What are your strengths and weaknesses?


Many people are afraid of this particular question. We do not like to speak about our weaknesses. What is more, many of us do not even know our own weaknesses.

Young principal applicant sitting at the computer

But there is no reason to be afraid. After all, it goes about one of the starting questions, the ice-breakers. Interviewers are (or at least they should be) capable of recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, without a need to inquire about them.

They may actually use this questions to see whether you are humble, whether you can admit your mistakes, and whether you can assess the strengths and weaknesses of other people. Just think about it: A person who did not manage to list their own strengths would likely struggle identifying the strengths and weaknesses of other people (students, teachers, etc).

Pick relevant strengths and inessential weaknesses

You should choose some strengths that are relevant for the job of an assistant principal. For example:

  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Responsibility and loyalty
  • Good understanding for the others and their problems
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Management skills

Think for a while about your experience and personality. Try to identify your strengths and ask yourself whether they are relevant. Prepare a short answer and learn it for your interview.

Tell them about your efforts to improve

school sign

Each of us has some weaknesses. To tell the interviewers that you have no weaknesses would be a mistake, and most of the time they would not hire you if you did so. Nonetheless, you should pick a weakness that is not essential for the job.

Look at the list of strengths one more time. Any of these abilities should not appear on your list of  weaknesses. For example bad communication skills, or weak organization skills, could easily jeopardize your chances in an interview.

Other weaknesses, e.g being over-friendly with students, or impatient in work, are much better. Some interviewers may actually consider them your strengths.

Most importantly, mention your efforts to improve. Each of us has some weaknesses–so do I. But the difference between average and exceptional employees is that the exceptional people can admit their weaknesses, and they strive to improve on them.

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