not that I can't do it, just that I find it a pain to have to restrain myself. In any case, I've managed to strike a happy medium by...

#10 – Distracted

You're such a multi-tasker that you're unable to focus on what you're doing at any given moment and your short-term attention span means it's never long before you're thinking about something else.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I'm easily distracted. At the company I work for, this proved a problem because the working environment is very chaotic and I personally found this hard to deal with. But I managed to get by, and my attention level even improved...

List of personal weaknesses

#11 – Introverted

You enjoy your own company so much that you find it difficult to be around others. It takes time for you to build a rapport with your colleagues and the thought of speaking at a meeting sends you into a cold sweat.

How to answer:

If I had to choose a weakness, it would probably be that I'm an introvert. Having seen the benefits but also the limitations it brings, I view this characteristic as both a strength and a weakness. However, to make sure I'm not hampered by the limitations and to step outside my comfort zone, I've decided to...

#12 – Impatient

You're unable to dedicate time to yourself or to others. This makes you rush things, and in your haste, you overlook details and the quality of your work suffers as a consequence.

How to answer:

Impatience is a weakness of mine. I've made mistakes in the past because of my inability to take sufficient time to sit and reflect. But I've learned from this to...

Example of a professional weakness

#13 – Passive

You feel unable to take the initiative, or else wait for others to do it for you. Rather than responding promptly to outside input, you simply experience it passively.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I personally find it difficult to respond to external input and generally prefer to wait for others to make decisions rather than actively taking them myself. I've realized though that this was becoming a weakness at work and was holding me back, so I...

#14 – Sensitive

You take literally everything to heart, no matter what the situation, and tend to lead with your heart more than your head. At times you lack clarity of thought and if something goes wrong, you take it personally.

How to answer:

I'm not always able to separate my emotions from my work and this has an effect on my ability to think clearly. Being overly sensitive was a problem until I decided to find a way of managing it...

#15 – Conventional

The way you see it, things should always stay the same. Once you've got used to a certain way of doing things, you find it difficult to imagine another way of doing them. And if you were asked to do something creative, you wouldn't know where to begin.

How to answer:

I like well-established, conventional ways of doing things. I realized how much this had become a weakness when our procedures were revised and I had trouble adapting. That prompted me to...

Personal weaknesses points of a person at interview

#16 – Undisciplined

If somebody tells you to do something in a certain way, you nod and then do things the way you want. You don't like following orders and prefer to decide for yourself.

How to answer:

My list of weaknesses definitely includes problems following instructions. I find it humiliating having somebody always telling me what to do. On occasions, this has led me to putting my foot down and doing things my own way. I found, however, that what helped me a lot...

#17 – Anxious

You experience everything as if it was an attack on your peace of mind. You're in a constant state of anxiety and the stress is causing you psychological damage.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is the anxiety that certain work situations cause me. Speaking at an official meeting was for a long time an insurmountable challenge for me until I...

#18 – Overbearing

You're sure that your point of view is the right one and try to impose it on others. You have no qualms about disregarding the ideas and thoughts of others to make sure that your own prevail.

How to answer:

In discussions, people have mentioned to me that I tend to push my own point of view at the expense of those of others. This is definitely one of my defects. But since I'm aware of it, I'm careful to...

Question about three professional weaknesses

#19 – Selfish

You're unable to do something for someone else disinterestedly and instead seek personal gain at every opportunity. Your principal concern is yourself.

How to answer:

I find it hard to empathize with the needs of others if they are in contrast with my own. To combat this weakness of mine I have started to...

#20 – Procrastinator

“Never do today what you can do tomorrow” is your own personal motto. Although to be honest, you're fairly sure there'll be time the day after tomorrow, too!

How to answer:

My biggest weakness is putting things off. It never seems the right time to do something - there's always a better moment just around the corner. But careful organization and more structure is helping me improve...

#21 – Control freak

You micromanage every little detail to make sure absolutely everything goes according to plan and find it difficult to allow others to act independently.

How to answer:

I am fanatical about organization and control, but realized it was really a weakness and that my need for control was becoming a prison of my own making. So I decided to break free...

#22 – Slow

You take forever to do things - or at least longer than you would like. You can't understand how the time manages to pass so quickly and end up working like a maniac to complete the tasks you were assigned.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I'm slow. I'm a very pensive type of person and struggle if I'm told the goal of a project is speed, not quality. But I've now worked out how to handle these situations...

#23 – Indifferent

As far as you're concerned, one opinion is as good as another. Nothing can get you off that neutral fence upon which you sit, while the unbridled enthusiasm of others leaves you unmoved.

How to answer:

One of my weaknesses is that I find it difficult to share other people's emotions. It takes me time to get involved in something, but I've realized I can overcome this if...

Reply about weak points of a person

#24 – Intolerant

You are unable to tolerate opinions that diverge from your own. You find it difficult to work with people who see things differently to you and rebuff all efforts to mediate.

How to answer:

I find it much easier dealing with people who agree with my point of view or with whom I can easily identify. This weakness in my relations with other has, however, lessened ever since...

#25 – Immature

You approach everything as if it was a game, even when this is inappropriate. You're unable to adjust your behaviour to suit the circumstances, or to take situations seriously.

How to answer:

I like the fun, playful side of life, but sometimes this clashes with work requirements. This proved to be a weakness, for example, when...

That 25th defect closes our list of weaknesses to mention in a job interview, with corresponding examples.

And, as promised, here comes the bonus section...

[Bonus] The Strengths and Weaknesses You Don't Know About (But Should)

Example of strong and weak points at interview

Strengths and weaknesses are not just about personal characteristics. What you studied at school or university, or learnt through experience, might also represent an important and distinctive strength!

But here's the interesting part:

In addition to being strengths, education and experience are also, crucially, the aspects in which it is easiest to improve.

The point?

They also make excellent weaknesses. A deficiency in a specific area is one that you can remediate, showing commitment and dedication as you do so.

And if you are the kind of person who learns things quickly, well, that's another strength you shouldn't underestimated!

Let's now look at a list of strengths and weaknesses connected with your education and experience that could come in useful in a job interview!

#1 – Formal qualifications

It might seem obvious, but in the right circumstances, your qualifications could turn out to be your secret weapon.

Don't forget any training or refresher courses you may have taken or certificates you have earned. The more specific or unusual they are, the better they will help you stand out from the crowd!

Three strengths and three weaknesses to mention at interview

#2 – Foreign Languages

Every single language you know could make the difference.

It's better if you possess actual certificates proving your language skills, but experience and time spent abroad may count for even more.

On the other hand, if your knowledge of a language leaves a little to be desired, it could be an excellent weakness to say you are working on.

#3 – IT Skills

In many job interviews, information technology skills represent a key strength.

The better and more complex you skills are (it might be knowing how to use a software application or how to program in a specific language), the more important they will be.

#4 – Market Sector

Let's say you've worked for years in a given sector and have got to know it inside out - its characteristics, the customers and competitors, the overall situation and the specific details.

How many others could say the same? That's right, not many. So make the most of it!

Complete list of strengths and weaknesses for interview

So what next?

Now you've worked out what your strengths and weaknesses are, you just need to find the right opportunity to put yourself to the test:

So what are you waiting for? Start looking for potential job opportunities right away on Jobted!

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