How to answer ‘what is your weakness?’
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Have you ever been asked a question in your job interview that has you completely stuck for words? Well you are not alone. Many people including myself have been stuck on those difficult interview questions, but the key to not getting stuck is preparation.
Why Is It Asked?
One of the most challenging questions that someone may ask you in an interview is ‘what is your weakness?’ You may feel trapped by this question but it’s important to understand why an interviewer may ask you this question. They don’t ask it so that you can reveal your flaws and they don’t ask it to trip you up. This question simply gives you the opportunity to show the interviewer that you have good self-awareness. Let’s face it we all have a weakness, but what an interviewer wants to know is whether you are able to acknowledge it and outline strategies that you have implemented to try and overcome it.
How to answer it
When considering how to answer ‘what is your weakness?’ it’s important that you remain completely authentic in your answer. Try not to think about a weakness that will make you look good, like I’m a workaholic or I put too much effort in, these answers seem phony and won’t make you stand out. Try evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, what are you good at and what do you wish you were good at, maybe you aren’t very good at public speaking or maybe you struggle with time management. Whatever your weakness is don’t shy away from it, it’s shows great self-awareness if you are able to acknowledge what your genuine weakness is.
Put it into context
Now it’s one thing to just say what your weakness is and it’s another to put it in context. Try showing the interviewer that you are able to identify an example of when you struggled with your weakness or even when you first noticed your weakness. If public speaking is your weakness, try outlining moments in your work life when you had trouble. For example, ‘I struggle with public speaking, I began to notice when I started to deliver presentations to my team.’ As you can see I have outlined what my weakness is and also given you some context. By giving more depth into your context, you are showing the interviewer the level of your self-awareness.
Outline your growth
Lastly it’s important that you are able to outline how you are trying to overcome that weakness. Have you implemented a strategy that shows commitment to your growth? Outlining ways that you are trying to overcome your weakness further deepens your answer. What this shows is that you are aware of your weakness and how it’s affecting you, but you have implemented a strategy that shows your commitment for growth.
For example: ‘I struggle with public speaking, I began to notice when I started to deliver presentations to my team, at first I would shy away from the opportunity however I knew that the more I practiced the more comfortable I would feel. So I started putting up my hand to do more public speaking, it has definitely been a challenge of mine but I have a very supportive team who makes me feel comfortable. I am hoping that with practice I will gain the skills and confidence needed to be a better public speaker.’
It is important to note that everyone will have a different way of answering this question, however the purpose of this question is for an interviewer to gain insight into your self-awareness. They may ask the question slightly different however their purpose will still remain, so stay authentic in your answer and remember preparation is key.
If you would like more information on how to answer difficult interview questions and to be taught how to properly interview so you are successful in your next role, reach out to KLC Recruitment and ask about our Interview Skills Technique Sessions and CV Writing Sessions today!
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