This question belongs to the most common in an interview. They use it everywhere. Inexperienced HR managers use it to learn something about your weaknesses. And sometimes they use it simply because it can be found on the majority of interview templates. They follow no special intentions with it…
However, the experienced recruiters have another reason to use it. Of course, they are able to assess your strengths and weaknesses without inquiring about it. That’s their specialty, the skill they get their salary for. But they use this question to check your trustworthiness and humility, to see if you can assess and admit your own weaknesses.
Do not be afraid to talk about weaknesses
Humble employee is a good employee. You should feel free to talk about your weaknesses in an interview. After all, interviewer is aware of it, doesn’t matter if you talk about it or not… Therefore, try to be honest. But do not stop there. Elaborate on your answer, explaining what you do to improve on your weakness. That is an attitude of a responsible assistant, an attitude all interviewers seek in the applicants.
We all have weaknesses… But just some of us are able to admit it and do something to improve on it.
Job related strengths and weaknesses that does not matter much
Administrative assistant does not have to be an excellent manager or leader. She neither needs to be the smartest person in an office. All these things may be important for other employees, but not for her. So, if you believe to be talking to an inexperienced recruiter, someone who is unable to asses your weaknesses on his own, then you should pick a weakness that simply isn’t important.
Having said that, you should choose a strength that is somehow related to the job, for example being patient, responsible, detail oriented, having an ability to typewrite, great computer skills, and so on. Let’s have a look at sample answers.
I can work pretty quickly with computer and typewrite decently too, and I enjoy doing it. I am a detail oriented person and just rarely do any mistakes in work. I consider communication skills as my biggest weakness… I know it matters everywhere and do my best to improve on it, attending discussion classes and reading literature.
People say that I am very responsible. I am always on time. My level of motivation is high all the time, doesn’t matter if we speak about work or any other activity I do in my free time. On the other hand, I know I should work on my management skills a little bit, because I sometimes find myself in a situation when I do not manage everything in time.
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- Do you have any experience with multitasking?
- Can you work with MS Office? How would you rate your skills?