How To Answer The Job Interview Question, What Are Your Weaknesses?
This question can come in many different flavors and colors. Maybe you’ve been asked, “What difficulties or hardships did you encounter at your last job” or even, “Are there any problem areas or developmental needs that we should be aware of?” But most likely, you’ve probably just gotten, “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.”
Today we’re going to be taking a look at this age old question, and how to answer it. If you’d like to learn more about how to analyze and deliver on your strengths, you can check out the handy guide found here. Otherwise, let’s continue with what are your weaknesses job interview question.
By following this easy guide, you’ll be on your way to interview success in no time. Not only will this guide show you what not to say, we’re going to go behind the scenes and get inside the mind of your hiring manager.
So what do you say, are you ready?
Before we start getting into things, it’s a good idea to go over what not to say as well. Some of these may seem obvious, but hey, you never know. So, there you go, make sure to avoid:
1. The cliche of turning a negative into a positive.
Not only has this been done countless times before, but your hiring manager will see right through it. I’m talking about answers like, “Well sometimes I just work too hard.” Or “I am such a perfectionist, that I end up staying late and working too much on projects.” Just avoid answers like these. Not only are they lacking in the creativity department, they certainly won’t score you any points with your hiring manager.
Giving cliche and overused answers is bad for many reasons, but ultimately it burns any trust that the interviewer or hiring manager has in you. If a hiring manager doesn’t feel like they can trust you, it’s going to be an upward battle to getting offered the position.
2. Avoiding the question all together.
Yes, some people do this. In fact, some people even have the audacity to say, “I don’t have weaknesses.” Of course you do, you’re a human being after all!
Your hiring manager won’t buy this answer, so make sure to come up with something else.
3. Revealing a major weakness
Although honesty is great, you don’t want to point out anything that would give them a reason not to hire you. Remember, you are competing against other people for this position, so don’t give them a reason to take you out of the running.
4. Talking about something irrelevant.
When talking about your weaknesses, make sure that they are staying on topic, and communicate in a clear and concise manner. Avoid anything that doesn’t apply to this company or position.
Let’s talk about one more thing before we get into developing your ideas for this question. We want to go behind the scenes and think like a hiring manager. Now it’s time to help you figure out what to say.
It can be hard to determine what to talk about. But the best place to start is by taking an inventory of your personal experiences. What experiences in your professional career did give you a hard time? By starting on what places you need improvement, we have a solid foundation of weaknesses to choose from.
When talking about your weakness, there is a thin line that you do not want to cross. You want to make sure you’re being open and honest with your interviewer, but at the same time, you want to have an original answer that doesn’t bring up any red flags for your employer. You DO NOT want to give them a reason not to hire you.
So what does a good answer look like?
Here’s an example to get you started down the right path
“I tend to engage in confrontations slightly more than my colleagues. I realized confrontations – when done right – solve problems very quickly at work and allow us to maximize opportunities. However, it has its downsides. Although this hasn’t been a problem for any company I’ve worked for in the past, it has posed a challenge in places that discourage any kind of confrontation, such as Japan.”
This is a good answer for many reasons. Not only does this show self-awareness, it’s an honest and believable answer. It shows that you’re aware of something you could improve on, and that you’re knowledgeable about the business cultures of companies on a larger scale. Not only this, but it shows critical thinking and analysis.
If you’re still having some trouble coming up with what to talk about for this question, try asking yourself the following questions. Remember, you want something that is applicable to the job that you are applying for. Your weakness also needs to be something that is unique, without giving off any red flags. Don’t think too hard about it, as it should be something apparent.
- What do you employee assessments say about you?
- What do you admire most about your colleges?
- Have you ever been disciplined at work?
- Do you have applicable person experience in this field?
- How long have you been working in this field?
- Are there any reasons you don’t feel prepared for this job?
- Has there been anything getting in the way of your professional ambitions?
I hope you benefited from this article on the job interview question what are your weaknesses. If you are looking for a mock interview or 1 on 1 coaching with me, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org