One of the trickiest part of an interview is when recruiters inquire about weaknesses. Why do employers do it? Well, it helps them to evaluate your trustworthiness and ability to assess your own skills. Recruiters of course do not ask this questions to uncover your weaknesses. They get paid for having an ability to uncover it on their own. The same applies to “What are your strengths?” question.
Prepare yourself in advance
It is very important that you prepare yourself in advance for this question. Because whether you like it or not, it will come.
First thing to do is to write down all your strengths and weaknesses. Then you should relate it to the job you are applying for. If you are not sure about your weaknesses, ask someone who is honest to you, your best friend for example. Come on, we all have some weaknesses. If you can not find it on your own, ask someone to help you.
Pick weaknesses that are not related for the job
So you have made your list and see your weaknesses. Perfect! Now it is time to pick one or two that have the least effect on the job. See samples below to understand it better.
For example, if you are interviewed for a job in which one meets many people(sales person, customer assistant, help desk, etc.), then you could say that your weakness is being over-friendly to customers. Recruiters might even consider that one as a strength!
Another example, if you are interviewed for an IT position, it will be alright to say that you are not assertive. After all, your job is to deal with systems and codes, not people. Think about it, it is easy!
Admitting that you have little patience with people would be also good, but only to a certain level. Lack of humor, being too demanding, too critical, too sensitive and impatient are some of the good answers to this one. Think if it is crucial for the job and decide according to it.
Follow up with your efforts to improve
Revealing your weaknesses is not enough. You should elaborate on it with an explanation of how you are improving on it. For example, if you said that you struggled in communication, you should follow up with an explanation that you understand the importance of teamwork and therefore you work on improving your communication skills (e.g. some trainings, reading books on the topic, etc.).
Everyone has some weaknesses, but how you plan to improve on it is what the interviewers want to hear from a good applicant. Nobody is perfect, but your desire to improve yourself every day can win you the hearts of many recruiters. So talk job related, pick something that isn’t a showstopper and follow with your efforts to improve on the weaknesses. That’s the way to get a job.
P.S. If these questions are too difficult for you, or if you feel that you would like to get some advanced help, we suggest you to have a look at this e-book. It has helped countless job seekers to ace their interviews. And there are many answers to all tough questions. Thank you!