When students appear for a job interview, revealing about their greatest weakness or shortcoming is not easy for them. However, with positive intent, you can learn how to answer what is your greatest weakness.
The Question about “your weakness” is part of every job interview. Several students do not like this Question and consider it irrelevant. In fact, they do not have to confess instantly to their biggest shortcoming during the job interview. Interviewers persist this Question in the interview despite knowing that they would not get 100% right answer.
Why? Because they tend to evaluate you through your way of communication and gestures. After all, they are experienced people, and they make a note of everything you speak in front of them.
Before appearing for an interview, the candidates need thorough preparation to answer this Question. Also, interviewees need to avoid common mistakes that they may make while answering this Question.
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Following are the mistakes that students often make to answer this question in a job interview:
Attempting to Convert a Negative into a Positive
In several articles and books, candidates get advice to make a shortcoming look like quality. Therefore, they tell about their weakness in a way that it sounds like an excellent quality in an employee. Following are some examples:
- I seek too much perfection in work
- I put in too much effort sometimes
- I show too much concern about my work
Sharp idea. On this occasion, it’s an old tactic, and interviewers realize that interviewee is trying to be tricky. In reality, this attempt will make them think you are deliberately hiding something.
Declining to Answer this Question
Several candidates come up with the answer that they cannot think of a weakness. Also, they assert that they have weaknesses, but those weaknesses won’t create any problems in the job. Even this answer would not satisfy the interviewer, and they would think you are hiding something.
Telling About a Weakness that Appears Dangerous from the Job Perspective
Sometimes students honestly confess about their weakness. As a result, interviewers get the impression that this weakness would not let them carry out the job-related tasks.
For instance, you reveal that you struggle to get up early in the morning. The interviewers would think you won’t come to office on-time. It is essential to tell about your weakness smartly and honestly.
Interview Questions About Weaknesses
Following are the questions regarding weakness that interviewers frequently include in the job interviews.
1. What is your major shortcoming?
This is perhaps the most common term
2. What are a few of your weaknesses?
In this situation, the interviewers ask you about more than one weakness.
3. What are your positives/strengths and negatives/weaknesses?
Many interviewers would ask you to summarize both your strengths and weaknesses in a single answer.
4. If I approach your existing/previous employer, what would they say that you should work on?
This may be a bit complex. The idea of approaching your existing/last employer asks you to demonstrate more honesty. A few students immediately start thinking, what would happen if they approach my previous manager?
5. What is that one thing that you want to change about yourself?
This is another way of asking about your weakness or the factor that may limit your ability to perform better in the job.
6. Which area of your personality needs improvement, and how could you improve?
This Question also intends to know about your weakness but in a more positive way.
Other Question to know Candidates’ Weaknesses
1. Tell us the occasion when your fault negatively affected your personality or performance?
Many interviewers phrase the Question of weakness to know that how you describe a situation-based gap. They ask this Question to evaluate your abilities.
2. Okay, how about an actual weakness?
This is a more direct question, and interviewers ask this Question when they doubt about your answer.
3. Can you share the area for development?
This may be a tough question. The purpose of asking this question is to know the candidate’s preparation for giving an appropriate response.
Why Do Interviewers stress the Question about weakness?
The point arises in students’ minds that why interviewers ask this question when they know they won’t get 100% correct answer.
The interviewers want to change the tone of the interview. Predominantly, candidates present themselves positively and tend to convey they are suitable for the job. The Question about weakness or shortcoming gives interviewers an idea about your honesty.
How to Select a Good Weakness?
Choose a Weakness which does not affect the job at hand.
Have complete information about job requirement and the required skills. If you are giving an interview for an accountant position, do not tell them that you are weak in calculations or you miss important details.
In this case, you may say that you often feel nervous while talking to a large group of people. Your job won’t require you to speak to many people at a time, so, it would be fine.
On the other hand, if you are giving an interview for the sales position, do not say that you are too reserved and avoid gatherings. You may tell them that you focus too much on details.
Briefly Say to the Weakness, do not Discuss Details
Do not go into details. Briefly tell about your fault. Importantly, do not tend to be defensive or extra negative.
Always Convey that you Realize your Shortcoming and you are Working to Improve them
It would help if you communicated that you recognize your shortcomings, and you have already taken steps to overcome them. For instance, you may say that feeling shy in large gatherings is your weakness.
In the second step, you may say that you realize this weakness and you are mingling with more people to overcome shyness. In a way, you have to demonstrate that you are a self-motivated individual, and you are working on your shortcomings.
Finally, students need to fully prepare themselves to answer the Question about weakness before appearing for a job interview. Interviewers ask this Question to evaluate the candidate’s abilities.
Always choose a fault, which is acceptable for the job you are giving an interview for. Briefly discuss your weakness. Convey that you are working to overcome your weakness/shortcoming.