Talking about your weaknesses can be difficult, especially because they inevitably pop up in most job interviews. We’ve heard all the generic answers from the self-proclaimed workaholics and perfectionists, but how can you really answer this question in a positive way that gets your interviewer’s attention and demonstrates that you are a genuine human?
From a hiring perspective, a candidate who is in tune with their weaknesses and knows how to overcome them can be a really attractive prospect. The reality is that everyone has at least (but definitely more than) one weakness that they can talk about in an interview and shine a positive light on. It’s all about how you present yourself.
Weaknesses can range in intensity. For example, “if I don’t write things down I forget them” is an example of a small weakness that can be easily overcome. By sharing this fact it shows that you have learned about a personal fault and found a solution to overcoming that bump in the road. Another weakness, that would be considered to be an example of a more difficult one: “If I’m faced with a task that I find intimidating, I tend to put it off.” This is a real fear that many professionals in a growing role may be faced with. Knowing something like this about yourself can be your greatest asset, however, because you can arm yourself with the tools to be prepared to overcome that weakness and self-coach your way to success.
If you are having trouble identifying specific weaknesses, a good exercise to try is to make a list of the times you failed, felt overwhelmed, or stressed and circle back to why that outcome or feeling may have been less than desired. This exercise will lead you to learning about your weaknesses and then by reviewing your tangible examples you can work to address those weaknesses in the future.
At the end of the day, if you’ve made it to the round of interviews for a job position, the hiring team are already impressed with your professional experience. The interview is an opportune time for them to assess you as a person. Being genuine and showing humility is a great way to win people over.
Story By: Sophie Duncan