The whole goal of Interviews is to identify a candidate’s fitness for a specific job, so a discussion about strengths and weaknesses is pretty standard. Talking about strengths is one thing because it’s just a chance to shine, but what about the curveball, weaknesses? Many interviewees struggle to discuss this since they don’t want to seem incapable of the job.  

Why Do Interviewers Ask About This?  

The response to this question tells the interviewer a lot. They aren’t looking for you to be perfect-no one is perfect. But this question gives some insight into how the candidate would handle adversity or obstacles on the job. It’s OK to have flaws or run into problems, what matters is how you go about overcoming those problems and improving yourself.  

Another aspect of asking about weaknesses is to see how Candidates deal with constructive criticism. It’s a part of life and the workplace, so employers want to make sure that you can recognize and handle it. Talking about weakness gives them a chance to see how you may criticize yourself.  

How to Answer it: 

Since the way candidates discuss their weaknesses tells interviewers a lot, you must not come off the wrong way. Again, employers know you are not perfect. However, some weaknesses may be an issue more than others. 

For example, a candidate who responds that their weakness is a poor temper might be more of a red flag than a candidate who says their weakness is that they put too much pressure on themselves. To be sure that you don’t answer this question in an unappealing way here are some tips!  

Know Your Weaknesses 

Once again, it is OK to have a weakness. Be upfront with yourself. If you really can’t put a finger on what your weakness is, take an online quiz. Everyone has them and to properly address them, you need to acknowledge and accept yours. 

Be Honest 

Don’t beat around the bush. Be upfront with the interviewer about your weaknesses and use this question in your favor. Saying something you pulled out of thin air will come off way worse than being honest about what you struggle with. Additionally, saying something that relates to the job should be steered clear of because you won’t get hired for the thing your most weak at doing.  

Mention Conquering Weakness 

Like mentioned previously, the whole point of this question for the interviewer is to see how you overcome obstacles and work to improve yourself. Be sure that you have an example on the top of your head about a time when you overcame a weakness. This is exactly how you can spin this question in your favor.  

Make Sure your Response is Work-Related 

Personal weakness can be okay sometimes, but since it’s a job interview it’s better to answer with something that relates to the workplace. It’s also just a good idea in general to keep work and personal life separate.  

DON’T Say you’re a perfectionist 

Interviewers hear this response ALL. THE. TIME. And they don’t want to hear it. They either know this answer was prepared in advance and move on or will ask for another example. Similarly, spinning this question to say you work “too hard” or don’t give yourself time to relax is NOT what the interviewer is looking for. This does not give them insight into the way you deal with challenges, which is what this question is all about.  

Just a reminder, it’s okay to have weaknesses and talk about them openly. That’s exactly why this question is asked so just make sure you keep these pointers in mind so your answer benefits you. For more ideas on how to answer this, check out 10 example responses from Indeed