This is a classic interview question. People used it in the very beginning of professional recruitment, when they, honestly speaking, did not really know what they were doing. And we still use it today, and likely it will scare job applicants in fifty years from now…
Modern HR managers should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses without asking you for help. On the other hand, the person leading your interview does not have to be an HR professional. They can be a manager, small business owner, or anyone with little to none knowledge of interviewing people. In such a case this question makes sense. So, what to answer?
Essential strength and inessential weakness
Each of us has some weaknesses. However, they do not necessarily matter for a job of a secretary (or at least they are not vital for this role). I suggest you to think about your personality, and choose the most relevant strengths and weaknesses that do not matter much for this particular job.
You can even pick a weakness that can be considered strength by some people. For example being over-friendly. Let’s have a look at some good answers.
I have a tendency to be over-friendly with people, what is not always good. Some clients may not like it, and I know I should be more professional in work. From my strengths I can mention good communication skills, and an ability to work quickly. I am focused when working, which results in high proficiency and efficiency. My time management is pretty decent as well.
I would say I am a good team player, and a hard worker. I am also very responsible, what I believe it important for a good secretary. From my weaknesses, I would say I am not really good in managing people. I prefer getting orders, not giving them.
Each of us has some weaknesses. Do not be afraid to talk about them in your interview. You can elaborate on that, saying how you try to improve on your weakness. Such an answer presents you as someone conscious of their abilities, someone who constantly tries to improve as a person, and as an employee. And that is exactly the impression you want to make on your interviewers.