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How to Talk About Your Weaknesses

October 10, 2019

This week I wanted to address an interview question that most people struggle to answer – talking about your weakness.   

There is a common misconception that the best way to answer this question is by stating one of your strengths as a weakness.  For example, I cannot tell you how many times we hear “being a perfectionist” or “working too hard” as being the best answer to this question.  Let me tell you – it’s not. 

First off, let’s examine why the interviewer may be asking you this question.  Typically, when asked this question, the interviewer is looking to see how you handle and respond to questions that require you to self-critique.  Further, the interviewer will also ask this question to look for indicators that show that you have been able to learn and handle new challenges.

Therefore, instead of dreading this question, you should see this question as an opportunity to show that you have what it takes to succeed in the job.  How do you do this?  Here is how we suggest you answer the question.

You answer the question by talking about a skill or trait you have improved. You will want to talk about something that you have identified in yourself as a weakness and then proceed to outline the steps you have taken to improve on it. 

For example, I struggled with group presentations and public speaking when I first started in my career.  However, I registered for a public speaking workshop and was able to improve my communication and leadership skills.

You can address a skill that is relevant to the job you are interviewing for, or you can discuss a weakness that is not important to the job you are interviewing for.  Either way, the important part to remember is that you outline the steps you have taken or are taking to improve and upgrade the skill.  In doing this, you are showing that you are self-aware, you take initiative and you are committed to self-improvement.   Finally, you need to remember that when answering this question, it is important to frame your answer as a positive.  In doing so, you will turn your weakness into an accomplishment and ultimately a success. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other interview questions, contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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