How to talk about your weakness in a job interview
What is your greatest weakness? An interviewer posing this question to you can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments in the job interview process. It’s a question every job applicant should prepare for and it’s important to be truthful, while not revealing a weakness that could ruin your chances of getting the job. So to help you prepare we’ve put together 5 quick tips to talking about weaknesses in a job interview.
Know your weakness
It’s important to know your weaknesses because one of the reasons why an interviewer asks this question is to gauge your self-awareness. This is why denying that you have any weaknesses in an interview is not a good response – everyone has weaknesses. The interviewer will think either you’re not being truthful or have zero self-awareness. The same goes for responding “I don’t know” to that question.
So, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about a particular area that you are weak in and want to improve. Try to make a list of these weaknesses.
Only mention a weakness that is work-related
When considering which weakness to talk about in a job interview, ensure you only choose examples that are related to work. Personal weaknesses can sometimes be relevant but it’s a good idea to keep it on the professional side.
Be honest, but don’t choose a skill that the job position requires or values
It important to be genuine in your response, don’t make a weakness up just because it sounds good. Interviewers may be able to detect your dishonesty and it will hurt your chances of receiving the job.
Work to tailor your weaknesses for the job you are applying for. It’s a good idea to read the desirable skills listed in the job description and make sure you don’t make any of these skills your weakness.
For example, if you’re applying for a management role and you reveal to the interviewer that you struggle with resolving conflict, you probably aren’t going to be chosen as the successful applicant. In a management role disagreements are going to arise and the interviewer will be looking for someone who can resolve issues efficiently, and with minimal impact.
Be brief but specific when you describe your weakness
Don’t dwell on your weakness, or go into great detail. Instead focus on briefly outlining what you think your weakness is, making it as specific as you can.
Offer solutions to overcome your weakness
After you have outlined your weakness make sure you point out how you plan to manage, improve or overcome it. Providing ways to tackle your weakness works to not only ease the concerns the interviewer may have about your limitations but also demonstrates your problem-solving ability. It’s good to have already taken steps to address your weakness before going into the interview, as it shows initiative and your ability to self-regulate.