What are Your Weaknesses – How to Answer

Interviewers ask about your weaknesses for several reasons: to gauge your level of self-awareness, learn more about your character, and find out how you handle challenges and pressure. While you might hate this question, remember that its other purpose is to filter out candidates. Giving a well-crafted answer can make you positively stand out. With proper preparation and practice, you can construct a response to make the right impression and lessen your anxiety. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you prepare.

Analyze and learn more about yourself

Use this opportunity to find out more about yourself in depth. Determine your weaknesses and strengths by taking online quizzes, talking to close family and friends, and taking time for self-reflection. One activity you can do is to examine issues and obstacles you have run into in the past. Ask yourself these questions: Why did this issue arise? How did you overcome it? What did you learn about yourself? What did you change after it? By looking at your past experiences and performances, you can also better understand if this role is the right one for you.

Be honest, authentic, and tactful

Most interviewers know the tips and tricks around this common question. Don’t turn a strength into a weakness, refuse to answer, or claim that you have none. Giving an honest and authentic response will demonstrate your character. However, choose which weaknesses to discuss wisely. You do not want to be too open and negatively impact your chances of landing the job. Take a look at the job description and determine the essential skills and qualities required to succeed in the role. Focus on the weaknesses that do not directly correlate to any of these necessary skills. Additionally, ensure that they are work-related or that you can tie them back to the workplace.

Make the answer two parts

Keep the flow of the conversation going by developing your response into an answer with details and explanation. Choose a weakness that can be improved, then discuss how you’re working towards making the improvement by tying in an experience. You can explain how you became aware of your weakness, addressed it, applied what you have learned and plans for improvement. Don’t forget that while you are responding to the question, try not to appear defensive or too negative. You do not want to be sending the wrong messages to your interviewer.

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