One of the critical moments in an interview, that can create an uncomfortable atmosphere, is when the interviewer wants the interviewee to speak about his/her weaknesses.
No doubt, that this question terrifies most job applicants, as the interviewer actually wants YOU to give him a reason why s/he shouldn’t hire you for the job…
Many job seekers are looking for the best answer to ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ interview question because It is a dilemma:
– If you have a weakness that could jeopardize your chance of getting hired, why should you reveal it? No you shouldn’t. Of course, telling about that kind of weakness is an unwise thing to do.
– But on the other hand, you wouldn’t want to sound untruthful by giving a false, completely transparent answer that can easily be taken for a phony answer.
This article discusses this issue in detail – Knowing how to answer ‘What are your weaknesses?’ in an interview may give you an edge over other candidates.
Job Interview Tips: Weaknesses – Answering the ‘tell me about your Weaknesses’
What do they want?
This question is popular in interviews not necessarily because they want to make you stressed, but they may be interested in hearing (or seeing) 4 possible things:
- How you handle challenges – How you respond when you’re under pressure, and how you maintain your composure.
- Honesty – You can speak about a real weakness honestly. You are someone who can do an honest self-assessment.
- Correcting – Not only you identify a weakness but you take corrective action and deal with them maturely.
- Do they take any risks hiring you?
Keep in mind that they may not be interested in your answer but they might be interested in observing your body language when you respond to this trick question.
How would you make the desired impression that you are someone they can trust/who can be trusted and a person who’s easy to develop an open/honest working relationship with? Read further..
Answer the question
Don’t try to convince them that you don’t have one. Some employers may think you are arrogant for not being able to see any faults in yourself. If they think that you are dishonest and lack integrity it is even worse.
State a true weakness!
We all have faults. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t pretend to be a perfect person.
You are even expected to have personal insight into some weaknesses in order to fix them. If you give considerable thought to your greatest weaknesses you’d most probably find some.
Under no circumstances should you list a key element of the position as your weakness! Never provide a weakness that has an impact on your job! If you do that, why wait? Why don’t you just send yourself the rejection letter?
Don’t be naïve. The interviewer is not a psychologist to whom you confess a weakness that could harm your chances.
Pick Minor weaknesses
So how to answer the interview question ‘What are your weaknesses?’? Pick a minor weakness (but not too minor, see examples hereafter):
- Select a neutral weakness carefully – Something that is not critical to the job.
- Then, tell [the interviewer] what you are doing to overcome it.
This shows not only that you are honest, but someone who can identify areas for improvement, and that you are actively seeking ways to develop yourself.
In addition, it wouldn’t be wise to adopt the famous advice of speaking about a strength as a weakness. Interviewers know these ready-made answers and do not like them. He can insist that you are talking about a strength and will ask you to give another example.
List of weaknesses for Job Interview: Weaknesses for Interviews
What are good weaknesses to report in an interview? What is the greatest weakness you can list?
Always pick a weakness that will not disqualify you from the position that you are applying for – Something that you have already worked on fixing. Here are examples:
1. Critical thinking:
“As a decision maker, I can tell you that critical thinking is an issue everyone should work on including mine, so for improving that aspect as much as I could, I have recently taken an online critical thinking course to help me become a better decision maker.”
2. Technical skill:
If the job does not require technical skills, you can speak about any technical issue as your weaknesses.
“I have to admit that I am not a born mathematician; I’m weak in math [or computing]. I found that it is an acquired skill if you take an interesting course in this area. I have used computers but it is still something I would like to improve. So I found computer graphics to be my area of interest and took some computer graphics’ sessions etc.. “ .
3. Presentation skills:
If the job does not require public speaking, you can address aspects of public speaking as a weakness.
“I have confidence to speak in front of a group but I have to admit that my presentation skills are still far from being perfect, so I took classes on public speaking and [any other course] to become more convincing as a presenter”.
4. Too focused:
“I am too focused on my career. I believe I should always be improving myself. My work life and personal life were out of balance, as I was too focused on my work lately. Nowadays, it is easy to dismiss the boundaries between work and home, so I need to find more time for the family and to develop other interests. Though I always put my all into everything I do, knowing how to balance things is an important quality that I must improve.”
5. Time management:
You can also include time management as a weakness, if you are not applying for managerial positions.
“Time management is a problem for me. However, I’ve improved myself by learning from my former supervisors how to prioritize daily tasks and how to delegate duties to others if required. ”
Refer also to Examples of Weaknesses and Strengths for Job Interviews.