Successful candidate is one who comes to the interview with a strategy in mind and is prepared to think on their feet.
If you find yourself in a situation where the interviewer asks you "What are your strengths and weaknesses" at the same time, make sure to always start with your weaknesses and end with your strengths.
The absolute best way to answer this question is to assume before you even get to the interview that it's going to come up which means doing your homework ahead of time.
You need to let them know that you are fully capable of doing the job you're being hired to perform and that you are the best person, the perfect candidate for the position. You want them to know that by hiring you they're getting someone with the qualities, skills and experience that will not only make you an excellent part of the team, but also sets you apart from any other potential candidates.
For weaknesses, it is best to point out the weaknesses that you have worked upon to overcome, and those that can also be looked at as strengths.
Sample 1: I like everything to be perfect and I tend to spend a lot of time revieweing things, as I prefer quality over quantity. However, over the course of time I have learnt how to strike a balance and plan things, so that everything is done correctly in one go. This saves me a lot of time.
Sample 2: Due to a time crunch, I used to make an appointment at the last moment. However, I realized that taking 10 minutes out to plan everything and scheduling in advance makes the process much smoother.
Sample 3: I would spend a lot of time on doing my work because I like to keep a check on everything personally rather than delegating the work. Although I have never missed a deadline, I realized that by delegating the work it is possible for me to get 3 tasks completed instead of one.
For strengths, you need to explicitly point out the traits which you want the interviewer to see in you. Also, you could mention personality traits along with academic and professional strengths.
Sample 1: I have an extremely strong work ethic. When I'm working on a project, I don't want to just meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule. Last year, I even earned a bonus for completing three reports one week ahead of time.
Sample 2: I pay strong attention to detail and have extremely strong writing skills. I have worked on a variety of short term projects so I know how to fit my content according to the audience. As a Marketing assistant, I will be able to write and edit press releases with accuracy and ease.
Sample 3: I have over ten years of experience and ever since I started working, I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and earned a bonus each year.
Sample 4: With five years of experience as a customer service associate, I have learned to effectively understand and resolve customer issues. On a related note, I also have strong communication skills, which helps me work well with customers, team members, and executives. I am known for being an effective team member with a talent for giving presentations.
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