For some people, having an interviewer ask them to describe their biggest weakness is their least-favorite part of the interview. Recruiters tend to ask the question to determine the candidate's self-awareness as well as whether he would potentially be a good fit for the position. You should prepare for the question ahead of time, tailor your answer to the position for which you are applying and offer your plan to eliminate your weakness.
Impatience as a Weakness
Patience is a desirable quality for a kindergarten teacher, so you admitting to impatience as a weakness would likely eliminate you from consideration for such a position. However, if you are hoping to secure a job as a logistics supervisor, you may be able to couch it in terms that make it a desirable attribute.
Video of the Day
For example, you may explain that you tend to be impatient with coworkers who do not take their jobs seriously and miss deadlines due to their procrastination. You may also explain that you have been taking management courses to help you learn to motivate team members more effectively.
Difficulty Speaking to Large Groups
If the position involves presenting seminars, this weakness would be problematic. On the other hand, it is not a weakness that would be particularly detrimental to most occupations. It is also a weakness to which the interviewer may relate. As recommended by the employment website Indeed, turn a negative into a positive with self-awareness and an action plan . In this case, you can acknowledge your weakness and explain that you are actively pursuing a public-speaking class to help you overcome it.
Written Communication Skills
Although this is a poor answer if the position involves writing press releases, numerous reports or policy manuals, it may be a good answer for a technical position. Explain that you feel it takes you too long to compose a letter, for example, because you want to make sure you cover all of the points thoroughly. For a job in which attention to detail is critical, this weakness could be perceived as a desirable strength. Explain that you recently completed a course in business communications that you feel will prove valuable.
Biggest Weakness Examples
In addition to the weaknesses discussed above, the employment specialists at Robert Half Talent Solutions list the following as some of the biggest weakness examples:
- Discomfort in taking big risks
- Inclination to take on too much responsibility
- Inexperience with a particular software or a non-essential skill
- Reluctance to delegate tasks
What Not to Say
Do not offer weaknesses that will endanger your chance of receiving a job offer. Never tell an interviewer that your greatest weakness is that you are habitually late, addicted to online gambling or have an anger-control issue. Avoid overused answers, such as telling the interviewer that you are a perfectionist or a workaholic.
Do not respond that you have no weaknesses; the interviewer will know that is not true. Employers don't expect perfection. What they're looking for is a person who is a right fit for the job.
Responding that you cannot think of a weakness suggests that you have not adequately prepared for the interview. As noted by employment website Monster notes that job interviews are perhaps the most stressful part of the job search process. Writing out answers to commonly-asked interview questions can help you prepare. Use employment websites such as Indeed, Monster, JobHero or ZipRecruiter to access job descriptions for positions in your field. Consider what strengths you can bring to the job and how to frame a weakness.