One of the trickiest questions that you will hear is what are your professional weaknesses and this question is quite tough. But on the other hand, it is also easy to answer this interview question in a civilized way I often come off as dishonest or disqualifying.
What interviewer wants to know about you?
So why do hiring managers ask this specific question from you? In short, because they don’t want to know you and also get a complete picture of the candidate they are interviewing.
The main purpose of asking this question is to find out what you want to do? The interviewer is interested in knowing the fact that what you can do? In other words, you can say he is interested in knowing what bothers you on the job?
Therefore, how you reply or respond to the interviewer will also help the interviewer understand how well you know yourself or how you will be a good fit for the job.
Answer interview questions about professional weaknesses:
Weaknesses are hard to talk about, so one needs to be very careful when sharing examples of yours. Thus, there is no need of putting yourself out of contention for the job because the interviewer thinks you are not well educated, qualified, and skilled also. You wish to be as honest and as positive as possible.
Moreover, if you think carefully about the job and your expected interview, then you may have enough time to prepare yourself.
List of professional weaknesses:
There are different kinds of professional weaknesses that you can choose from when answering interview questions about your shortcomings.
However, you don’t need to select a random weakness shortly. Sure one should make sure that which weakness you select is not critical to the job. One can also mention the ways in an interview you plan to improve upon his weaknesses.
1)Your hard skills related to weaknesses
Many candidates in their professional interviews mention a hard skill as your weaknesses. Hard skills are job-specific skills that are easily quantifiable and usually developed through school and other forms of training.
Examples of hard skills:
Hard skills include finance, mathematics, computer skills, and much more. If you wish to introduce yourself with a skill, make sure that it is not a skill necessary to complete your job.
If the skill you have is hard, then it will be easy for you to pick it. But on the other hand, if your weakness is a particular software program, then you can simply say to your interviewer that it is the skill that you are learning via the edx program.
Some of the examples of hard skills that you definitely can mention when answering an interview question about weaknesses.
-Creative writing and advanced mathematics
-Financial literacy and learning one specific foreign language
-A particular software package and spelling
2)Your soft skills related to professional weaknesses:
Soft skills are also very important for the job and just like hard skills, soft skills are hard to quantify. They also encompass the fundamental personality characteristics, your communication abilities, and also your social skills.
As soft skills are very important therefore candidate can mention only one in an interview.
Just make sure that it is not necessary or the job and focus on how to work and improve your skill.
Some important soft skills that you can mention while answering questions about your professional weaknesses contains:
-Creativity and humor
-Spontaneity and patience
-Delegating tasks and organization
-Taking too many risks and being honest
3)Interpersonal skills related to professional weaknesses:
You might mention a professional weakness that is strongly related to your ability to converse or talking to others. Of course, also make sure that you don’t cross any person as someone who can’t work independently or well with coworkers. First of all, what you need to do is pick up one specific issue you are struggling with and then talk about how you worked day and night to overcome this problem.
Examples of interpersonal skills:
-Confrontation and working for coworkers
-Expecting too much from colleagues and public speaking
– Presenting being too critical of other people’s work
-Easily internalize the problems of the client and be sensitive
-Expressing yourself frustrated with underperforming staff or colleagues
4)Worth Ethic strongly related to professional weaknesses:
This does not imply that sometimes you say that your weakness is that you too work hard. This will probably come across as insincere and will show that you work hard. Thus, one can say that it might be an honest answer.
Examples of work ethic related to professional weaknesses:
-Leaving projects incomplete and being too helpful for others
-Providing too many details in the project and confidently take credits for group projects
-Being too much of a perfectionist and too much procrastination
-Take too many projects at once and also taking too much of responsibilities
-Shifting from one project to another and being helpful to others.
5)Academic goals related to professional weaknesses:
You can also refer to an academic skill or ability as a professional weakness. This is a particularly great idea and especially if you study at least a few hours out of school, the employer will evaluate you on basis of your work. The interviewer will also judge you on basis of your work experience rather than academics.
One should also be very careful that don’t highlight an academic weakness that is directly related to your job. For example, if you are applying for a job don’t say that majors in engineering fields are your weaknesses. Some of the famous examples of professional weaknesses related to your field are as follows:
-Standardized tests and spending too much time on school assignments
-Coursework and essay writing
-Being overly involved in activities held at the campus
What you will say during a professional job interview?
