How to Describe a Weakness in an Interview

September 23rd, 2014

Someday, you could be asked to describe a weakness of yours while in a job interview. Many people struggle with this question because they don’t know whether to give a real weakness or a strength that is disguised as a weakness. Here are some tips on how to describe a weakness in an interview:

Prepare for This Question in an Interview. 

Asking you to describe a weakness seems to be a reoccurring question in many interviews, so you might as well be prepared. Before your interview, compose a list of your legitimate weaknesses, both professional and personal. Then, make a list of specific skills and strengths needed for the position. Do not choose a weakness that will bring up an instant red flag. For example, someone interviewing for a management role should not talk about issues with delegating, but he/she could mention that sometimes they are not strong with details. You can ask family and friends for help if you are having a hard time thinking of weaknesses. 

Be Honest. 

Don’t make up a weakness that actually makes you sound great. Be honest with your employers and give them a genuine weakness you have. Your potential employer wants to hear that you’re human and can recognize your own faults. Once you describe an honest weakness, you will want to follow the next step listed below. 

Detail How You’ve Overcome That Weakness. 

Focus on what you have done and are doing to overcome the weakness. Make sure to detail how you’ve overcome that weakness so it isn’t counted against you in the overall scope of your interview. Balance it with strength. For example, the interviewee who was applying for a management position and has trouble with details, can talk about the chart system he/she developed to keep them attune to details, and then point out that as a manager, he/she sees the “big picture” vision and is adept at delegating wisely, making sure he/she is covering the details through his/her team. 

Explain That Your Awareness of the Weakness is Helpful for Self-Improvement. 

After you’ve explained how you’ve overcome your weakness, mention that you are try to remain keenly aware of weaknesses in general and are always working to better yourself. This will give employers who have any resting doubt more peace of mind. Even though the employers asked the question and want to know the answer, they also want to know that you’re working on self-improvement as much as possible. 

Contact Olympic Staffing. We will help you secure an interview and place you with companies that are well suited to your needs and skills.

 

 

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