During a job interview, an interviewer asks you a series of questions to learn about your personality, experience, and professional background. One of the most obvious interview questions asked is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”.
You need to address your weaknesses in a job interview in a way that helps you win ground rather than lose it. Keep in mind that what hiring managers want to know is how you handle adversity on the job. There are many ways to answer efficiently and tactics you can use to best answer the question.
Why does the interviewer ask about the weakness of the candidate?
- To see how you view yourself– The hiring managers ask this question during a job interview as they want to see how you view yourself, whether you’re self-aware and able to identify a vulnerable point and be honest about it. And whether you’re comfortable talking about weakness in general.
- To know your capability-In addition to learning about what you can do, the interviewer wants to know what you cannot do or what you have difficulty with on the job.
- To check if you are the right choice for the job – Your response will help the hiring manager understand how well you know yourself and whether you would be a good fit for the role. It also shows the interviewer that you know that nobody is perfect and that you’re willing to improve your skills and excel.
How to answer interview questions about weakness?
Weaknesses are tricky to discuss, so you need to be cautious when giving examples of yours. You don’t want to beat yourself out of competition for the job because the interviewer thinks you’re not qualified. You do want your answer to be realistic but as positive as possible. Keep in mind that what hiring managers want to know is how you handle adversity on the job.
To correctly answer this dreaded interview question, remember:
- Concentrate on being self-aware, fair, and committed to improvement. If you have these three qualities, your weakness will never ruin your chances of landing the job.
- Try to ponder on your fundamental weaknesses and everything you’re doing to improve.
- Give an honest and valuable answer.
Examples of best weaknesses for a job interview
There are many kinds of weaknesses that you can pick from when answering interview questions about your weaknesses.
However, do not choose a weakness at random. Make sure to select one that is not critical to the job, and discuss in your interview the ways you plan to improve upon this weakness.
You might highlight a complex skill as your vulnerability. Hard skills are skills that help you tackle job-specific tasks and responsibilities. It can be learned through courses, vocational training, and on the job. These skills are commonly centred on particular tasks and processes such as tools, equipment, or software.
Here are some examples of hard skills you can mention when answering an interview question about your weaknesses are:
- Technical skills
- Computer skills
- Analytical skills
- Marketing skills
- Creative Writing skills
- Design skills
Soft skills are essential for every job. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are your traits and abilities not unique to any job-think collaboration, time management, empathy, or leadership. These skills are the qualities that make you a good employee, such as etiquette, communication and listening, getting along with other people. Make sure it is not necessitated for the job, and emphasize how you are managing on improving that skill.
Here are some soft skills you can mention when answering questions about your weaknesses include-
- Problem Solving
- Time Management
Interpersonal skills are the traits and behaviours we exhibit while communicating with other people. They are assumed to be one of the most sought-after soft skills. You can select a weakness that connects to your ability to communicate with others. Select one specific concern you struggle with, and then discuss how you have worked to improve this type of interaction. Examples of interpersonal skills you can mention as weaknesses include:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Openness to Feedback
A strong work ethic is an essential part of being successful in your career. Work ethic is a compilation of values based on the models of self-discipline and hard work. You never want to say that your weakness is that you work too hard. This may sound not very good. But, you can describe how you do certain things in excess at work. It shows that you work hard, but it will be a more realistic answer. Some examples of weaknesses related to your work ethic might include
You can mention an academic skill or ability as a weakness. It’s a good option if you are a few years out of school, as then the hiring manager can assess you on your work experience rather than your academics. Academic skills are a compilation of study practices, learning strategies, and time management tools.
You do not need to highlight an academic weakness that is straight associated with the job. For instance, if you apply for a job as a lawyer, never say your weakness is a particular practising law course.
Here are some examples of weaknesses related to academics :
- Capitalize on Reading and Writing Skills
- Master Time Management
- Practice Critical Thinking
- Note Making
- Academic writing
- Online learning.
What are your weaknesses?” can be challenging to answer. But it is an opportunity to show the interviewer how you can learn from constructive criticism, how you’re keen to make modifications when you face difficulties, and how you can pull yourself up when you stumble. Any employer would include those points as strengths.
Recalling your weaknesses is a modest experience. It is crucial to think about your weaknesses before your interview to deliver an answer that explains your awareness and aims to improve. Rather than masking strength as a weakness, always use this as an opportunity to address skills or personal attributes you could improve.