Social Worker Strengths And Weaknesses- How To Answer & Sample Answers

Have you ever heard of the silver rule? It states that we should refrain from treating others how we might not want to be treated. It relies on the principle of reciprocity. In today’s time, most of us are governed by this rule. This belief is instituted on a negative orientation of thoughts, wherein, rather than focusing on the good actions, we move ahead based on harm done. You may ask, so what is wrong with this? Nothing. To be fair, the competitiveness of the world we live in has led us all to live by focusing on minimizing pain. Let us know more about “Social Worker Strengths And Weaknesses”.

Social Worker Strengths And Weaknesses- How To Answer & Sample Answers

But, there is a better alternative present in the name of the golden rule. It is a more positive version of the one we read above. It focuses on maximizing the goodness in society. The belief that good actions must be executed simply because they give birth to an infectious hope, in itself is rare today. Rare yet strong, this is the motive by which social workers live. 

Being a social worker in a society that runs on profit and loss is difficult. But what can be even more tough is getting through the interview to become one. To be willing to work for a cause, within a community, is a courageous decision. After taking that step, the obvious next one is committing to work with an organization that aims in improving society in the aspect you feel the most passionate about. The only hurdle now left is to excel in the interview. 

Getting through the interrogation round can be a cakewalk or a strenuous obstacle depending on the amount of effort involved in preparing for it. Curating answers to make the recruiters believe in your willingness to serve society can be a smooth process when you know the kind of questions you will face during the interview. The most common yet significant question that could decide whether you make it or not is – What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What is the intention behind asking this question?

To empower people and compensate for the unjustifiable oppression, you must first be able to understand them. Now, how can someone unaware of themselves go and understand others? It is often said that change begins at home. Our soul is our first home. An individual who hasn’t taken the time out to reflect on their good and bad parts is understood as a callous person. 

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
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Recruiters use this question to measure the degree of self-awareness you possess. Also, they want to decode your perspective. Through this query, they can get an idea about the qualities you consider as superior or inferior. Thus, aligning with the cause that you would be working for. If your understanding of the world is in correlation with the purpose you want to work towards, then it is happy news for everyone. 

Such non-governmental organizations or institutions often need skillful professionals from different fields. A helping hand is always appreciated. But the people they work towards come from vulnerable sections of society. Therefore, it becomes pertinent for such establishments to ensure that not only the professional facet but even the behavioral and emotional aspect of a volunteer is well suited to the needs of the oppressed population. 

In simple terms, this question aims to understand your area of confidence. The areas in which you are a work in progress. Then to superimpose it with the requirement of the role and determine the fit. 

How to answer the question – What are your strengths and weaknesses? (social worker)

Having understood the objective behind getting this question asked during the interview, now it is time to decipher the ways to tackle it. The best way to combat this challenge is by being reflective. At the same, you also have to think about the role of your operation and the cause you want to work towards. Clarity of thoughts and zooming in at appropriate places is crucial for impactful delivery. This is your chance to show how much conviction you have towards the social issue. 

Below are a few steps that you could follow to ensure that you leave a mark in the recruiter’s mind. 

Follow the order and highlight the qualities/ faults at the start 

It is kind of statutory for a candidate to follow the order mentioned in the question while answering. So, first, you will speak about your strengths and then about your weaknesses. Aligning it in this manner also ensures your portrayal as an optimist who tilts more on the positive side. Once you have the outline of the flow of the answer set, then select and mention the qualities/ faults at the very start for that part of the response. 

In doing so you make sure that the interviewer can note down the central theme around which your answer will then revolve. Because really, why would you want to add confusion to this equation? So be clear and determined in putting forth your beliefs.

Go beyond the surface

The passion to work for the betterment of society often has roots in real-life incidents. Something in the past or from the present that has motivated you to work for this is worth mentioning when responding. Infusing a glimpse of reality into your motivation will help your answer go beyond the ordinary. You do not have to fabricate a lie, rather take time when preparing for the interview. Go beyond the surface and reflect. Visit the lanes of the past where the story of you and cause started. When did these two intertwine and how. Then narrate it briefly. 

Focus on the learnings

A story with a moral in the end is meaningless. Similarly, without learning associated with the mentioned qualities/ faults or disguised wisdom, your self-analysis is incomplete. 

The whole theory fails if there is no application linked to it. Thus, it becomes quintessential to elaborate on the strength by mentioning how it could be useful for a pragmatic approach. To convert a brilliant thought into an equally enhancing action that stimulates social change.

When talking about your weaknesses, focus on your willingness to get better at them. Express the commitment to eliminate the existence of the thing that resides within you yet is pulling you back. Stress that learning never ceases for you. Mention the prospective steps that you will take to ensure that your shortcomings do not hold you back. Express your efforts consistently.

Special tip: There could be a chance that you are still confused about your strong and weak points. This is the time to avail the option – Ask a friend or a family. People who know your authentic self, have seen you in your joyous moments, held you in your grievous hours, are the best source for honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. 

Sample answers 

  1. I believe that my strength lies in the principle of least resistance. My faith in this virtue has always paid off. There is no upside to an unnecessary conflict. Thus, I am very attentive while working with people that have already suffered. This helps me in making sure that their grief and complaints are met with an understanding. It makes them feel that their problems are validated in turn increasing their will to overcome them. My weakness is getting too enthusiastic that leads to me saying yes to a lot of things. I always manage to do things on time and fulfill my commitments. But, at the end of it all, sometimes I feel tired. Therefore, the one thing I am going to work on is limiting my commitments and giving 100% to them.
  1. My strength is the sense of responsibility I have. In any crowd, you would find me figuring out how to assemble the force and make the best out of all the resources we have. I patiently wait for people to step up for a few beats. Then I take charge and ensure that there is a courteous flow of ideas. People around me have always gravitated towards me when asking for what to do next. I have never failed anyone and have successfully been able to build an image of a trusted leader and team player. The weakness I would say is my need for attention to detail. Although, at times it has been useful for getting sponsors and creating successful social campaigns. But, this consumes a lot of time. I am working on being able to hold my need for details back when required. 
  1. I am empathetic and a curious being. When talking to an agitated individual, I tend to know what to ask. This is instinctive in me due to my curiosity. Along with that my response is filled with empathy. The slow spread of a smile on their face when they feel finally understood because of my responses to them makes what I am doing worth every trouble. Personally, having felt lost with various pits of dark in the past, something that I find hindering my growth is the power of narrative. I have realized that letting go of chapters that do not benefit me today is an integral part of my growth. Thus, I practice mindfulness and maintain a gratitude journal to discard the pain from the past.
  1. The level to which I can exhibit patience is significantly high and therefore I believe that it is my main strength. It helps in dealing with difficult situations and people. Whatever it is, I never give up. Continuing my pace of growth slowly but surely. One weakness that I need to get over is my urge to avoid confrontations. While this is balanced out by my diplomatic attitude, I believe that the only way out from certain circumstances is saying no.  
Conclusion

As a social worker, you keep building ladders for others, while everyone else is busy climbing on theirs. So, you have already qualified the mark to be a better human. Hence, getting through an interview when answering the question about your strengths and weaknesses would be an easy task for you. Show your actions through words. Be honest. Be confident. You have all that you need within you. 

Social Worker Strengths And Weaknesses- How To Answer & Sample Answers

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