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How to Talk About Weaknesses During an Interview

June 19, 2015

Answering job interview questions well is an art that requires practice, and there is a lot to keep in mind for your next job interview.

One question you will surely be asked is “What are some of your weaknesses?” This question is one that potential employers will use to determine whether you are a good fit for their company, so your answer is important and needs to be prepared in advance.

The worst answer to this question

What you don’t want to say is “I don’t have any weaknesses.” Everyone has at least one, and so do you. This answer says you just don’t want to answer the question, which indicates that you were not prepared to answer it. So to show the employers that you can handle tough questions like this one, you need to have a better answer than “I don’t have any weaknesses.”

The smart answer

The smart answer has two parts. The first part is identifying at least one weakness. The second is to talk about how you mitigate or manage those particular weaknesses. Confess your weakness, and then tell the employer how you will make sure that your weakness will not impact your job performance. Choose a weakness that is relevant to the job and your job performance, but not one that makes it seem like it would affect your job performance.

Pick your best weakness

Choose a weakness that is a strength in disguise. For example, you can say that you are too meticulous and have spent too much time checking and rechecking your work, but that you are trying to get yourself not to do that as much. An employer would see that it as a strength because it means that you won’t make mistakes. Another way to pick your best weakness is to say that you don’t have as much experience in that field as you would like to have, but that you are a fast learner and can learn it.

The idea is to pick a real weakness so that your answer does not appear staged. Some weaknesses you see in yourself might also be strengths, or at least related to a strength. No matter how you answer the question, make sure you present a recovery from the weakness, and that the weakness you choose is not one that would affect your job performance and ruin the opportunity for you.

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