What are your ‘weaknesses’? in an interview

What are your weaknesses? Job interview questions, interview advice

One of the most dreaded questions guaranteed to come up in an interview is  ‘What are your weaknesses?’ or ‘What is your greatest weakness?’

Possibly this is a question interviewers’ ask to find out who is really prepared, who is honest or who is just answering questions the way they think they should be answered. Regardless of the reason, you can remove some of the negativity that attaches itself to this question by following these 5 rules:

  1. Don’t Give a Cop-Out Answer

Answers like “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I’m a workaholic” should be avoided – they are too generic and whether it is true or not – it comes off as a way to avoid the question. However, it is preferable to give an answer – answering with “I can’t think of any” or “I don’t have any weaknesses” isn’t believable – therefore there is a definite need to prepare beforehand.

  1. Be Honest

Stand back and take a good look at yourself and figure out what your true weaknesses are at work. Write them down and figure out which ones you could use in an interview. If you state a weakness you’ve struggled with at work, your answer will sound more honest. Some things that will help you come up with true weaknesses is to look at some of the challenges you’ve faced in your previous jobs or think about the constructive criticism you’ve received from a manager.

  1. Avoid Deal Breakers

Although you should be honest, you need to remember that there is a thing as being too honest. Try and avoid weaknesses that will ruin your chances of getting the job. Don’t make up weaknesses – just pick another that isn’t a deal breaker.

  1. Talk About Your Attempts to Overcome Your Weaknesses

Always talk about the steps you have taken or plan to take to overcome your weaknesses. This is a chance to show the person interviewing you that you are proactive and resourceful enough to overcome them and that they won’t get in the way of a new job. In a way, your effort to conquer your weaknesses will be seen as a strength.

  1. Try and turn a negative into a positive

It’s always a tricky question and many struggle – but the best tactic is to turn this job interview question on its head. Use any negatives to your advantage and try to use them to highlight something positive you can offer the company.

E.g. Answers:

‘I find it hard to delegate’ = 
‘I’ve been told I’m a bit of a perfectionist’ =

Sources include: popsugar.com

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