How To Answer, ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’

How To Answer, ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’

Taking the time to consider potential weaknesses in advance can help you turn your next job interview into a success.

When asked ‘what are your weaknesses' it could stop you in your tracks and an interview that was flowing could come to an uncomfortable moment.

First of all, let’s explain why this question appears. It’s not to make you feel awkward but to be self-aware, a way to display your attitude and recognise that no one is ever the finished article. It’s an exercise of the honesty muscle.

Here is advice from our side.

Karen Jayne Harris, Senior Consultant, says, “Identify a flaw and turn it around into a positive. For instance, you could be a person that focuses on the detail of a project, but what it doesn’t hinder is productivity and achieving deadlines. What you can’t do with this question is try hard to come across as clever. Acknowledge a weakness but look at the impact and then recognise improvement. Perhaps you sometimes feel reticent to ask for help, maybe that’s because you are happy to work independently to find solutions. To suggest a better outcome, know the people that are around you to support.”

Jordan Ball, Senior Industrial Recruitment Consultant, understands that honesty is always the best policy, but remember to not be too hard on yourself. This isn’t an exercise to hamper your self-confidence. “Think about your previous roles and how you overcame a problematic moment. Whatever you do, don’t say you don’t have any weaknesses and remember the saying, ‘your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness.’ When you profess you are all strengths, that just isn’t realistic and can come across as insincere.” 

Georgia Brooker, Financial Recruitment Consultant, shares that honesty always wins but don’t let that prevent you from getting the role, your confidence and consideration still shine, “During my interview with TeamJobs I was asked the ‘weaknesses’ question and this is how I replied. I said that I focus quite a lot on the detail. To some, it could conjure up the idea of causing delays, but to me, it’s a way to make sure mistakes are avoided. It’s fine to acknowledge you are not the finished article and consider the role you are applying for.”

Balance is also an area to consider. Kat Bielecka, Recruitment Consultant, says, “It’s better to look at an aspect that can be changed, around the job, rather than something that cannot be changed, namely your personality. For instance, there could be an experience you require, but with some support and knowing you’re a fast learner, you can make the right steps forward.”

An interview can be a nerve-wracking stage for anybody. Sometimes a bit of preparation for one of the most asked questions can be a good place to reflect and respond in a way that can only be of benefit. 

Want to make sure your next career step is the right one for you, let TeamJobs help you, enquire here.