Answering Job Interview Questions About Your Weaknesses

You want to shine and stand out in your next job interview.

As a result you want to be talking positively about your skills, your experiences, your accomplishments and achievements.

A good interviewer will create plenty of opportunities to talk about the value you will bring.

Of course you can expect to be asked about your weaknesses too.

And in reality this can be tough question to answer.

Why do employers ask you about your weaknesses?

Everyone, you included have things you do well and things you don’t do so well.

The first reason is to determine how self aware you are.  I’ve interviewed candidates over the years say they have no weaknesses.  This immediately makes me worried.  If they don’t feel they have any weaknesses, how are they going to handle feedback, especially if it’s slightly negative.

The second reason is to determine what you are doing about your weaknesses.  Ideally you will talk about some of the development activity you are undertaking to improve your weaknesses.  Alternatively you might talk about positive steps you have taking to manage a weaknesses.  An example might be getting someone on the team who is brilliant at that area to help.

Handling this question effectively

Think about some of the areas you struggle with ahead of the interview.  You might look at feedback from appraisals or even do some form of assessment.

Get comfortable speaking about your weaknesses.  Ideally you would do a mock interview with someone else.  If that’s difficult, record yourself answering this question either on video or voice recorder.  Listen back and see how you are coming across.

Acknowledge in the interview that you like everyone have areas you could do better.  Talking about these and the action you are taking demonstrates self awareness and self confidence.

In truth this is a tricky question to answer.  At the same time keep it in perspective.  It’s just one of many questions you will be asked.