To show confidence during a job interview, remember that your strengths and weaknesses are defined by the job you’re after

Faith WoodWe detect the confidence of others automatically, whether we think we’re perceptive or not.

Confidence is conveyed in words, posture, voice tone and gestures.

Whenever we communicate with others, our minds look for mismatches, alerting us to a person’s lack of sincerity.

Unfortunately, this can spell disaster during a job interview.

All people show and tell their inner dialogue. If we don’t believe the fabulous things we say about ourselves, neither will anyone else.

To portray greater confidence when discussing your strengths and weaknesses with a job interviewer, recognize that an attribute is a strength or weakness only in relation to a specific purpose. People view your characteristics as good or bad, depending on their perspective.

confidence job interview


You can make life easier for yourself by focusing on your characteristics and skills and letting others determine which are useful and which aren’t.

Humans don’t come with an options list like a car. You can’t order a new marketing manager with drive, determination and alloy wheels while deleting their perfectionism and impatience. Think of humans as balanced systems. Every element is there for a reason and is part of the bigger system.

Imagine during the job interview that the interviewers ask you that big question: “How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?”

No one ever quite knows how to answer. Our brains engage in a real wrestling match over how best to respond. Obviously, you don’t want to talk about your weaknesses in case you don’t get the job. So you say, “Sometimes I work too hard.” On the other hand, you can hear your parents’ voices telling you not to show off, so you feel guilty about mentioning your strengths.

This job interview question has nothing to do with strengths and weaknesses. It’s about how you answer the question, about how honest you are with yourself.

Let’s have a look at some strengths and weaknesses so you can see how this is a matter of perspective:

Strengths: driven, strong-willed, focused, team player

Weaknesses: impatient, bullish, narrow-minded, nosey

But instead of worrying about your strengths and weaknesses, think about your defining characteristics.

Create two lists on a piece of paper:

Things I like about myself: motivated

Things I don’t like about myself: hold grudges, easily distracted

After you’ve done that, take a break. Later, look at it more objectively. Imagine your best friend wrote the list. For each strength, identify the corresponding weakness, and for each weakness, identify the corresponding strength.

Things I like about myself (strengths): motivated, good memory, good at multitasking

Things I don’t like about myself (weaknesses): pushy, hold grudges, easily distracted

Now you can think of your attributes as either strengths or weaknesses, depending on how you want those traits to be perceived by others.

To know yourself, you must first accept yourself. Embrace your strengths, weaknesses, lovable traits, flaws, good side, and bad side. These are the qualities that make you unique and capable. And being competent in certain areas will naturally boost your confidence.

When you become more comfortable with all of your innate traits and understand how they work for or against you depending on the situation, you’ll be in a much better position to confidently describe your strengths and weaknesses.

Faith Wood is a professional speaker, author, and certified professional behaviour analyst. Before her career in speaking and writing, she served in law enforcement, which gave her a unique perspective on human behaviour and motivations. Faith is also known for her work as a novelist, with a focus on thrillers and suspense. Her background in law enforcement and understanding of human behaviour often play a significant role in her writing.

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