A Guide To Answering Interview Questions About Your Weaknesses

A Guide To Answering Interview Questions About Your Weaknesses

Interviews are somewhat predictable. As you envision your next interview, you can probably imagine the hiring manager asking you a few questions. One of those questions is the standard, "What is your biggest weakness?" Instead of rushing to answer the question, prepare yourself before the interviewer puts you on the spot.  Check out this guide to answering questions about your weakness and be ready to impress on the day of your interview.

Avoid the Awkwardness

During an average interview, there are a few awkward moments. You can never fully prepare for everything, and that's usually what causes the moments you wish never happened. Whether you stare blankly in silence as you think up an answer or you repeat the same words over and over again, your awkwardness could keep you from a job offer.

To improve your chances of a successful interview, you need to answer every question as eloquently as possible. This means being ready to handle the questions that make you feel uncomfortable or inadequate. But why do interviewers ask such questions?

Why They Ask the Question

For one, they want to see how you react to a curveball. Can you take the pressure, or do you crack? Secondly, they want to know if you have self-awareness. No employer wants to hire someone who believes they are perfect. If you're not aware of your flaws, you can't ever improve. Finally, the hiring manager wants to know you're honest. Giving a pre-canned and disingenuine response to a hard question shows you're dishonest. After such an answer, the hiring manager has no reason to believe you.

With a few simple tips, you can make sure there's at least one question you answer well. Your hiring manager might want to trip you up, but instead you'll impress them.

Tell the Truth

The first thing you should know is that honesty matters. Sure, you could come up with a fake weakness to make you look good. If you think you'd be the first person to say their hard work was their biggest weakness, you'd be wrong. The easiest way to answer this question is to come up with a lie.

In life, the easiest route isn't usually the best route. As tough as it might be, tell the truth about your weaknesses. This takes some deep thinking and self-assessing. How could you be a better employee? Is there anything that holds you back from improving? Make a list of all your weaknesses and pick one that seems realistic but also won’t be a deal-breaker for an employer.

Make Your Response Positive

It's hard to maintain an upbeat tone when you talk about your weaknesses. After all, a weakness isn't a good thing. It's often seen as a detriment to your success. Nevertheless, you can find a way to put a positive spin on your answer and transform your weakness into an asset.

When you’re thinking about your weaknesses, consider how you can twist them into something better. For example, you might have a hard time prioritizing projects. If you mention this as a weakness, also bring up the new organizational software you use or the ways you’ve overcome this weakness.

Whatever you do, don’t dwell on the subject. If you can’t find a way to turn your weakness into an asset, mention it and move on with something more positive. Your interviewer will be able to ignore your shortcomings and think about your value.

Commit to Improving

Everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone takes measures to overcome them. Always explain the ways in which you have already tried to move past your weaknesses or fix your mistakes. As you discuss your shortcomings, make it clear that you won’t let them hold you back.

Think about a specific situation from your past in which the weakness hurt you. It might be a missed deadline or a frustrated client. In any case, describe the way in which you remedied the situation and made sure the same mistake would never happen again. Your story can show the hiring manager you won’t allow your weakness to affect the company.

Don’t Blame Others

Perhaps the worst thing you can do is blame your weakness on someone else. If you tell an interviewer your weakness is dealing with a bad boss or meeting unrealistic deadlines, you won’t impress them. Quite the opposite will happen, and the hiring manager will believe you can’t own up to your shortcomings.

For the best results, own up to your faults. Don’t mention anyone but yourself and resist the urge to play the blame-game. Likewise, don’t give the hiring manager a lengthy explanation about the reasons for your shortcomings. They have no interest in hearing why you are the way you are.

Remain Professional

When it comes to this topic, people tend to get emotional. By keeping emotion out of it and remaining professional, you improve your chances at a job offer. Every job comes with its challenges, and you need to be able to handle them with poise.

Keep your discussion of weaknesses focused on your professional life. Furthermore, show how you channel your self-awareness to improve in a professional manner and not in your personal life.

Practice Being Confident

It may be tough to remain confident while discussing your weaknesses. But don’t let your confidence falter. Before your interview, boost your own self-esteem. Take the time to think about all of your accomplishments and goals. If you have a mantra or power pose, use it to improve your confidence.

Discussing your biggest weakness isn’t about your failure as an employee. As you answer the question, remind yourself that your response is about your assets. You might be introverted, but you’re a hard worker. You might be disorganized, but you take direction well.

Getting the Answer “Right”

There is no right or wrong answer to questions about your weakness. It’s about giving the hiring manager more insight into your personality and your work habits. As long as you follow the tips above, you can be sure to impress.

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