How To Describe Your Weaknesses During A Job Interview?

Posted On January 13,2020

Ramya and Nishtha are best friends and have recently qualified engineering exam. They both went for an interview in two different companies on the same date. 

The interview process was going smooth until the interviewer asked a question, “What are your biggest weaknesses?”

Nishtha was scared as hell after hearing this question. She replied instantly, “I don’t think I have any weakness except being a perfectionist due to which I delay in submitting the project sometimes. I’m trying to improve it.”

On the other hand, Ramya was calm and thought for 10 seconds before answering this question. Then, she politely described her weaknesses without screwing up the chances of getting selected. She also explained what action points are she taking to improve that weakness and not letting it affect her output. 

Who is the clear winner? - Ramya. 

No one is perfect in this imperfect world, and your interviewer knows it. 

So, you can’t get away with this question, “Do you have any weaknesses?” by answering a clear NO. Neither, you can speak up the cliches weaknesses ‘I am a perfectionist’, ‘I focus too much on details’, ‘I get angry when a project gets delayed’, etc. and expose yourself in front of the interviewer.

How to answer this question effectively?

You have to explain your weaknesses without bringing its impact on your candidature. Here are some actionable tips to help you craft a convincing answer - 

  • Don’t talk about personal weaknesses - You should talk about those weaknesses that are relevant to your professional competencies. There is no need for describing weaknesses like “I can’t do enough exercise”, “I’m bad at making paintings” etc.
  • Tell a weakness which can be overcome with some effort - If you tell an irreversible weakness, the interviewer might think that you’re not a good fit for the role. Tell a few shortcomings which can be overturned with regular efforts. Also, you can describe how you have been already making efforts to improve upon the weakness. For example, “I’m bad at speaking on stage, but I joined Toastmasters Club a month ago to improve public speaking skills.”
  • Don’t describe a weakness that can ruin your chances of selection - If there is a job position that requires the employee to lead a team of 5 members, you can’t get away by saying, “I have bad leadership qualities or team-playing ability”. The interviewer will reject you straight away. Read the job description carefully to identify the significant requirements and skill set that the company is expecting. Accordingly, choose a weakness that doesn’t hamper your selection chances.
You should describe your weaknesses wisely during the interview. Questions like this can make or break the direction of the interview. If you practice well in advance, you will be able to crack these kinds of questions successfully.

Skill Prodigy provides you with ample opportunities to practice these kinds of questions. You can also get timely feedback from the industry experts and improve your shortcomings.

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