"What's your weakness?" Interview Question

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
2839 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@RedPandas:  I interview candidates at my job sometimes, and I don’t think there’s really a “right” answer. (There is definitely a “wrong” answer – “I’m such a workaholic! I work too hard!” Yeaaah… okay. Lol.)

I like when people can identify a weakness and then tell me about how they were able to overcome it. Being able to take a look at yourself and identify weak areas is the sign of a thoughtful, conscientious person – and being able to tell me how you addressed it is the sign of a proactive person who is going to be able to take correction and work to improve themselves.

For instance: “I’m shy. I don’t love public speaking or talking on the phone. I’ve addressed that by learning how to sort of “go into character” when I’m in a situation that makes me nervous – and by seeking out opportunities to practice that public speaking.” That’s the kind of person I want to hire – someone who knows what they could be better at and then figures out how to get better. 

Post # 4
Member
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’ve given up on trying to make it positive, because I feel silly and feel like you, like I’m lying. I’m just not a great robot like that!

Instead, I’m honest about a weakness and mention a way I have or am currently working on it. I forget what I said in my interview in my current position. I think I said that I lacked grant writing experience, but I added that I’m a fast and eager learner, and was looking forward to working on them in this job, so that I can better develop my grant writing skills. It was true, and they seemed to be satisfied.

I think right now I’d answer by saying I’m not a shy person, but get nervous and don’t often speak up in bigger meetings even when I have something valuable to add. I’d say I’m working on challenging myself to write down my idea during the meeting to remind myself to say it. Or something like that.

Post # 5
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think that answering the question honestly, and explaining how you overcame it is the way to go.

So for example… I used to be terrible at public speaking and I blush easily. I’ve been in Toastmasters for 3+ years and I do a lot of presentations now at my current job. I’ve come a LONG way. So I would say that public speaking is my weakness… BUT I do X, Y, Z… etc.

No one is brilliant at everything. Unless your weakness is a core component of the job (i.e. that would be a horrible example to use if I were interviewing for a news anchor position) then it shows that you know your weaknesses and you’re doing something about it. I think that’s all they want to know.

Post # 6
Member
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree with canary diamond. 

I always say the truth, that my weakness is multi-tasking. But I always throw in there that because cuz I am extremely organized, it makes multi-tasking not as bad as it could be. 

Post # 7
Member
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@RedPandas:  My answer.

“One of my biggest weaknesses is that I talk to much. I am very very very social and I love to converse with my customers. I have overcome this weakness by turning this into a positive and learning to use this “weakness” as an advantage. By making customers feel like they are being talk to like a friend you make them feel wecome in your presence.”

I say something along those lines but I work in customer service and that is part of my job everyday. I converse with people on 45 minute phone interview. You have to have a personal flare.

Post # 8
Member
3635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I hate that question.  For real – I’m not a morning person, I have a really hard time coming to work on time.  🙂

What I say – I take things personally.  I have a hard time distancing myself from my work and take criticism to heart and get upset.  I have to take a step back and try to separate myself from my work or my project, but still use that fire to work on whatever it was that brought about the comment in the first place.

Post # 10
Member
931 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I pick an actual weakness and tell them how i will work on it. For eg. when i was applying for intern positions i simply said. “I have spent the last few years studying and working casually. I have never actually worked a full time position for me. that could be a challenge as im not sure what to expect, but like anything, i try my hardest at everything i do and am sure i will adjust to the change.

Post # 11
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

UGH. I HATE that question!

I always said (as a preschool teacher) that I wasn’t very good at discipline, and that I had a hard time being tough with the kids.

But most preschool teachers are either just like me, or TOTAL ball-busters. So it was negative, but not horribly so.

Post # 12
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Commenting to follow.

I HATE this question. To be honest, my biggest issues are that I don’t like delegating and I have an almost pathological need for everything to be perfect… but “I’m a perfectionist” sounds like one of those stupid answers you got from Google…

Definitely negative points for my answer!

Post # 13
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

I go with sometimes I find it hard to say no to a good project.  I always want to help others when asked, but I’ve found that I really have to look at my time and schedule before committing so that I do not overextend myself.

Post # 14
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I say “yes” too often and sometimes I am a bit demanding BUT I always get projects done efficiently and I know how to show my team that I am appreciative of their hard work. 

Post # 15
Member
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Hmm. I always try to prepare for this question, but I can’t remember what I said last time. I guess I would say something about not being that great at Excel but I am planning on taking an online course during my winter break from school.

I’ve never gotten that detailed though. I think in the past I’ve said things about being a perfectionist (before I knew that that was somehow not a good answer) and that “I ask a lot of questions which is taken either very good or very bad by most people.” I think the questions one is my go to because most people are happy with people that ask a lot of questions and the ones that are bothered by it, I really could not work for. So if that answer is the one that keeps me from getting the job, it wasn’t a job I could’ve handled anyway. I need an open environment.

Post # 16
Member
896 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

@RedPandas:  I can be pretty inflexible.  I set hard deadlines, and I like to stick by them, and it is hard for me to deviate from a set plan, but I am working on being better at accepting that sometimes plan b can and will be the best course of action.  

This is what I have answered in the past.  

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