Weaknesses can be defined as traits, skills, and attributes associated with a person’s character that is considered weak or negative or as not well developed. there are often chances of your weaknesses becoming one of your core strengths if you work on it. These weaknesses can include poorly developed skills that can be developed over the time, blind spot, and problematic personal behaviors which can be improved. Understanding your weaknesses takes a lot of self-awareness, which makes the hiring managers ask this question in an interview.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength” – Criss Jami
Reasons Why Employers Ask This Question?
- Because how you describe your weakness is a sign of your self-awareness and is a self-reflection of you.
- To see the authenticity of your answer and know about your desire to continually improve your weakness.
- To have awareness of what you need to improve on.
- To see if you are working on bettering the skills that you lack or not.
- To determine what you are bad at and how you’d fit in the company if hired.
- To check whether or not you acknowledge your flaws.
- To see if your weakness is skill-based or character-based.
How to Answer This Question
Never dodge the question
During the interview, if a candidate ever tries to dodge this question, it gives a signal to the employer that you are an overconfident candidate, who lacks self-awareness, and they only want to hire the candidates who are honest and authentic with their answers.
Be honest and thoughtful
The best approach towards answering such questions will be to be completely honest in front of the hiring manager and share the hard and soft skills you lack, which can be easily improved. Mention the relatively small weaknesses and even be non-essential to the role you have applied for. Do not mention the areas you are completely weak at because this may reduce your chances of being hired and be honest, but strategically.
Mention that you are working on improving your weakness
After mentioning the areas and skills that you lack or are weak at, always mention to the employer that you are working on developing those skills to improve that area. This will show the employer that you are dedicated to the improvement which can be beneficial for them to hire you as an employee for a specific position. Your willingness to improve your weak areas is a sign for the employer, showing that you are ready to learn new things and fit in the organization or the company.
Choose common problem areas
The relatively small weaknesses and those you can easily develop or improve should be the ones you choose to discuss with the potential employer. These could be some basic skills like time management skills, public speaking skills, or there could be some character traits that you lack such as patience, anger management, ability to take criticism, etc. Choose a common problem that can be non-essential and not that important for the industry that you work in.
To choose this common problem areas, recall
- The challenges that you have faced in the past job.
- The feedback is given to you by your manager or colleague in the previous work experience.
- The areas in which you think you can improve for the betterment.
Examples of Some Common Weaknesses
- Self-Criticism: Many individuals tend to criticize themselves over some of the other things, so this could be an understandable weakness that you can share with the employer and share that you are trying to make some positive changes about it.
- Over-achiever: Over-working and over-achieving is a common problem with the business professional nowadays, if you find yourself constantly seeking to achieve things without getting the other work done in the first place then you can share this weakness with the employer. Also, share that you are trying your best to celebrate small wins and prioritize the important tasks.
- Public Speaking: If you are an introverted person who is not at all outgoing and you lack the confidence to speak on the stage, share it with the employer and share that you are trying to overcome your stage fear.
You could mention some other hard and soft skills and also mention some other character-based weaknesses such as shyness, trouble asking for help, time management skills, organizing skills, focusing too much on details, lack of confidence, trouble saying ‘no’, etc.
Sample Interview Answers
Sample Answer 1
“One of my biggest weaknesses is that I focus too much on perfection and details. I keep looking for perfection in projects and assignments and sometimes that backfires as I spend too much time analyzing things. I am trying to measure the progress in intervals so that I can be effective enough while doing a task.”
Sample Answer 2
“I am a bit of a people-pleaser, and that is why it is hard for me to say ‘no’ when someone asks for a favor or for help. To overcome my weakness, I am practicing the art of saying no.”
Sample Answer 3
“I have been doing my work manually for a long time now, even in the previous job I used to maintain all the records manually as the company was on a small scale. I lack some technical skills, although I am trying to work on it, I recently did a crash course on how to use MS office and other tools and I am still learning the other basic software. I am sure that I will overcome this weakness in no time.”
Sample Answer 4
“My weakness is that as soon as the deadline of a certain project comes near I start losing my patience, which gets me anxious. But I am trying my best to become more patient and more proactive so that I can complete all the tasks before the deadline scares me.”
Sample Answer 5
“There is no such major weakness that comes to my mind right now, but I believe I could use more experience in this industry being a newcomer, my only weakness is that I am new to this industry whereas there might be candidates who will be having years of experience working in the same, but I am self-aware and I am completely ready to face this industrial world and I look forward to meeting the challenges that are ahead of me in this journey.”
Sample Answer 6
“I am not that much of an outgoing person and my previous job required me to do the job independently without having to communicate much to others and only at the time of reporting to the manager. This is why I lack some verbal communication skills. I have been reading books on self-help and also trying to communicate more as this skill will help me in long term and it is always beneficial to have communication skills in the world of globalization.”
Sample Answer 7
“Being an overachiever and a passionate person, I try to keep all my focus towards the work because I am a very ambitious person and I love doing what I am doing in my career. This becomes my greatest weakness because it creates a disbalance in my work life and my personal life. As to improve my life, I have decided to maintain a healthy work-life balance to keep in check with my mental health as well as my physical health.”
Sample Answer 8
“I sometimes face trouble in asking for help, and this is my weakness. But I have realized that some things can be done better with some help and expertise and that is why I am trying to become more confident so that I do not hesitate when I am in need of help.”
Sample Answer 9
“I used to have a habit of procrastination a few months back and it became my biggest weakness. I have missed a deadline for once in my life but I still used to procrastinate a lot in my last job. And I realized that the more I procrastinate, the longer I have to work on a certain task. Now, I try to maintain a uniform pace of working as soon as my manager assigns me a project or a task.”
Sample Answer 10
“My verbal communication skills are excellent but when it comes to my writing skills I am extremely bad at it. So I consider it as my weakness as if I ever needed to apply these skills for my job, I would be less resourceful as compared to the other tasks that I can do. I am a quick learner though, I will improve these skills over time.
These were some examples that will give you an idea of answering such questions, remember, that it is an opportunity for you to show the employer how you are willing to make changes and improvements in your life. So, grab this opportunity and ace the interview.
I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️
Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
All the team management, content creation, and monetization tasks are handled by me. Together with the team at PrepMyCareer, the aim is to provide useful and engaging content to our readers.