Everyone wants to make sure they are showing the best of themselves during a job interview. But you need to give your prospective employer a balanced view. Talking about your weaknesses in a job interview shows self-awareness and honesty. It also stops you from appearing to brag about your skills. Knowing how to talk about your weaknesses in a job interview can be tricky, but with a bit of preparation and practice you can make it much easier on yourself.
Find out how to talk about your weaknesses in a job interview below
Think it through
It’s always a good idea to practice before your big interview comes up. When addressing this question though, however you might need to do a little more self-reflection before you can come up with a good answer.
Think through past experiences you have had at work that have challenged you and how you dealt with them. What are the sticking points and were there things you could have done better?
It is also important to really understand the role you are applying for and what responsibilities you may have as this will help you figure out where your shortcomings are. These thought experiments are the best way to work out how you will answer that dreaded weakness interview question.
What not to say
While you may be inclined to downplay any negative traits to impress your interviewer, usually it tends to do the opposite. If you aren’t upfront you may come across as arrogant, lacking self-awareness or dishonest. We all have flaws so don’t be self-conscious, you are there to show whether you would be a good fit in the company so be real!
Speaking of honesty, don’t rely on generic answers that reframe your weakness as a strength. Hiring managers have heard them all before. So, if you answer with “I’m a perfectionist or “I work too hard” be prepared for them to stifle an eye roll.
You can find more tips in our article on what to say and what not to say in an interview.
How to communicate your weakness in a positive way
When you are speaking about your weakness in a job interview it’s important to use positive language. Don’t emphasize your “failures” or “mistakes” focus rather on how you have managed to overcome your weakness in the past.
Another idea is to focus on the future. Explain how you intend to get better at overcoming your weaknesses through tools, apps, study or getting help from a mentor. If you can tie all this together and make it relevant to the role you are applying for even better
Examples of How to Talk About Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview.
If you are still stuck on how to answer your weakness interview question here are some examples that you may be able to use if they apply to you:
Taking on too much – While you may think employers love a hard worker, if you take on too many tasks you may put the quality of your work at risk. A good way to explain how you have learnt to combat this is by being more ready to ask for help and engage with your teammates.
Inexperience with a part of the job – If you fulfil most of the requirements of a job advert but lack experience in one area, own it. It’s an easy way to answer the question by showing them your drive for self-improvement and your honesty.
Lack of confidence – Being nervous about speaking in public or being a little insecure are common traits that many people deal with. Be sure to describe how you are challenging your self with these fears and what you have done to overcome them.
Poor time management – This is another common weakness that lots of people struggle with. Make sure you can show you have taken steps to improve this aspect of your personality through better planning or utilizing apps or other supports and you will be fine. If you need more tips you can find advice in our article about time management tips.