When you are asked about your qualities, strengths, and weaknesses, keep in mind that you just need to focus on qualities. It also means that mentions those which are central to your job requirements. For example, if you recently applied for a job in the accounting field, don’t say that your weakness is mathematics.
Stay positive in every situation:
All humans need to stay positive and try to remain free of stress in all situations. You might also have explained how your weakness could be seen as positive in all kinds of circumstances especially when you are on your job. It is evident that when it seems impossible to answer such questions about weaknesses. All you need to do is simply refrain from yourself and others who are going for an interview and use negative words such as weak and failure.
For example, one can say that detailed oriented is an asset for many positions.
Focus on your plan of action:
You will also emphasize the fact that you should explain how you are overcoming your weakness. It is significantly useful for you when your business is a hard skill and that can be easily recovered. You might even phrase your answer as “I am skilled or expert in this niche”
Share your strengths and be honest:
As you prepare yourself to mention weaknesses, it is very important to discuss the strengths that qualify for your job during the interview. It is also very essential to do your best to sell your qualifications to the interviewer and no doubt you know well how to present yourself best suited for the job.
Finally, what you need to do is be honest and positive always. Answers like, “I don’t have any flaws “will come forward as insincere.
Bad interview advice everywhere:
One thing that is clear bad interview advice is everywhere and you might have heard this thing before.
This is a common mistake because no doubt most of the advice seems to make no sense. Why it is important to mention your professional weaknesses in your job interview? You wish to impress in such a way that you are perfect for the job.
The second thing that you need to clear is that not all of the interviewers are idiots. They will focus on asking such a question that hinders your ability to clear them. For example, talking about real life I just interviewed a person on behalf of my corporate client, his first answer to my question as I am a workaholic. When I counter questioned how this was a weakness for you, he stumbled and got confused.
Moreover, when I followed another question about professional weaknesses in an attempt to answer to help him get the bad experience at interview, advice, and provide a more realistic answer. But he was not able to answer it and later also qualified for the job. The interesting fact is that he was able to answer so many other questions such as he can’t be directly hired for a managing position because he was not sincere.
Why do interviewers ask professional weaknesses questions?
Many of the interviewers ask professional weaknesses questions in all industries or companies at all levels. They ask it because they want to get a real sense of you after asking these fundamental questions. This is also true that every candidate comes into the market with his or her strengths and weaknesses that you wish to know.
Your interviewer is also probing for a real reason why he should not appoint you on the job. The interviewer also likes to pass you a smiley interview façade and understand what you like doing if they hire you.
The way you answer questions asked by the interviewer can tell a lot about your personality and communication skills.
Are you hiding something and are you honest about your qualifications? Every new hiring is a risk and it’s also part of being honest about the job to access the risk involved in bringing you on the board.
Find balance while stating your professional weaknesses:
Sometimes as a candidate, you don’t want to answer the questions and don’t have an appropriate reason. That’s why asking your professional weaknesses question is so challenging and you must also find a balance between this type of interview. It sometimes also freaks out your interviewer and ruin your chances.
So, while you are preparing for your job interviews, it is also very beneficial to take time to think about how you will be approaching the dreaded weakness question.
Here are some tips that help you deal with professional weaknesses during an interview.
1)Choose a real one related to professional weaknesses:
Think carefully about the job you are interviewing for and also for the skills you are skilled or master in the job description. For example, just imagine if your writing skills are mentioned eight times in a paragraph, avoid convincing the interviewer that you hate writing. It has always been terrible at it and think about the weaknesses question separately if you got the opportunity to give an interview.
Thus, it is perfect advice to avoid mentioning those weaknesses that could raise concerns about your motivation, reliability, basic people skills, or sanity. For example, you also want to mention that you might have trouble waking up early in the morning but here you are for an interview not for a chatting session with your friend.
You can also impress your interviewer if you appear on time on the very first day of your job. Even the condition becomes worse if you mention that you hate working with idiots or noises around you might disrupt you.
Pick the skill that is suitable for your job:
Make sure that you pick up a skill that is central to your job and then make sure that you describe it in such a way that it seems just a minor challenge.
Just take an example at hand, if your required job position does not require any kind of public speaking, then you can simply say that don’t have enough experience of public speaking. Moreover, one should also ensure to be at a position that needs improvement and not a fatal flaw.
