Job Interviews

How to Tell Your Weaknesses & How Not to in a Job Interview

We all have weaknesses, and we’re all aware that the people around us have weaknesses of their own. In a professional setting like a workplace or a business environment, weaknesses are something we try to hide away. And, especially we’d never want to reveal our weaknesses in a job interview.

What is your greatest weakness is the most common question that many employers and hiring managers will ask you. Some variants may include:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses.
  • What is your biggest weakness and how do you overcome it.

How to Answer What’s Your Biggest Weakness

Well, whatever the words the recruiter uses to discover your weaknesses, you would not want your reply to be unrealistic or unclear. Usually, interviewees will answer with something like “I’m a perfectionist, although I take my time and focus on details, the end result will be quality.”

Well, this answer cannot really convince the recruiter.

You’d also not want to provide an answer that is out of context, i.e. “I am very kind hearted and people often take advantage of it.”

So, before you appear in a job interview you search for stuff like this:

  • What is your greatest strength answer samples
  • What are your weaknesses examples answers
  • What are your strengths examples answers
  • What is your weakness answer for fresh graduate
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses
  • List of weaknesses for job interview
  • How to answer what’s your biggest weakness in job interview

Honestly speaking, there is no one standard way to answer what are your greatest weaknesses. So, the best way is to understand the essence of the question and prepare an answer based on it.

Know What the Recruiter Wants to Know by Asking You About Your Greatest Weaknesses

Essentially, the purpose of this job interview question is to evaluate the candidate in three basic areas:

1- Self Awareness

Whether the candidate has a satisfactory level of self-awareness or not, i.e. does he know what he lacks and what areas he needs to improvement in?

2- Honesty

It is crucially important for any organization to make sure that the people they hire are honest and the question “what is your biggest weakness” is a great way to find if the candidate is honest or not. This matters a lot for them to plan your career growth accordingly.

3- Readiness for Improvement

As a fact of the matter, there’s always a room for improvement, even if you’re the best in your field. The question, ” what is your biggest weakness and how can you overcome it” is intended to know whether you are ready for self-improvement and growth opportunities or not.

Answering the Question “What is Your Biggest Weakness” the Right Way

Firstly, you are being asked about your self-awareness, your understanding of your self and your limitations. Self-awareness leads into your awareness of your impact on others, which is something that the better candidates show employers. Your self-awareness and awareness of others is essential for working in a team environment, as is growth and development.

Here’s a list of possible areas that might be challenging for you. Pick up what you are struggling at from the list below:

List of Weaknesses

1- Patience

Especially when working with a team. You may be the quick doer and the slow team members overwhelm you.

2- Organization Skills

you struggle at prioritizing, time management, resources management etc.

3- Delegating Responsibility

You can outdo things yourself, but it’s a struggle to get it done by someone else.

4- Fearful

You can be too timid with your feedback, may be due to the fear of confrontation.

5- Public Speaking

You are great at work, but find it difficult to express your expert opinion in meetings.

6- Analytical Approach

Some people naturally have analytical skills while other do not. However, the good thing is they can be acquired at any time.

Answering Your Greatest Weaknesses in a Job Interview

Once you know the essence of this questions and have a list of possible weaknesses, you can craft your answer based on your very own weaknesses. For instance;

If patience is weakness, you can say, “I am quite a self motivated person, however, at times I find it difficult to work in a team where other members’ speed impact the performance”.

If you are lacking organization, you can say, “I can deliver multiple projects with equal efficiency, but I might need someone to identify and specify priorities clearly”.

If public speaking is your concern, you may want to tell them that you can present all the project reports in writing and can explain the details to the manager/supervisor, however, you may not be very good at addressing a group of people.

The Bottom Line

Finally, if this question is answered well, it will be finished off by mentioning any self-growth you are doing to improve on your weakness/weaknesses. This question is asking you to recognize your short comings and to speak on what you’re doing or plan to do to improve yourself, not to trip you up to admitting something personal or irrelevant.