6 answers

When interviewing for a job, what should you answer when asked about your weaknesses?

Asked Fairfield, Connecticut

Are there answers that show you are thoughtful and honest without ruining the chance of getting the job? What are companies really looking for? #interviews #college-jobs #summer-jobs #interviewing-skills #high-school-jobs

6 answers

Gary Stephen’s Answer

Updated Harlingen, Texas

Hi, That is always a tough question...I came up with what I think is a good solution and answer.
Think of something you are or have worked on to improve yourself lately and use that to answer this question.
Here is a link with some good examples: https://www.job-hunt.org/job_interviews/answering-weaknesses-question.shtml

Try to avoid saying I have no weaknesses or say something that will not be good and may cost you the chance at the job like " I can never seem to get to work on time" .

Good luck!

Bethany’s Answer

Updated

Hi Lucia,

That is always a tricky interview question to answer. You want to be honest and at the same time include in your answer the ways in which you are addressing that weakness. I am currently preparing to interview for a new role within my firm so I did some research on this very question recently. My strategy is first to identify the weakness as a professional weakness and then I will frame out how I am addressing that weakness as part of my professional development. For example; "A professional weakness I am currently addressing is goal-setting. One of the ways I am improving in this area is employing the strategies in a book I'm reading called "The 5 Choices". In particular when setting a goal I consider the time spent on each step and look at what the book refers to as the "return on my time". This strategy has helped me to prioritize my time and I am seeing more success in setting and accomplishing goals."

When you present a weakness with your current plan for addressing the weakness it shows a potential employer that you are self-aware and open to feed-back and professional development. Be prepared for follow-up questions. In the example I gave a likely follow-up question would be, "What is a goal you are currently working towards?"

I also always encourage people to practice answering interview questions out loud. MSN Career is a great website to use as a resource when preparing for an interview. I hope you find this answer helpful!

Michael’s Answer

Updated St. Louis, Missouri

I agree with Gary Petito. Don't say you have no weaknesses. Be honest (to an extent! Anything that you've honestly believe is a weakness, I can assume that you are working on to improve.

If you say "I can never get to work on time" it shows a low level of effort. I

f you say "I've noticed I have not gotten to work on time on occasion recently. I've found that I tend to start winding down too late at night recently and don't sleep well. I'm trying a few changes and am going to see a lot of positive improvement in the next week or so.

I tried following up on Gary's bad scenario and somehow salvaging a bad weakness and adding a positive thoughtful plan/solution that would be a good answer. Everyone has weaknesses. I feel that adding a plan of attack to make improvements is an excellent answer during an interview.

Lucia Valeria’s Answer

Updated

Hi, Always be honest with this questions, think about a weakness you have but you can improve in the short time. Or examples that you´re now working on to improve that weakness.

Alan’s Answer

Updated Woodbridge Township, New Jersey

Here's something to try as you prepare: Ask some close friends or teachers (not your parents) what they think a weakness is. A) the feedback will be very helpful to you as you progress in your career B) the answers might surprise you. C) write down some definitive steps to attempt to overcome the described weaknesses.

Then should the question come up in an interview - you can tell the entire story of asking peers and teachers what they observed and the actions you are taking/taken to improve upon those. Assuming some of the weaknesses are minor, the story in the aggregate leaves an impression of you open to feedback, self-aware enough to solicit it and action oriented enough to do something about it. That's they type of person they are likely trying to find for the job.

Best of luck!

Rainie’s Answer

Updated Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

I've always stated one (which is honest yet is somewhat an underlying positive trait), that sometimes "I pay too much attention to detail which can..." and relate it to the job you're interviewing for.

Example: "Sometimes I pay too much attention to detail which can cause me to slightly fall behind on workload."

To an employer (again depending on the job field), being detail oriented is great! And using the word "slightly" doesn't make it sound like you just sit and focus on one thing & never get the job done.

Hope this helps!