2) Elaborate on how you are working to improve:
Everyone has professional weaknesses and good candidates are self-aware enough to figure out their own. If you are proactive then you will easily find ways to address them. From the above discussion, it can be noted that you have little experience or skill in public speaking.
Other ways that you can adopt to work on your weaknesses are: volunteering for projects, reading books, getting advice or feedback from the mentor, or learning a skill of your taste.
3)Move on to new paths:
Once you have figured out your professional weaknesses, start working on them and sum them up. Don’t waste your precious time on the temptation and keep talking to your awkward silence. Write down your professional weaknesses concisely and end on a positive note just by taking small baby steps to improve or better yourself. The next step you need to move on to is discussing your strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s face every failure or weakness and if you follow the advice given by mentors or your counselor, you will be ready to explore new ways. Don’t degrade yourself too much, apologize to others and drag problems, or sometimes offer endless excuses or expectations.
Keep your weaknesses briefing short and also the point. If you follow the above-stated advice carefully, then you can free yourself from making a mess out of your job interview. So, embrace your professional weaknesses and it will make you stronger than before.
When does the interviewer ask you about your professional weaknesses?
Whenever you go for an interview and asks yourself about professional weaknesses, here are some examples of what the interviewer is concerned to know about.
-Whether you have a healthy level of self-awareness and you can be open, honest, mainly about your shortcomings
-Whether you continue working on self-growth and different opportunities to tackle different issues that come your way.
However, it is also said that doesn’t refrain from mentioning your weaknesses as they can prevent you from performing better at your job. It is important to note that if you applying for the job of blogging and you say you don’t have the creativity and excellent writing skills, then it will leave a bad impact on your job interview.
Similarly, if you are applying as a copywriting with little necessity for math’s you can admit that I struggle with numbers and don’t have much experience with data analytics. Just to make sure that you feel genuinely confident must have a look at some of the credible answers to your interviewer.
The patience of working with the team:
-Maybe I don’t have enough patience in my personality of working with a professional team. Moreover, I am self-sufficient and it becomes difficult for me when I have to rely on others. That is one of the main reasons why I persuade roles that also require someone to better themselves by taking seminars related to professional weaknesses.
This answer works because the weakness itself and its inability to be patient does not hinder your ability to perform well in the role which does not rely on teamwork to struggle.
Thus, you show your interest in developing strategies to combat your weaknesses which is, in fact, a critical skill in the workplace.
Struggle with the organization:
I often struggle with an organization that does not impact the performance and I have also observed that my messy desk and cluttered inbox nonetheless could interfere with my efficiency. Over time I have also learned to set aside time to organize my physical and digital space and I have seen improvement in efficiency levels throughout the week.
Most of the people in offices have messy desks and this answer works because of professional weaknesses. You note that messed-up things in the organization do not interfere with the ability to do the job. To ensure that you are 100 percent good at performing, you can also state some of your organization skills for the sake of self-improvement. It also suggests a level of maturity and self-awareness.
Level of initiative and leadership:
I am self-motivated and I also sometimes find it hard to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. On the other hand, when I was appointed as a manager in my last role, it also becomes critical to delegate tasks and has control over projects when delegating with the team lead. I also implemented the whole things of the project management system to have a grip over the progress.
This system also enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently. It also allows you to go after a new skill that is important for your job too. Additionally, you are also able to flexibility which is critical for long-term growth.
Moreover, you are also able to showcase a level of initiative and leadership you mention the successful implementation of a new process that enabled you to progress in your respective job role.
Nervousness associated with public speaking:
Public speaking turns me nervous and when I am a professional web developer or designer then this skill is not necessary for me. Since then, I worked hard to grasp the art of public speaking and I spoke confidently with my manager and she then recommended that each time I speak in a meeting for few hours about our project timeline.
This fundamental practice has also enabled me to project submission timelines and goals for a client website. It also enabled me to relax and calm myself. People around us see public speaking as an opportunity to help my team members who want to do their jobs effectively.
In this example, we also discuss that skill is not applicable to just a professional job interview, it can be applied everywhere. You express your thoughts and emotions to go above and beyond a job description. It also helps you to seek out skills that could be helpful to the success of your company as a whole. This type of company also ensures that you are dedicated to working with a team and work hard as you can. You also try your best to understand and listen to your coworkers actively and carefully.
Listed above are some professional weaknesses and a comprehensive guide on which weaknesses you can mention or not. It also makes you familiar with the needs of the organization as a whole.