5 Weaknesses You Can Share With Your Interviewer
What is your biggest weakness? When you’re in a job interview, there’s a good chance of this question popping up at some point. Many candidates struggle to find the most appropriate response. While it’s important not to reveal weaknesses that imply you can’t do the job at hand, you should stay away from clichés such as camouflaging a strength as a weakness as well. Case in point: “I’m a perfectionist” is usually an eye-roll-inducing answer. Instead, talk about weaknesses that you can spin into something positive. Show that you recognise your weaknesses and have devised a plan to improve upon them. Here are five weaknesses you may consider sharing at your upcoming job interview.
1. “I used to be disorganised, but I started using this tactic to greatly improve my organisation skills.”
Being organised is great, but interviewers know that not everyone is such. Some candidates are born perfectionists while others have to work a lot harder at it. If being organised isn’t one of your stronger attributes, this might be a good answer to give. Explain how you intend to become better organised in your work and personal life, e.g. using apps that help you keep organised and planning ahead or time. Your interviewer will want to know how you’re going about improving yourself.
2. “I used to ignore assignment deadlines but I’ve begun planning ahead so I have more time to tackle other projects.”
Meeting deadlines is appreciated and expected regardless of your role. This answer shows that you’re taking steps to become more efficient in your work and being proactive about improving yourself. It effectively declares that procrastination used to be an issue for you, but you are resolving it and now rarely have problems meeting deadlines. Again, explain exactly how you’ve turned (or started turning) things around. How differently have you been motivating yourself to keep to deadlines?
3. “I used to prefer handling one project at a time, but now I can work on multiple projects and still produce quality work.”
Interviewers are often impressed at one’s multitasking abilities. In roles where many assignments come at the same time, multitasking is an essential skill. If you’re not good at multitasking, talk about a specific system you use for tackling multiple projects, e.g. allocating a certain number of hours in a day to different projects. Emphasise how you add value by producing good quality work despite handling many requests. For instance, “Being responsible for multiple projects forces me to think on my feet and produce fresh ideas spontaneously and creatively”.
4. “I used to second guess myself, but I’ve learnt to be more confident in my decisions and thus work more efficiently.”
This one is all about efficiency. Talk about how you tended to spend too much time analysing your decisions and reworking project deliverables because you wanted your end product to be your absolute best effort. In explaining how you made decisions more efficiently, remember to mention how you learnt to strike the right balance between your own standards and the demands of your colleagues or superior’s in terms of quality and time. It also shows that you’ve learnt to manage the expectations of those around you.
5. “I used to take on too many new projects at one time, but I’ve learnt to know my limits.”
It’s never a good idea to over promise but under deliver, as it not only puts you in a bad light but also creates trusts issues between you and your colleagues. Show the interviewer that you like taking on more responsibilities, but that you may have overpromised sometimes and are now making a conscious effort to improve. Emphasise how you’ve learnt to strike a balance when juggling priorities and saying “no” when the need arises, and that it has helped you to work better, faster and more efficiently.