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“What are your weaknesses?”
Admit it; this is one of the most dreaded interview questions. How do you answer this without sounding like you’re trying to cover up your flaws or even hurt your chances of getting the job?
Most people try to be clever by answering with a strength disguised as a weakness, such as ” I work too hard ” or ” I’m a workaholic.” Some even avoid it altogether by claiming they don’t have a weakness!
But is this really the best way to answer this question?
A considerable number of job seekers think that they should avoid admitting any weaknesses in job interviews. They believe that it makes them look weak and that employers won’t want to hire them if they know about any possible shortcomings.
However, this isn’t always the case. Employers want to know about your weaknesses because it gives them an idea of how you handle difficult situations.
So how should you approach this tricky question? What are good weaknesses to mention for a job interview? Check them out in this guide and learn how to turn them into strengths.
Why Companies Ask “What Are Your Weaknesses?” During An Interview
At some point in an interview, the classic old question ” WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?” will surely come up! Mind you, this is a question you can’t avoid.
One study showed that this is the question that hiring managers want to answer the most. Out of the 2,000 hiring managers surveyed, 73% said that this is one of the important questions to ask in an interview.
So why do employers want to know about your weaknesses? What are they looking for?
- To understand how well you know yourself – It’s not always easy to identify your weaknesses, so this question is a way to measure how well you know yourself.
- To get an idea of your character – Your weaknesses can say a lot about your character. For example, if you are impatient and tend to get angry easily, this may not be the best trait for a customer service position.
- To see how you handle difficult situations – Your weaknesses can also reveal your reaction in difficult situations. For Example, if you’re shy, this may not be the best trait for a sales position.
- To see if you’re humble – Admitting your weaknesses can also show that you’re self-aware & humble.
How To Position Your Answers When You Talk About A Weakness
For starters, your answer should never be “I don’t have a weakness”! This is an outright lie, and the interviewer will see right through it.
Denying your weaknesses only demonstrates a lack of self-awareness — a “Red Flag” for many employers. A recent survey showed that most employers (62%) said that they would be less likely to hire a job candidate if they lied about having weaknesses.
Once you’ve identified a weakness, it’s essential to position it in the best possible light. You don’t want to sound too defensive, and you definitely don’t want to make excuses for it.
The good thing is that answering this question professionally is all about how you spin your answer.
So what should you do?
- Be Honest And Come Out With It- Don’t try to hide or sugarcoat your weaknesses. This will not only make you look arrogant but will also make the interviewer suspicious.
- Turn Your Weakness Into A Strength – When answering this question, you don’t want to just list your weaknesses one by one. You need to position your shortcomings to make them sound like strengths suitable for the role you’re auditioning for.
- Don’t Sound Too Negative About yourself- Never let your answers sound like an attack on yourself. Saying things like “I’m always late” or “I’m terrible with numbers” will only make you sound negative and unprofessional.
- Be Positive – You should always try to end your answer on a positive note. For Example, you could say that you’re working on your weakness or willing to do whatever it takes to improve.
- Acknowledge The Weakness And Explain How You’re Working On It – If you’ve identified a weakness, it’s important to explain how you’re working on it. This will show the interviewer that you’re proactive and taking steps to improve yourself.
So, what are some good weaknesses to mention for a job interview? Continue reading to find out!
7 Good Weaknesses You Can Mention In A Job Interview
When asked about your weaknesses in a job interview, many people panic. What if my weaknesses are too embarrassing to share? What if I ruin my chances of landing the job?
Well, if you prepare for this question in advance, you’ll be ready with a few good weaknesses to mention. Here are seven of them:
1. You Are a Perfectionist
This is a good weakness to mention because it shows that you are detail-oriented and care about your work. It also demonstrates that you are willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done right.
Yes, being a perfectionist is a good thing, but it could be viewed as a weakness if you spend a lot of time on one task. Just ensure you frame your answer in a way that shows you are aware of the negative impacts of being a perfectionist and are working on it.
For Example:– You could say, “I am a perfectionist, and I know that this can sometimes hold me back. I have tried to improve on this by monitoring myself at periodic intervals and allowing myself to refocus on the big picture. This way, I’m able to maintain work quality without spending too much time on one task.”
2. You Get Irritated When Projects Go Over Their Deadlines
This weakness shows that you can handle the pressure to meet deadlines and have a sense of responsibility.
Even though getting frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or impatient are not good traits, they are human traits. They show interviewers that you are someone they can relate to. Employers also value employees who think about deadlines.
You just have to frame this answer to show that you are working on this weakness.
For Example:– You could say, ” I sometimes get frustrated when projects go over their deadlines. I am working on this by setting realistic deadlines and communicating with my team members.
3. I have a hard time Saying No
Helping out other people and taking on additional tasks is a good thing, but it can also be viewed as a weakness. When interviewers see that you have a hard time saying no, it shows that you are either over-committed or someone who is not good at setting boundaries.
You could, however, turn this around into a strength.
For Example:- You could say, ” Not being able to say no is a major weakness for me. However, I am currently working on it by saying no to tasks that are not within my skill set and those I don’t have the time for.
4. You Find It Difficult To Let Go Of A Project
When you have spent a lot of energy and time on a project, it can be challenging to let it go. This is usually seen as a weakness as you need to move on and not get too attached. It can also lead to low production when you take on new projects.
In the interviewer’s eyes, it shows that you are committed to seeing a project through, but it also indicates you are not good at dealing with change. Here you can talk about this weakness in a way that shows you are proactive about changes.
For Example:- You could say, “I sometimes find it hard to let go of a project. I usually do this because I want to make sure that the project is completed in a way that meets my standards. I have been working on improving this by setting early deadlines and not waiting until the last minute to submit the project.”
5. You Have a Hard Time Asking For Help
Asking for help once in a while is not bad, especially when you don’t have the specific skills needed to do a task. However, to some, it can also be viewed negatively if you come off as someone who finds it hard to interact with other people.
Tackle this by explaining how beneficial you think this trait is!
For Example:- you could say, “even though I find it difficult to ask for help, I always make sure that I get the most out of the help that I am given. I usually do this by asking a lot of questions and making sure that I understand the task fully. I am also working on better communicating my needs.”
6. I Sometimes Lack Confidence
Everyone sometimes lacks confidence, which is especially true with new employees or when meeting new people. This is usually seen as a bad thing by potential employers as it can show that you doubt yourself. When interviewers know that you lack confidence, they might also wonder if you have the skills to do the job.
If you are talking about this weakness, make sure you emphasize the importance of your skills and how confident you are with them. Plus, how you are trying to improve this area.
For Example:- You could say, “I sometimes lack confidence, which can lead to second-guessing my decisions. However, I am really confident in my skills and abilities. I have been working on this by doing a lot of research before any meeting or presentations.”
7. Working With Certain Personas Has Been Challenging For Me
Even if you don’t have a personality clash with someone, working with different people can be challenging. However, being able to adapt to different personas is a skill that employers value.
Talk about how you have been working on networking & making connections and how it has been beneficial to you.
For Example:- You could say, “I have been working on my ability to interact with different personas. I’m doing this by trying to understand their perspective and what they are trying to achieve. I have found that this helps me to better work with them.”
Sometimes Weaknesses Are a Show of Strength
Everyone has weaknesses, and your interviewer knows that. So, don’t try to avoid this question by saying you have none. The trick is to portray your weaknesses as strengths, and the above tips are a great place to start.
By emphasizing the skills and abilities that you have, you will be able to show the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate for the job.