How to Answer “What are your Strengths and Weaknesses” Question for Autistic Job-seekers
It’s a question in nearly every interview: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Often, it can feel like a bit of a loaded question. How can you answer it without sounding abrasive or untrustworthy? Should you say your biggest strength is that you’re a fast learner? Should you be humble and list a few areas you could work on? For job-seekers that are autistic, this question can be even more challenging. On the one hand, you want to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. But again, you don’t want to give the impression that you’re incapable of doing the job. So how can you answer the question in a way that will impress your potential employer? Here are a few tips:
1. Recall your past successful moments
It makes it much more flawless to identify your strengths if you think about a time when you’ve excelled. It doesn’t matter whether it was back in high school when you made the winning shot in writing a difficult paper or, more recently, when you prevented a fight from happening at home or work. The main idea is that each successful moment reflects one or two of your strength. Perhaps you strive to meet deadlines, love teamwork, dislike violence, and so on. Simply recall as many moments as you can, when you presented in the classroom, and people clapped, when the teacher applauded you, or when the neighbour said you did a great job keeping the compound beautiful.
2. Answer your weakness but connect it self improvement
Don’t be afraid to say you’re having some challenges in a certain area. It shows that you’re honest and can self-reflect. However, you want to make sure you end on a positive note. For example, if you say your weakness is that you sometimes have trouble staying organized, you can follow up with how you’ve been working on it by using a planner or setting reminders on your phone. This shows that you’re aware of your weaknesses and are taking steps to improve them.
3. Don’t forget to be specific
When listing your strengths, it’s important to be as specific as possible. If you give answers such as “I’m a fast learner” or “I’m good with people,” your potential employer won’t have a clear idea of what you bring to the table. Instead, give examples of times you’ve used these strengths to your advantage. For instance, say something like, “I’m a keen listener when talking to people, people think i’m good with customer service, and I have been praised for my excellent organizational skills.” This would give your potential employer a better idea of what to expect from you if they hire you.
4. Practice makes perfect
As with anything else, practice makes perfect. If you’re unsure how to answer the question, it’s helpful to ask a friend or family member to help you brainstorm. Tell them to assume the role of a potential employer and ask you the question. This will help you get used to hearing it and thinking on your feet.
With these tips, you’ll brilliantly answer the question “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” in your next job interview. Remember to be specific, connect your weaknesses to self-improvement, and practice confidently before going into the interview. Good luck!