Sharing our weaknesses for many people is the most difficult part of a job interview. Let’s turn it into a highlight.
The secret is to understand the job you are going for and how it plays into your strengths and be honest about your weaknesses, but let’s look at reframing it to an area that can be supported.
Harriet Wilson, Assistant Operations Manager shares her perspective. “It’s an important question in the interview, but somewhat outdated. The weaknesses side should not be used to catch someone out but identified as missed opportunities that can be improved upon. My advice for candidates is to never be too generic, as ‘being a perfectionist’ or ‘working too hard’ is an easy way out.”
Kimberley Best, Recruitment Consultant, follows up on not going generic with a weakness, “It lacks imagination, for instance, we are all hard working. I would say you turn the area for improvement into a positive. For instance, if you might sometimes miss the small detail, you are someone who is part of a team and always checks with others. Recognise how you can bring both sides into the same sentence.”
Rachel Syms, Commercial Manager, understands that no one is perfect, so let’s be honest. “An interviewer should recognise a place for improvement as the ability to coach a new team member. For instance, being shy and introverted should not be seen as a weakness. Be open, if you are critical of yourself, such not too skilled at delegating or risk averse, it shows you can live with yourself and there is room to progress.”
Roxanne Dunlop, Recruitment Consultant, shares her own experience, “During my interview at TeamJobs I realised areas that I wanted to be better at. It does make you feel at ease when you are upfront and not making something up to impress a potential employer. A company that values what you say will understand ways to nurture and improve. It makes you a better person and also part of a wider team. Candidates need to know they will be supported and a genuine question to help.”
Look at the ‘weaknesses’ question as a moment that can become a positive, both in your own explanation and future guidance from an employer. We all have them, but let’s not call it a weakness, more refinements and our own current shortcomings. It doesn’t need to be a moment of dread in an interview.
An interview is to position you as a great person to work with, being open and honest and how we can improve is a part of our work careers and own development. Give it some thought, but always be true to yourself.