What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?” is a common interview question.
What are your advantages and disadvantages? is a typical question interviewers ask nursing candidates to find out more about their qualifications. You might have a fantastic opportunity to delve into greater detail about your professional strengths and weaknesses while answering this question. Before your next interview as a nursing student, you’ll feel more confident if you learn a few alternate ways to respond to this question. We’ve developed this post to explain why hiring managers ask about nursing students’ strengths and shortcomings, to detail how to react to this issue, and to provide examples of suitable responses in order to help you be prepared for your next interview.
Why do employers want to know a nursing student’s strengths and weaknesses?
Employers may ask about your nursing strengths and weaknesses during an interview in order to assess how you see yourself, your capacity for self-reflection, your approach to professional development, and your strengths and prospects for advancement. They may learn a lot about your personality, work habits, and problem-solving style from how you react to this question. The hiring manager may use your response to this question to determine if you would be a valuable addition to their team and whether you meet the requirements for the position.
How to deal with nursing students’ strengths and weaknesses
You can answer this interview question by taking the following actions:
1. Before the interview, come up with some preparation strategies.
First, take some time to consider your advantages and disadvantages. If you’re unsure of your strengths and weaknesses, you can use brainstorming techniques, ask for feedback from others, or get ideas from the keywords in the job description. To generate ideas, you could, for example, undertake a free writing exercise. Using this brainstorming technique, set a timer for five minutes and scribble down any ideas that occur to you on your positives and negatives. Afterward, go back and review your writing to choose instances for your interview.
Another option is to ask a trustworthy peer, professional mentor, or nursing instructor for advice on your strengths and weaknesses. You can also review the job description for more details on the specific qualities required for the role. Making use of the keywords from the job description shows that you have done your research and have given serious thought to how your qualifications compare to those needed for the position.
2. Pick a certain strength and weakness.
After developing a general list of your abilities and shortcomings, concentrate on those in your response that you can support with specific examples. By contextualizing your strengths and prospective growth areas, you can assist the interviewer better understand your talents by being detailed in your responses. You could, for example, quantify your successes to show how effectively you can apply your skills. Another option is to give a specific example of when you went above and above to help a patient during your internship.
One method for structuring your response to this question is the STAR method. STAR stands for:
By using this method, you can arrange your response in a way that resembles a narrative. You start by recounting a time when you displayed grit or overcame weakness, and then you move on to describe the work that was necessary. After establishing the situation, speak into detail about the specific steps you took to complete the assignment, either by relying on your strengths or addressing a weakness. Finish by elaborating on the impact of your activities, such as a patient who benefited or a lesson you learned.
3. Give specific examples of your strengths while focusing on your weaknesses.
When discussing your talents, give specific examples of how your traits and professional skills have benefited your patients, members of your work team, coworkers, or nursing students in your graduating class. If you can, mention any skills related to the keywords in the job description to show that you have what it takes to fill the position. Try to include both soft skills and hard skills in your response. You may, for instance, give an instance of a time when you chatted with a colleague and showed your technical knowledge.
Even while some applicants might find it difficult to share their weaknesses with a potential employer, this is a great opportunity to show that you are self-aware and dedicated to personal growth. Discuss a professional difficulty in an open and specific manner while outlining your shortcomings. Make sure to highlight your efforts to address that weakness after outlining the challenge. Specify the exact actions you have taken or plan to take to improve your skills and develop your career. This shows that you are aware of your areas of weakness and that you are willing to work very hard to develop your skills.
Examples of nursing students’ strengths and weaknesses
Here are some examples of potential nursing students’ answers to this interview question:
An example of a request for a nursing internship from a student
“In my perspective, one of my best nursing assets is my dedication to teamwork. I have less practical experience, but I still show collaboration in the classroom and in nursing simulations by planning our group’s weekly study sessions and helping my friends in those circumstances. In my opinion, strong collaboration is essential for nurses to provide patient care while supporting one another through challenges at work. Collaboration among nurses benefits the patients and medical staff they serve while also enhancing the workplace environment.
My biggest weakness at the moment is time management. Since I don’t have a lot of experience working on the floor, I sometimes question my decisions, which makes me react more slowly in some circumstances than others. Although I like to be meticulous in my job, I am aware that it is a nurse’s responsibility to act quickly in an emergency. I want to improve my time management so that I may be confident and prepared for any situation by seizing the chance to put my skills to use. I also want to observe more experienced nurses at work and learn from them.
An example of a recent graduate submitting an application for their first nursing post
My mentors and lecturers frequently praised my efficiency and organization after I had just completed my internship and graduated from nursing school. I can schedule my time effectively, complete my daily tasks quickly and precisely thanks to these skills. To feel comfortable and in control when working, I take satisfaction in keeping my work structured. When I am organized and self-assured, I can provide better care for my patients. I can also help my team by reassuring them that they can count on me.
Throughout my internship, I found it difficult to work with patients of all ages, especially the elderly. Even though I don’t have a lot of personal experience dealing with this demographic, I am aware that throughout my career I may work with a lot of older patients. To improve my communication abilities and gain experience working with this group, I intend to volunteer at the neighborhood nursing home. Spending more time with them will help me get better at working with this group and give back to my neighborhood.
An example of an experienced nurse applying following graduation from graduate school
Before earning my master’s in pediatric nursing, I spent around ten years working as a registered nurse. Despite my confidence in the nursing skills I have developed over the course of my career, I consider my dedication to learning to be my greatest attribute. I’m a committed student who tries to take advantage of every opportunity to grow professionally and personally. I made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in pediatric nursing because I believed that it would help me develop in my work, learn new skills, and help children and families live the healthiest lives possible.
One of the difficulties I face in my nursing career is coping with the physical demands of the work. I formerly worked in the emergency room as a registered nurse. I had to work quickly and was frequently on my feet, lifting patients and performing hard labor. I’ve lately started going to fitness classes to build up my strength and stamina because I know working with kids also involves many physical challenges. These courses have already helped me become stronger, and they are also useful for other things like reducing my stress.