When attending any job interview, it’s important to prepare yourself for the common interview weaknesses question. When put on the spot, it can be a tricky one to answer but if you’re well prepared, you’ll breeze through it.
We are, of course, talking about the “What are your weaknesses?” question that so many candidates struggle with. How can you tell the interviewer about your weaknesses without negatively affecting their opinion of you? You want this job, and you don’t want to jeopardise your chances of getting it by saying the wrong thing.
The key is to be honest and as positive as possible while steering clear of cliches like “I’m too much of a perfectionist” and “I work too hard.” Read on to discover some ideas for what you could say.
Why interviewers ask the interview weaknesses question
Before we get started on some awesome responses, it’s important to understand why interviewers like to ask the interview weaknesses question. They are not trying to catch you out or purposely make you feel awkward. What they’re really looking for is how self-aware you are and how you deal with your weaknesses.
How you should answer
When it comes to answering the interview weaknesses question, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t pick any skills or traits that are vital to the role you are going for. You won’t want to cause the interviewer to question whether you’ll be able to perform in the job.
Once you have stated your weaknesses, you should follow up by talking about the steps you are taking or are planning to take to improve. This will show the interviewer that you are self-aware and have the drive and self-motivation to improve your skill set. Thus, you have made talking about your weaknesses a way to further impress your interviewer.
Examples of weaknesses you can use
If you’re struggling to think about what weaknesses you can talk about in your job interview, the list below should help. Remember, you’re looking to be honest about your weaknesses without causing the interviewer to question your ability to do the job you are interviewing for.
- Being impatient
- Being too self-critical
- Expecting too much from others
- Finding it hard to speak up in meetings
- Focusing too much on details
- Getting frustrated with poor-performing colleagues
- Knowledge in a key area e.g. a software package or programme like Excel
- Meeting deadlines
- Multi-tasking too much
- Not delegating well
- Planning for the long-term
- Problem solving
- Public speaking or presenting skills
- Struggling under pressure
- Taking criticism too much to heart
- Taking on too much at once
- The ability to adapt quickly and be spontaneous
- Time management
- Trying to please everyone
- Writing skills
- Your ability to handle conflict
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and challenging, however, the more you can do to prepare for them the better you will be able to perform. Being prepared for common interview questions like this one will definitely boost your chances of success!
For more help with your job search, be sure to check out our 6 sources for where to look for jobs.