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How to answer ‘What are your weaknesses’ in your interview
It’s impossible to know exactly what will happen in a job interview but one question you can count on is, “What are your biggest weaknesses?”
Many employers ask about weaknesses during job interviews to give them an idea of not only your actual weaknesses but how you present yourself in a difficult or thorny scenario. Naturally, coming across positively when faced with the weaknesses question is a balancing act but it is possible to get right.
So if you’re wondering what are good weaknesses for a job interview, here are our top interview tips for addressing that prickly question.
Choose something non-essential
A business is less likely to hire you if your chosen weakness is a key part of the role so consider all the essential attributes you need to perform well, and steer well away from them. Instead, consider a skill that’s less important in the position.
For example, imagine you are applying for a job as a barista. The essential skills involve coffee knowledge and making, composure during stressful situations, and personability with customers. A non-essential skill, and therefore a ‘good’ weakness, might be that you’re not much of a cook, or you don’t have any experience working on the till.
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Pick something that can be improved
An ingrained, untrainable and unfixable weakness presents much more of a problem for employers than something that can be improved with a training program or more experience.
For example, if your weakness is that you always show up to work late, they can’t bring someone in to make you show up on time. If your weakness is that you are inexperienced in customer service, they can spend time with you to help you learn the ropes.
Frame a strength as a weakness
If you’re the type of person to focus on details almost to a fault, this can also be used as a weakness. In some scenarios, being too detail-oriented can slow things down and push deadlines back without adding significant quality or value to the product.
Or perhaps you care too much about your clients and are so invested that they receive exceptional service, which goes above and beyond. Again, blurring the line between strengths and weaknesses can come across as honest and real.
Give an example of something you’re already working on
It’s only human to have weaknesses, but not everyone actively works to improve themselves. If you already know a real flaw in your skills or personality attributes, take steps to improve yourself in this area ahead of time.
For example, perhaps you struggle to delegate tasks because you don’t trust others to do the job well. This weakness could slow anyone down but if you have set a plan in place to train others and efficiently hand over the reins on projects, you can admit this weakness, then follow immediately with real steps you have already taken in making improvements.
Ultimately, it’s important to show self-awareness in that you are not a perfect human. To show that you’re willing to work on your flaws, and to be honest instead of lying. Tick these boxes for your interview, and you’ll be one step closer to landing the job.