Among the many questions asked in a job interview is the one dreaded question about your weaknesses. We’ve all heard it and knew it was coming. The interviewers assume that no one is perfect, not even the ideal candidate, so they feel the need to inquire about what you feel is your weakness.
How should you respond when you’re asked about your weakness in an interview? Since you’re being judged on your answer, you need to be careful with your approach.
How to Talk About Your Weakness in a Job Interview?
There are many different things to consider when answering the question about your weakness in an interview. Here are a couple of suggestions to ensure you give a thorough answer but also put a positive spin on it.
Change Your Approach to the Weakness Question in a Job Interview
Rather than admit what your weaknesses are when you’re asked that question, think of the last time that you faced a work challenge and how you overcame it. Use that to frame your response instead of giving a laundry list of your true weaknesses. This makes you seem like someone who can work around their faults instead of being consumed by them.
Never Say “I Have No Weakness”
You might be tempted, when you’re asked about your weaknesses, to say you don’t have any. Wrong answer! This will backfire. Everyone has weaknesses or areas that need improvement and the interviewer knows this. Saying that you have no weakness makes you seem a bit egotistical, naïve or like someone who will not be receptive to being told about their faults in a performance review.
Change the Words You Use to Describe Your Weakness
When you describe a situation in which you failed, don’t actually use that word. Failed has negative connotations that can leave your interviewer wondering about your capabilities. Instead of using words like “inept,” “weak,” or “room for improvement.” Choose words that put a positive spin on the situation.
For example, if your skills were lacking in an area, mention you took an online course in order to enhance them. This shows that you saw an area where you could improve and you proactively jumped at the chance. Again, a positive spin always does the trick.
Mention Improved Skills
When asked about your weakness in an interview, it’s important to bring up the fact you have overcome issues or gaps in your skill set. Provide a few examples that show what you learned and why you chose to study or practice that skill. This shows that you are capable of overcoming your weaknesses on your own.
Make A Negative Look Like a Positive
If you have skills that some people tend to view as negative, such as perfectionism, spin them in ways that make them look like positive. Mention how your perfectionism came in handy when you were finishing an important project. Bringing up potentially negative skills in this manner shows that nothing really is negative. Instead, your traits end up being positive.
Filter Your Skills
Before you head out to your interview, spend some time looking at the job description. The employer will list a number of skills they want the person they hire to hold. Make sure to list those skills in your interview. Any they don’t mention can be saved for inevitable weakness in an interview question. After all, it can’t be a bad thing to have that skill as your weakness if they don’t find it essential for the job.
Why Do Interviewers Ask A Weakness Question in an Interview?
The entire time that you’re in a job interview, you’re being evaluated for the position. The person doing the interview wants someone who’s capable of overcoming their weaknesses and turning them into positives. They don’t want someone who already thinks they’re perfect or will be too unreceptive to feedback when being trained.
By asking about your weakness in an interview, you’re essentially being evaluated. You need to pass that test if you want the job.
Examples of Weakness Questions
Worried about being tripped up by the phrasing of the weakness in an interview question. Here are a few ways it might appear:
- When was the last time you had to overcome something in order to meet your project goals?
- What’s one thing you’re bad at?
- Have you ever struggled with anything in the workplace?
- Have you found yourself learning new skills in order to accomplish something at work?
- What’s your biggest weakness?
As you can see, you’ll no doubt be asked about your weaknesses in a job interview. What matters is how you respond to the question. Just make sure to put a positive spin on your response in order to show that you’re capable of learning and growing as an employee.