Job interviews are a chance for you and the employer to become acquainted, and decide if you’re a good fit for one another. This means they’re going to ask some hard questions, including having you describe your strengths and weaknesses.

Offering insights on the former might make you feel boastful while sharing your weaknesses can put you in a tricky situation. Here’s some advice to help you answer this question with ease.

Tell the Truth

The interviewer wants to know where you shine and what areas you could improve, so be honest. Confidently describe your top strengths, without bragging about them. As for weaknesses, be genuine about a shortcoming or two related to the job. Attempting to position a strength as a weakness — i.e., “I’m too organized” — will not impress the interviewer, because they can see right through this tired strategy.

Add Context

Saying you have a particular strength or weakness is fine, but it doesn’t drive your point home. Telling a story adds context and helps the interviewer better understand where you’re coming from. For example, instead of simply saying you’re a hard worker, tell them about a time you worked late for a week straight to help an employer meet a tight deadline.

Get to the Point

The interviewer wants an overview of your strengths and weaknesses — not a long-drawn-out saga. Neatly summarize one or two main points, then move on. There’s no need for this question to occupy half the interview. In this case, the quality of your response is much better than the number of items noted.

Try Not to Stress

Discussing your strengths and weaknesses with a potential employer can be very nerve-wracking. You want to present yourself in the best possible manner, so it’s easy to obsess over the right way to answer this question. The thing is, job interviews are filled with questions, and this is just one of them. Putting too much pressure on yourself is unnecessary because this question alone will probably not make or break your chances of getting hired.

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