“What is your greatest weakness”, is one of the most loathed questions of all time by interviewees. No one really wants to focus on the negative side of who they really are, which is why most people lie just to do away with this question.
When answering this question, however, you simply don’t want to give an answer that will depict you as being dishonest. On the other hand, you also want to avoid giving an answer that will automatically disqualify you from being considered for the role at hand.
So, how then should you answer this highly feared question? Here are 6 approved weaknesses to mention in an interview.
1. I’m not so patient when working with a team
You can tell the interviewer that you experience some difficulty relying on others to complete your work. Be sure to mention that you’ve been working on improving by engaging in team-building workshops.
Tell them that even if you mostly prefer to work independently, you also appreciate the importance of trusting co-workers and asking for help when absolutely necessary. However, you should avoid giving this answer in a role that requires teamwork to achieve the objectives of the organization.
2. I find it hard to just let go of a project
After spending a lot of time and effort on a project, you really want it to be perfect, before submitting the results. If that describes one of your characters, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know that you like spending time on whatever you are working on till you are sure that it’s complete.
Tell them that you are the greatest critic of your work and that you always hope to find something that can be changed or improved. While this might sound like a threat to time-sensitive projects, we all know that last-minute reviews often save the day and make it possible to deliver the expected results.
3. I could use a little bit more experience in…
Every candidate has some areas they could improve on in their expertise. Maybe it something specific like using a certain feature in Excel, or just a general skill like public speaking or writing. In any case, letting the interviewer know that there is something you really want to improve on assures them of your self-awareness and a great desire to be a better version of who you are at the moment.
Just be sure not to list an area that is vital to the role as one of the areas that you are working to improve on. Some of the areas that you could mention include:
• Team leadership
• Using specific programs effectively, e.g. PowerPoint Presentation Skills
• Written communication
• Interpreting analytics
• Giving constructive criticism
• Verbal communication
• Interpreting analytics
4. I, at times, have trouble asking for help
While asking for help when feeling burned out with your workload or when you are lacking in a certain field is vital for personal and organizational success, you might have a challenge doing so at times. If you have trouble asking for help sometimes maybe because you are independent when working, let the interviewer know so.
However, be quick to mention that you’ve realized the benefits of asking for help when you need it and that even though you’re still working on improvements, you’ve been able to achieve great results after asking for help.
5. I feel that it’s quite challenging to maintain a healthy work/life balance at times
Having a healthy work/life balance is one of the most important things as far as staying motivated while working is concerned. If you’ve decided to mention this as a weakness, let the interviewer know that your ambition and love for your work have made it difficult to have a healthy work/life balance at times. Let them understand that ignoring your personal needs has often had a negative impact on your motivation at work.
As such, you have been trying your best to improve on creating some space in your schedule to focus on your personal life. Mention that small actions such as having your phone on silent mode during dinner go a long way in improving your personal life experience. In the end, you have realized that trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance has a positive impact and that it allows you to have better quality output.
Let them know that you can get more work done and that you’re excited to report to work every morning just as a result of having a better work/life balance.
6. I have found it a little bit challenging for me to get along perfectly with certain personalities
It’s no doubt that even the most flexible individuals still find it a little bit hard to work with persons with specific personality traits. If you have had such a challenge in the past be sure to specify the personality traits that have been quite difficult for you to put up with, and why that is the case.
However, ensure that you have been working on handling this challenge in the best way possible. Mention that you have been spending more time with people with such character traits so that you can learn more about them. That way, it has become easier to collaborate with such personality types while combining your strengths and skills.
The above are some of the best answers to the question, “Tell me more about your weaknesses”. Of course, you should make an effort to learn more about the company so that you can tweak your answer in favor of the role you are interested in. Avoid giving exaggerated answers as most interviewers are quick to identify the slightest hints of dishonesty.