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3 Examples of What Are Your Weaknesses in Job Interviews

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Job seekers prepare to face a variety of interview questions during their job search, but there’s one question that they should always be ready to answer: “What are your weaknesses?” 

The interviewer wants to assess the candidate’s self-awareness and ability to overcome shortcomings. 

Therefore, it’s essential to identify the greatest weakness and the ability to address it. In this article, we’ll discuss ways to talk about weaknesses, give examples of strengths and weaknesses, and suggest ways to address professional shortcomings.

Examples of What Are Your Weaknesses in Job Interviews

What is the interviewer looking for when asking about weaknesses?

Understanding the job description

The interviewer wants to know whether the candidate understands the job’s essentials. Knowing the aspects of the role helps in choosing a weakness that’s essential to the job. Job seekers should read through the job description, research the company and its competitors, and prepare to discuss how their skills and experience match the role.

Identifying your greatest weakness

Candidates should be honest and select a real weakness, not one that’s the opposite of a strength. They should highlight those weaknesses that can be improved upon, demonstrating the ability to learn from past experience. Choosing a weakness that’s not essential to the job will leave interviewers with the impression that the candidate lacks the necessary skills.

Showing self-awareness

Candidates should be self-aware of their shortcomings, know where they lack skills and experience, and demonstrate a willingness and ability to develop themselves. Hiring managers want to see candidates capable of self-reflection, who can assess their strengths and weaknesses realistically, and have a growth mindset.

How to talk about weaknesses during a job interview?

Job Interview

Choosing a weakness

When choosing a weakness, candidates ought to pick one that shows self-awareness, provides an opportunity to learn, and can be improved. They should select a shortcoming that isn’t essential to the job but is still relevant to the role. For example, if the job involves communication with colleagues, a weakness in public speaking is relevant, and acknowledging that wouldn’t prevent the candidate from getting the position.

Examples of strengths and weaknesses

Instead of talking about a weakness, candidates can choose to frame it as a development opportunity. For example, a perfectionist may say they pay too much attention to detail, leading to missing deadlines. A procrastinator may say that it took them a while to learn how to juggle priorities, causing delays in their last job. By framing the weakness in a way that highlights the effort to address shortcomings, it becomes an acceptable answer.

Providing a real weakness

When interviewers ask about weaknesses, they want to evaluate candidates’ honesty, self-awareness, and ability to be self-reflective. Being prepared with a concise answer that highlights a weakness and how you’re working to address it will demonstrate to the interviewer that the candidate is willing to take constructive criticism and learn from it.

What are common interview questions about weaknesses?

Examples of weaknesses in an interview

There’s no single answer to this question that would suit every candidate. However, hiring managers often look for some soft skills such as communication skills, teamwork, project management, delegation, time management, and productivity. Procrastination, perfectionism and public speaking are other common weaknesses that interviewers look for.

The best answer to "What are your weaknesses?"

The best answer is one that exhibits self-awareness, shows the ability to develop and improve on shortcomings. A candidate might say they overthink every detail instead of saying they’re perfectionists, for instance. Alternatively, candidates may discuss a weaker skill they have experience in addressing.

Sample answers to "What are your weaknesses?"

For instance, candidates could tell how they were not great at delegating tasks and then explain how they resolved that by scheduling regular team meetings, implementing a task management tool, or taking a course in delegation techniques. The key to answering this question is to demonstrate how a weakness can be transformed into a strength over time.

How to identify and overcome weaknesses?

Hiring manager's perspective on weaknesses

When evaluating weaknesses, hiring managers are looking for self-awareness, honesty, and the candidate’s ability to address their shortcomings. They assess the possible impact of a weakness on the job and how the candidate is taking steps to overcome it.

Productivity and time management

Weaknesses in productivity and time management are often key concerns for hiring managers. Procrastination is one of the most common productivity issues, so a candidate should demonstrate they’ve developed strategies to tackle the problem.

Soft skills and professional development

Hiring managers look for candidates with excellent soft skills like collaboration, adaptability, creativity, and communication. A willingness to learn and develop these skills demonstrates a growth mindset and a commitment to professional development. By being open-minded and enthusiastic about learning, a candidate can demonstrate how they would handle their weaknesses positively.

Examples of weaknesses to talk about during a job interview

Public speaking

Many people are hesitant about public speaking, making it one of the more common weaknesses. However, public speaking is essential in most work environments, and candidates should look for ways to improve their public speaking skills. By taking a public speaking course, joining a toastmasters group, or practicing presentations, they can make this weakness a strength.

Delegation

Delegating work to others is difficult for some, but a necessary skill for most jobs. Candidates can demonstrate their ability to delegate by identifying the strengths of their teammates and assigning tasks that play to their strengths.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism can cause missed deadlines and time management issues. It’s important to show the ability to prioritize tasks and avoid overthinking minor details. By delegating, setting realistic goals, practicing self-care, and focusing on the bigger picture, perfectionism can become a strength. In conclusion, discussing weaknesses during a job interview can be daunting, but candidates must be prepared to address them. Remember to choose a real weakness, identify how to address it and what you’ve learned from it. By turning the weakness into a development opportunity, you’ll demonstrate self-awareness and a growth mindset to the interviewer.

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