You’ve aced the telephone interview, practised your body language and even got your interview outfit sorted… but all that still doesn’t prepare you for the dreaded question… “So, what are your weaknesses?”
But don’t panic or answer with canned clichés, we’re here to provide you with some template answers that won’t get the interviewer rolling their eyes in boredom. The key? Turn a weakness into your greatest asset.
I used to be… and this is how I resolved it.
Using a weakness that no longer exists still counts, so why not use it?
Say a weakness that you USED to have and explain how you turned it around. The interviewer will see you’re willing to adapt, can problem solve and, more importantly, are self-aware - all strengths that any employer will want among their workforce.
E.g. I used to struggle to be assertive, but have since taken on further training to improve this.
My strengths aren’t as strong as I’d like….
There’s more than one answer to this common question. Nobody’s perfect (not even you), so bring up a strength that could do with a little more attention and extra work.
It shows that you can accept that even your strengths aren’t (completely) perfect and you're committed to improving yourself at work rather than being a lazy bones, putting your feet up and accepting it.
E.g. My presentation skills are good, but they aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be and hope this company can help me improve on them.
I think my weakness could actually complement your company…
It’s time to knuckle down and play snap with this potential employer. So if you can, match your weakness to theirs, as what you perceive as bad might actually benefit their company.
Too strict about structure? If the company clearly needs a more organized routine, then your weakness could be their strength.
E.g. I like everything to be organized and in its own place – to a company that clearly doesn’t know the meaning of the word filing.
Our guide to researching the job.
Finally, if you can, try and keep you weakness unrelated to the job description. Want to work in finance? Don’t tell them you’re rubbish at maths.
How to market yourself
5 answers you should NEVER say
- I’m a perfectionist
- I have no weaknesses, only strengths (that just screams LIAR!)
- I work too hard
- I’m not great at timekeeping and struggle with deadlines
- I hate people
So they've asked you questions, but what should you ask them? See our guide