12 answers

What's your weakness?

Updated Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

College student seeking internship position.

Well, no one is perfect, we all have weakness.
During the interview, I found this question a bit tricky.

I would like to know how you approach this kind of question.
What does HR really want to know from this question?

#interview
#hr
#interview-preparation
#college
#career-counseling
#interviewing-skills
#job-application

12 answers

Emily J.’s Answer

Updated
Hi Cindy! I think there are a few things you should keep in mind whenever asked this question: 1) Always reframe their question in your answer as an "opportunity". For example: "My greatest growth/development opportunity is...". Because really, it is! See part 2. 2) Employers are looking to potentially learn a few things in asking this question: -- If they like you for the role, they may want to know how they can make the job/internship most fruitful for you/where they can help develop you -- Also, if they like you for the role, they may be checking to be sure that they're placing you under a manager/in position that would be complimentary to your weaknesses -- It's a good thing to be self aware, be HONEST about flaws, and be able to articulate flaws well with others. 3) Always, always, always show that you have a plan on how you can improve in these "weaknesses", how you plan to develop. (i.e. reading books/watching educational YouTube videos/consulting with a mentor/accountability partners/etc.) Hope this helps! #interviews #interview-questions #weakness #weaknesses

Stephanie’s Answer

Updated
Hi Cindy! I would try to think of it more as "areas of improvement" or "areas for growth" within your trade. The word "Weakness" is often assumed to be negative. However, I would use this as an opportunity to show that you are self-aware and are eager for opportunities to learn and become a more well-rounded candidate/co-worker. In answering this question, you can also think about including specifics on why that company would be great for helping you grow in the identified areas. As a designer, I was recently tasked with mapping my skills on a spiderweb matrix for better clarity on my strengths and helping identify areas where I would like to improve. Regardless of career focus, this might be helpful to do something similar. Here is the exercise for design: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/569bed615a5668a5944e9662/t/588a830af5e23191381feeda/1485472560965/UX+Skills_Activity.pdf Hope this helps! Happy to help with any next steps!

Yassine’s Answer

Updated Morocco
Hi Cindy, It is indeed a tricky question. The way i usually handle it is to state a weakness and state what i have been doing to overcome this weakness. For instance, i would say that i used to be a shy person, however lately i have been engaged in Ressource groups, i've been volunteering & teaching English classes which helped me overcome this issue. Hope this helps, Cheers, Yassine

CHARU’s Answer

Updated
Hi , This question itself has lot of answers but being a professional answering becomes a tricky part . According to me always be straightforward but professional at the same time . for eg. you may answer that i need to learn better time management, or balancing my professional and personal life . By this you are not being diplomatic in fact you know you have this drawback and you are working on it. Hope this helps, Good Luck!

Ian’s Answer

Updated Decatur, Georgia
Spin it... My greatest weakness is that I have difficulty giving up on hard projects. My greatest weakness is that I get anxious when I'm running late. My greatest weakness is that I have to clean my work space before I can move on to the next project. Make it something that you actually do but look at the question from a different point of view.

Christine’s Answer

Updated Washington, Washington
Hi Cindy, Potential employers want to know that you're self-aware. You're not expected to be perfect, but they need to know that you have an authentic answer to demonstrate that you're actively trying to improve this weakness. For example, if you've had a difficult boss or colleague in the past that was a challenge to collaborate with, you could say that you made efforts to make sure that communications were clear by parroting back with your own words what someone requested you to do so that you didn't waste time doing something unrelated. Or if you're naturally an introvert, you could say that you've joined a monthly group where you take turns giving a presentation on a topic related to your field so that you gain experience and comfort at public speaking.

Karen L.’s Answer

Updated
This is a tricky question however utilize your weakness to a strength or something you've learned about yourself. My weakness is multi tasking which sometimes means I take on too much at once so I need to prioritize and focus on the task at hand.

Charlie’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts
its a pretty old interview question, when i ask the question i am looking to see how a candidate thinks about themselves and how honest they can be. There is no problem in discussing weaknesses we all have them just don't dwell on them and be sure to talk about strengths at the same time..p

Poonam’s Answer

Updated Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

HOW TO GO ABOUT ANSWERING THESE?

While replying to questions concerning your strengths and weaknesses, always keep the job description at the back of your mind. While tending to questions regarding your strengths, concentrate on strengths you possess that are needed for the job. For instance, if a job requires a considerable measure of work on team ventures, you may state that you are a reasonable communicator who can work with various groups of individuals.

While answering questions concerning your weaknesses, dodge shortcomings that would portray that you are unfit for the job. For instance, if the job position requires a great deal of technical ability, don’t state that your shortcoming is technology. Likewise, regardless of what shortcoming you choose, try and put a positive outlook to your answer.

E.g. you may state that you are attempting to improve a specific shortcoming, or clarify how a shortcoming may be viewed as a strength (for instance, on the off chance that you are a bit too meticulous, you can clarify how this in certainty, encourages you come up with quality work).

for more details: Interview Questions Related To Strengths and Weaknesses

Ashley’s Answer

Updated Jessup, Maryland
What is something that has always been difficult or hard for you? Like my biggest weakness is i have always struggled with math my whole life.

Fran’s Answer

Updated New York, New York
Cindy, The answer to the question should convey a knowledge of oneself, specifically knowing what you, as an individual, need to improve on. However, I recommend going against explicitly stating personality "flaws," e.g. being messy or shy. Rather, these should be rephrased in a more professional manner that applies to the job; "shy" is implied in "I don't have a lot of experience when speaking in front of a group, or much public speaking experience at all for that matter." If it's too difficult to assess yourself in the moment, you can always reply that your greatest weakness is your inexperience, and fine tune the answer to fit the position from there. As a college student, this is a given. The important this is to *always* make sure to end every weakness with a positive, like a strong willingness to learn about whatever field you are interviewing for. Hope this helps :) #interviews #college

Eduardo’s Answer

Updated New York, New York
From my perspective, this question creates a great opportunity; it should be answered by first sharing a weakness, immediately followed by how have you been working on fixing it. Example: "My weakness is that I rush through things in order to quickly deliver, I have been working on taking a step back, breathing and reviewing my work before I turn it in" #interview