Weakness Question Tips

The “weakness” question is bound to come up, in some way, shape, or form during your next job interview. The weakness question might be asked directly in the interview, “What are your weaknesses?” Or it could be couched in tricky language, such as “Tell us about a recent challenge you had with a team member and how you handled it.” Or, “This position requires project management skills, customer service skills, and time management skills, please rank those in order of your strongest to your weakest.”

However the weakness subject comes up, you need to be prepared to address it, in an honest manner that doesn’t cast you in a bad light. How can you do that?

Start by thinking of your top five weaknesses and how you compensate for them. Then, as part of your job interview preparation, practice talking about each one, in a succinct, non-defensive manner, followed by a solution for overcoming that weakness. Make notes for yourself, if you need to, but then be prepared to speak without those notes.

Your answer to the weakness question could address a weakness you have overall or a specific weakness as it applies to the responsibilities of the job you’re applying for.

Following are example answers to the weakness questions:

“My weakness is procrastination. I compensate for it by setting tight deadlines for myself, creating “to do lists,” and reevaluating priorities and projects on a daily basis.

“My weakness is that I’m not familiar with the software program that you’re using, but I’m a quick learner, and I’m working with something similar in my current job.”

“My weakness is that I demand a lot of my team and myself. I compensate for that by consciously focusing on achievement and praise.”

“My weakness is that I’ve been out of the job market for two years, but I’ve kept up with my skills and training.”

“My weakness is that I’m impatient, and I compensate for that by setting right-size goals and checking with my supervisor to set realistic timelines.”

Everyone has weaknesses….there’s no sense pretending that you don’t or by giving a disingenuous answer that will ring hollow. Be truthful, and positive, and you’ll succeed at this portion of the job interview.

Want more job interview advice? Click here for behavioral interview question tips and what to do and not to do in a job interview.