If I were to interview those who report to you, what would they say is one strength, and one weakness of yours, as a leader?
This question is a slightly more indirect way to ask your strengths, and weaknesses because the interviewer is looking for your opinion from your team's perspective. Have you ever asked for feedback on your leadership style? Think back to your performance reviews with your leadership, or perhaps you have had comments from your team, in passing, regarding things they are thankful for about you. When you mention your weakness, be sure to express what you have been doing to improve upon that weakness. When you think of your strengths, you should relate them to the needs of the employer, according to the job description.
Here are some examples of unique strengths and weaknesses:
- Strong knowledge in a significant software program, used in this role.
- Ability to be objective or to take feedback.
- Disciplined and able to meet the most stringent deadlines.
- Perfectionism, internalized, AKA: being too tough on yourself.
- User level in a particular software program.
- Trying always to find solutions that make everyone happy (impossible!).
"If asked, I believe that my team would say that I am a bit tough on myself when it comes to the expectation level that I put on myself. I am a bit of a perfectionist but am working on relaxing that a touch by letting the smaller, unimportant details go. My strength is in my knowledge of my team. I take the time to get to know every one of them, resulting in an excellent teamwork environment."
"I believe that my current team would say that I am often trying to make everyone happy. It's an endless, and impossible pursuit, so I am working hard to shake that mentality. I recently picked up a couple of leadership books and will be getting some pointers from them as well. One of my strong points is my ability to research and respond when I know I lack a particular skill."
"I am a highly experienced manager, and with that, sometimes comes the habit of breezing over certain parts of employee training, because I assume the incumbent knows the topic well. I need to slow down and be more thorough when it comes to particular topics. I am solid in the XYZ industry; however, and have mentored many who have become high-level performers in this industry."
"I have a tendency of trying to make everyone one, which is like chasing the wind. They would agree on my ability to bring them together to form a strong team."
Try reformatting for better understanding.
"If you were to interview past direct reports, they would share that my strength is my ability to unify a team and work together towards a shared vision. My strength has also been a liability, as I have spent too much time investing in individuals unwilling to align with the team's goals. This has improved over time."
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"If they were to chose just one strength, it would be that I can be counted on to provide honest feedback. In contrast, one weakness would be that I have a tendency to take on too much at once."
I like this strength because it's a skill that many people struggle with...providing honest feedback. Try offering a weakness that is less common or typical and then follow that up with what you are doing to improve on that skill.
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