There are few interview questions more dreaded than, “What’s your greatest weakness?” “All of them,” you’re thinking, as you sit there nervously, but you can turn it around if you know how to tell the truth but not sabotage yourself. It’s all about putting a positive-yet-honest spin on your challenges. We put together some tips and tricks to help you ace the interview and (hopefully) get one step closer to the job you want.
It’s important to tell the truth about your weaknesses during a job interview, but you also need to put your best foot forward. How to you find the right balance between these goals while still managing to “sell” yourself to a potential employer? It’s all in how you describe your weaknesses. From accepting your faults to asking for help and showing improvement, you’ll find out how to make the most of this difficult interview question further on into the article.
Turn Your Weaknesses into Positive Traits With These Tips.
Recognize and Accept Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses. Saying you don’t just comes across as dishonest and pandering, and that’s not the fix. Instead, you should recognize and accept your weaknesses as a lesson.
Think through various academic or professional scenarios from your past that didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Then, identify your role in that outcome and how you could’ve done better. What you did, instead of what you should’ve done, is a jumping off point to identify your weaknesses.
Get Help From Someone You Trust
Keep honest, trustworthy people in your life, and if you’re having help figuring out your own weaknesses, ask them. Then, potentially go a step further and ask them to help you overcome it. This is also an excellent anecdote to share during an interview, and shows you know yourself, aren’t afraid to ask for help if needed. It’s also proof that you actively want to improve your skill set.
As much as you may want to, don’t lie about your weaknesses in an interview. Most employers use background screening services to root out these lies now, even for areas like weaknesses and strengths. Lying could cost you the job.
Even if you end up getting the job, a little while working will reveal the truth and potentially put you in hot water with your boss. And don’t try to say being a perfectionist or workaholic is a weakness; your interviewer will see right through it.
Sharing your weaknesses is also the perfect time to highlight your ability to learn and grow. An example could be that you’re not a very strong public speaker, but you’ve begun taking courses to improve the skill and practice several times a week.
Here’s another example: you could be bad at delegating, but maybe you’ve been actively working at your current job to get better. You even asked for assistance from your boss. This shows self-awareness, which is the key to success. It also demonstrates that you have the drive to learn from your mistakes.
Tailor Your Weaknesses to the Job
You shouldn’t lie, but sometimes it can be beneficial to conceal some of the truth. If the job posting you’re interviewing for requires a cheerful attitude, don’t say your weakness is that you hate people. Pick something else instead. If you have to do a lot of data entry or filing, don’t say you’re disorganized. Everyone has more than one weakness, so chose the one that is the least detrimental to the job you want.
Weaknesses are part of life. A popular book about the interview process reveals that people are 80 percent strengths and 20 percent weaknesses, and no one will ever be 100 percent perfect. So, give yourself a break, okay? You don’t have to be perfect. Follow the steps listed above and know that employers often want effort rather than perfection or exactitude.