Interviews are known for being quite stressful. Interviewers strive to learn about the candidate as much as they possibly can. They often ask tricky questions to see how prepared and stress-resistant the candidate is. In a variety of sensitive questions, several do hit hard. One of them is a question about your weaknesses.
We are supposed to show our best skills and qualities during the interview. If you are being honest about being bad at teamwork, you will hardly land the job. Yet, lying or ‘elaborating’ the truth is also not recommended. What should you do then?
The best advice is to prepare your answer. You should know how you can answer without burying yourself in lies. How? It is far less difficult than it seems. Read ahead to find out about several ways to use the weaknesses interview question to your advantage.
First of All, Know Your Weaknesses
As a part of your preparation, think about your weaknesses. There must be something you and your colleagues find upsetting about you. Take a personality quiz if you cannot come up with any.
There are no ideal people, so you will definitely stumble across something. However, nothing is totally black or white. You can critically evaluate your weaknesses and come up with something that can help use them to your advantage.
For example, if you cannot find your work-life balance, say that you are getting too involved with every project and you cannot stop thinking about work even during your free time. Or, if you fail at working under no supervision, you can say that you are an excellent executor who sticks to the plan under any circumstance.
Watch What You Are Saying
Your answer should be neutral. What we mean is that if your position requires high attention to detail, you cannot say that paying too much attention to detail is your weakness. Instead, you can say that you may need extra time to double-check things before you are okay with the work done.
Do not destroy your chances of getting the job. You are in control of the situation. So, give a truthful answer but sugarcoat it.
Even if you cannot switch your weakness to be actually your strength, there is still a hint on how to get away with the situation. You should be able to show it in a positive light.
For example, since school, you have been afraid to speak publicly. Even if you still feel uncertain about it, you should state what you do to address the weakness and improve yourself. You might have gone to some classes or practiced your speeches at home before going public.
Or, you can admit that you used to have poor writing skills. Say that it was a total disaster for you to work on your essays at school. Yet, you addressed this site and studied based on provided samples to deal with this weakness. Even though writing still makes you a bit unconfident, you now know that you can communicate whatever you are about to say.
Try to make your counterpart smile. Self-development deserves admiration.
Do Not Learn Prepared Answers by Heart
You want to be prepared for every interview question. It is good and appreciated. However, do not try to memorize your answer about weaknesses. You should be flexible in your response. If an interviewer sees that you are talking pre-studied text, you do nothing but harm.
Think of several scenarios to answer the weaknesses question. Critically analyze the situation and answer it in a way you think best. This is the time when it is more about strategy rather than tactics.
Mention Work-Related Weaknesses
One of the most common interview weaknesses is to go personal. Your own dramas usually have nothing to do with your work. Everyone has them, but they hardly have an impact on your quality as a professional.
Interviewers will consider personal answers inappropriate for the business world. In other words, it will be a huge minus to your application. HRs and interviewers look for something that would make them feel that you can handle whatever it is that distracts or keeps you from work. They want to hear that despite all of it, you make things done.
Every job interview requires preparation. The question about weaknesses is one of the trickiest ones. You should know how to answer it in a way that actually makes you a better worker. Yet, do not cross the line where you tell lies. Interviewers have enough experience to distinguish truth from dishonesty. Pre-studied texts also do no good.
You should have several weaknesses you are ready to talk about. Be flexible with your answer and tailor it to the conversation you’ve had before. It largely helps in securing a place.
Author: Sandra Larson
Sandra is a freelance academic writer who specializes in resume writing. She knows the slightest details of the job application process and helps applicants with their interviews. In this article, Sandra shares some advice on how to answer the question about weaknesses to ace the interview.