HOW TO ANSWER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
This type of interview question is asked at over 90% of interviews; therefore, it is highly advisable you prepare a response for it. I have been asked on many occasions in the best what is the most effective way to answer this interview question and within this article I will explain how.
First off it is important to stress that you never say you do not have any weaknesses. Not only is this slightly arrogant it is also a lie. Every single one of us has a weakness, but if you recognise it/them and learn how to use them to your advantage, then this is a positive aspect of one’s character.
For example, my own personal weakness is that I can be extremely impatient. I always work very hard and I sometimes expect others to do the same. On many occasions in the past, co-workers have heard the sharp end of my tongue for not keeping up with my expectations and standards. This is a weakness I have had to learn to control. After gaining feedback from people in the past I have learnt to understand that not everybody is the same and we all work to different levels and paces. I would like to think I am now more patient than I used to be!
Although being impatient is a weakness it can be turned into an effective strength, especially when responding to the “what are your weaknesses?” question. Check out our extensive online interview training for more on this.
In order to demonstrate, here is a sample response to this question:
Q. What are your weaknesses?
“I am aware of one particular weakness which I have been trying to improve on over the last few months. I can be very impatient, especially when it comes to work-related matters. I sometimes get frustrated when people do not deliver on their promises or when a work project gets behind. In the past I would be quite critical of my work colleagues when I didn’t feel they were working as fast as they should have been.
However, on a positive note I am very enthusiastic, hardworking and dedicated, which I believe are all good strengths to have in a work environment. What I am trying to learn is that not everybody works as fast as I do and I have to take in to account the need to be more patient on occasions. On another positive note I am very open to feedback from my peers and line managers and would always invite constructive criticisms if it meant that I would be able to improve my work ethics and standards.”
The above response is strong in the fact that it turns a weakness into a strength. When responding to this interview question, try to tell the interview panel that you are aware of your weaknesses and you always try to make improvements where necessary.
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