Interview Questions: What is your weakness?

Interview Questions: What is your weakness?

Other versions of the question:

  1. What do you consider your greatest weakness?
  2. Do you have a weakness that we should know about?
  3. If you were given the power to change one trait in your, what would it be?
  4.  If your previous employer was asked to name the one thing you need to work on, what do you think they’d say?

 Important to note:

  • Your interview has been on that side of the table for a while. They have asked this cliché question over and over and are probably praying at the moment that you don’t give them one of those canned answers like’ I am a perfectionist’.
  • Your interviewer also wants to find out if you are self – aware, so don’t make the mistake of saying you don’t have any weaknesses. It shows an utter lack of self- awareness.
  • Your interviewer knows you are wearing an interview mask that will eventually fall off once you are employed. They would like to get a peak of what the real picture looks like.
  • A good weakness should be fixable and you should be able to follow up with a statement saying how you are working on it. It should be authentic and acceptable for the position you are applying for.
  • You should define your weakness in a concise but impartial way. Going too much into detail may make you sound defensive.

Pitfalls to avoid when answering this question:

  • Having one weakness in mind such that when the interviewer asks for another weakness the candidate looks at them like a deer caught in the headlights.
  • Giving weaknesses that are completely unrelated to the position and fumbling for words when asked how these weaknesses hinder performance. This portrays you as a fibber.
  • Giving weaknesses that deflect responsibility to you and make it sound like you are blaming others. E.g “I don’t like it when people don’t communicate. “ That is not a weakness but a result of a circumstance.

 Sample Response:1. As a manager, I have realized that I tend to micro-manage and rarely delegate due to fear of my team members messing up a project. I have realized that this eats up most of the time that should be spent making strategies. I also realized that I am denying my team growth opportunities by learning from their mistakes. I have begun making conscious decisions to delegate and even though work output is taking longer, I feel that teamwork is more enhanced now in my department and I have cleared my work load for more strategic planning. I also started taking managerial workshops that help me discover how else I can improve my team’s performance.

 Sample 2. I feel that I still have some ground to cover in public speaking. When called upon to present in front of large groups I get flustered and extremely nervous. I have been conducting research on ways to improve and I have gained a few tips that I am implementing. I also suggested to my manager that he allows me once in a while to introduce him in conferences. With time, I believe I will be able to confidently speak in public with no problem at all.

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