Identify your Strengths and Weaknesses
The question, 'what are your strengths and weaknesses' will come up in all interviews. And many times the answer to this question will give the interviewer the first real impression of your fit to the job. It is imperative to make a good impression during the interview and there is no better chance than when you have a direct invitation to state your strengths. However, when you do so, you should keep in mind what is the interviewer looking for and what qualities would the job require of you. In your answer you need to identify those exact strengths that best compliment the job for which you are appearing.
In order to do so effortlessly, you need to prepare well before the interview and be aware of what are the company goals overall and what the proposed job entails specifically. Strengths are classified in three main categories:
Technical skills: This include your education, and any knowledge-based skills that you have acquired, such computer skills, other languages known, additional and special training undertaken, technical qualifications, etc)
Soft skills: These include those traits you acquire from your past experience in different jobs, such as people management skills, conflict managing skills, analytical skills, planning and organizational skills, etc)
Personal skills: These are your inbuilt talent and skills, such as friendliness, dependability, good team worker, deadline oriented, etc)
Each job would need a good mix of the above strengths and based on your research on the company and job, and your actual strengths, you should give the closet package possible. To add to the impact, you should be ready to back your answer with specific examples.
Usually, the second part is about weaknesses. This is one of the more difficult questions you will face as no one really wants to own up on their weak points. However, weaknesses too can be strengths if put correctly. The key to the best answer here is to stay fixed on the positive aspect, while minimizing the trait.
For example, you could say:
'I am sometimes too much concerned with details but I have learned that delegation solves this aspect and I am using it often'.
Your weakness should come out as a problem which is almost solved not a critical and hopeless trait that cannot be helped.
In order to answer well to the question, 'what are your strengths and weaknesses' you need to practice well before the interview so that you will come across as a person who is aware of his/her plus and minus points and their application in the proposed job. At the same time the answer should not come out as too rehearsed. This is why you should be ready to back up both your strengths and weaknesses statements with real-life specific examples.
When you finish, it should leave the impression that you are a person who is overall a good fit for the job, in spite of some small shortcomings.