How to Answer the “What is Your Weakness” Question Effectively?
Interviews are stressful – you want to be organized and appear to be fully qualified for each job you apply to. When getting ready and prepared for a job interview, it is important to think of the questions you may be asked and be ready with great responses.
One of the most common questions that still gets asked is some variation of “tell me about your weaknesses”.
Let’s get ready for this one together!
First, let’s consider why interviewers ask questions about your weaknesses.
They ask about weaknesses to see how and if candidates will fit into their organization when it comes to taking ownership. They also want to see if a candidate has the ability to recognize their imperfections and then be able to implement strategies to learn and grow to overcome them. Employers care about the process of coming back from errors, more so than the mistake itself.
Do not reply with “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”.
It can be tricky to identify weaknesses.
One way to communicate positively about a weakness is to identify a skill or a trait that you are learning or have learned to overcome and that has now become a strength.
When asked “what is your weakness”, this is a great time to tell a story about yourself of how you have learned to improve yourself. This can be done by identifying a hard or soft skill you wanted to improve and then telling you interviewer the steps you took to actually do it.
Show that you are ready for self-improvement and growth.
Here are a few examples of good responses:
I am still learning to set boundaries. I have a tendency to people please and in the past, took on too much I don’t like giving up projects and can get caught up in the details. To help with this, I have learned to give myself deadlines to stay on deadline. I also ensure I prioritize and delegate when needed.
A weakness of mine is that I don’t speak a second language. In my last job at ABC Company, most of our clients were from Mexico or Southern USA and spoke Spanish. I took it upon myself to buy a Rosetta Stone (Audio Book) to learn conversational Spanish in my car to show my clients that I acknowledged my weakness and that I was committed to making a change.
We also found a great response from Hubspot, about delegating. “I’m incredibly self-motivated, and I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. However, when I became manager in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project management system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently.”
Remember that the common “what is your weakness” question can take many forms.
Interview questions can be straight forward or geared towards behavioral questions such as:
- How has this weakness negatively affected you?
- What would you like to improve in the next year?
- What would your pas manager say you need to improve on?
- If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
This is a great time for self-reflection. It’s not only helping you rock your next job interview; it will also be a really good opportunity to check yourself and see what improvements you can make to eliminate an answer from the roster.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.