How can you talk about your weaknesses during a job interview ?


During the job interview each candidate face some easy and tough question. 

When you get asked about your strength: it is your moment to shine and to sell all the great skills and experiences that makes you the perfect match for the job. 

However, when the recruiter asks you about your weaknesses, it becomes a tricky task. 

 In fact, this question remains difficult and awkward because you need to unveil your shortcomings without looking hopeless or invalid for the position. 

This mission is certainly not easy but with some tact and cleverness you can answer it smoothly and turn your weaknesses into a positive point. 

Discover the right way to do this through this article. 

How to deal with the weaknesses question

Inevitably, you will need to discuss your weaknesses during the job interview, in a way that makes you gain points rather than losing them. Just keep in your mind, that what really matters to recruitment or HR managers is the way you handle adversity or difficulties in the job. 

To start this exercise, try to enlist the most common limitation you have encountered during your current or previous experiences. It is a good way to identify your shortcomings, and to gather information from your past notes or the evaluations you received from your previous managers or supervisors. 

Another crucial step is to research the open position, employer and company. 

While reviewing the job offer, description and requirements you will avoid identifying something essential to the job as your weakness or deficiency. 

Analyzing the job post details will help define what are the exact abilities and attributes that are crucial to perform the job. Those soft and hard skills should never figure in your weakness list, anything else; is up to you to determine. 

Example of weaknesses on the job

Here are some weaknesses you talk about. 

However, notice that they may not be a good choice if the job in question requires skills related to these areas. 

  • Impatience about bureaucratic tasks 
  • Tendency to take on too many responsibilities 
  • Taking risks aversion 
  • Discomfort about tasks delegation 
  • Nervousness about public speaking 
  • Inexperience with some specific tolls or software 

What should you avoid?

When you get asked what are your weaknesses? You may be tempted to say “I don’t have any, and nothing can keep me from performing my tasks.” But no one is perfect! 

HR managers know that, and may interpret this denial as a lack of self-awareness, an over confidence and even an inability to recognize your own shortcomings. 

Hiring specialist are wise and experienced enough to know when the candidates are attempting to frame a positive trait as some kind of weakness during the job interview. 

Some candidates may say that they are perfectionist, working too hard or even too competitive. Interviewers are used to this kind of answers yet you can use them and make them more reasonable by adding relevant details to show they have really thought about this subject and analyzed their personality. 

For example, you can say something like: I tend to hold myself to very high standards which make me sometimes put too much pressure on myself. Yet I have learned to recognize when I’m starting doing this and I’m able to keep myself in check.”

Turn your weaknesses into an advantage

When you enlist your weaknesses, try to craft an answer that puts them in a positive light. 

Here are three ways to do that: 

  • Talk about you turned your weaknesses into strengths 
  • Show how you succeed to identify your shortcomings and what are the steps you’ve undertaken to improve yourself 
  • Emphasize the positive aspect and avoid the negative words like incapacity, fail … 

But what should you do in order to address your weaknesses? Here are some pists :

  • Engage in a volunteer work to learn new skills 
  • Take some classes or trainings 
  •  Use tools like applications to collaborate smoothly, track your time management or even schedule breaks 
  • Work with a personal coach or a mentor 
  • Join professional groups or specific classes 

Some responses to what are your weaknesses 

Even though it could be tricky, this question gives you the chance to set yourself apart from other candidates. 

How to do so? 

You can achieve this by demonstrating to the hiring manager that you recognize the areas that you need to work on and you are even taking steps to address these limits. 

Here’s a sample of that: 

” Even if I always met my deadlines, I used to have a little problem with time management, which made work extra hours when the project deadline approached. In order to address this issue, I started taking classes related to time efficiency and project management and I learned how to better organize my days, attack bigger tasks first then move to easier ones.
Now when I’m working, I’m used to craft a plan as soon as I get a new assignment, and I often beast my deadlines.” 

Another smart approach will be based on using the job description details and requirement to orient your answer. 

Let’s say that you don’t have strong writing skills, and you are applying for a graphic designer post. 

The job post emphasizes the need for creations and design skills and even mastering some design software yet it doesn’t mention anything related to copywriting. 

So, you could answer the weaknesses question like this: 

“I’ve always liked the esthetic aspect of things; I love designing unique and creative visuals yet I haven’t had much experience with content creation.
But even so, I’m a fast learner and I know I will improve my writing skills if I will need it in my job.” 

At the end, we can say that weaknesses related question can be challenging to answer but with enough self-knowledge, tact and cleverness you can turn it into a real opportunity by demonstrating to the hiring manager that: 

  • You know your limits and you are working on them 
  • You appreciate constructive criticism 
  • You are eager to make changes and to face new challenges 
  • You are capable to lift yourself up and rise from your falls 

Every employer will welcome this positive approach and will see you as a strong and responsible person, that they could count on to do the job.

Discover our related career tips and more advices through this link:

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