interview question "what are your weaknesses"?

Comments (21)

Rde in Arizona

62 months ago

Can anyone give advice on how to answer the question "what are your weaknesses" when applying for jobs or when they ask you during an interview. Maybe share what you have told prospective employers when applying and what their reactions were.

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Lola in Dallas, Texas

62 months ago

I always found one thing that was pretty innocuous but honest, and understandable which ended up becoming a bonding moment if that makes any sense - such as, "sometimes I put tasks I enjoy less on the bottom of my daily list", then give an example such as paperwork. I then would add that I never missed a deadline and always had it done correctly. Don't use the fake out of the false weakness "I'm too dedicated" type of response. That will get a bigger eye roll and groan than an honest answer. Some may disagree with my answer but that is what I would say and in my profession, paperwork (charting) is the bane of everyone's existence so everyone knew what I was talking about and gave a knowing "I get it!" comment.

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Andromeda Rising in Rockbridge, Ohio

62 months ago

I simply say that I don't have any.

If they want to ask such a weak question, screw 'em.

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Duck! in Brooklyn, New York

62 months ago

Andromeda Rising in Rockbridge, Ohio said: I simply say that I don't have any.

If they want to ask such a weak question, screw 'em.

I have had a couple of candidates give this response to this question, and that has instantly removed them from consideration.

I expect a professional to be able to assess both their strengths and their weaknesses, and to be able to articulate both; if they can't do that, then I don't want them. To say that you don't have any weaknesses indicates that you haven't thought enough about your professional development and skill set; it also indicates that you are going to be a PITA to supervise, because supervision involves critique and feedback, and a person who cannot see their own weaknesses won't be able to accept it when others see them.

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Need New Job in Michigan

62 months ago

I've also eliminated people for that answer. It's a self awareness question. Not a fun one to answer, but it is important to demonstrate that no, you aren't a diva who thinks they are perfect. The trick to this question is to spin it as a positive. The most overused example is saying something like "sometimes I'm too detail oriented". You want your weakness to sound like a strength to the ears of the manager.

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Need New Job in Michigan

62 months ago

Need New Job in Michigan said: I've also eliminated people for that answer. It's a self awareness question. Not a fun one to answer, but it is important to demonstrate that no, you aren't a diva who thinks they are perfect. The trick to this question is to spin it as a positive. The most overused example is saying something like "sometimes I'm too detail oriented". You want your weakness to sound like a strength to the ears of the manager.

Weird double post. Stupid indeed.

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Tiffiney O in Northbrook, Illinois

62 months ago

I usually pick a skill that is rarely/never used in the job that I'm applying for. For example, I'm extremely nervous and scared of public speaking in front of a large audience but my profession is web development which means I will more than likely never be in that situation in anyway. It's a typical stereotype of developers that they are introverts anyway, which I am, so I feel I can get away with saying that with no problem.

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Bluetea in Texas

62 months ago

Need New Job in Michigan said: I've also eliminated people for that answer. It's a self awareness question. Not a fun one to answer, but it is important to demonstrate that no, you aren't a diva who thinks they are perfect. The trick to this question is to spin it as a positive. The most overused example is saying something like "sometimes I'm too detail oriented". You want your weakness to sound like a strength to the ears of the manager.

Weakness? I would say coming up with something original in response to this age old question would be a weakness of mine.

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Rde in Arizona

62 months ago

Duck! in Brooklyn, New York said: I have had a couple of candidates give this response to this question, and that has instantly removed them from consideration.

I expect a professional to be able to assess both their strengths and their weaknesses, and to be able to articulate both; if they can't do that, then I don't want them. To say that you don't have any weaknesses indicates that you haven't thought enough about your professional development and skill set; it also indicates that you are going to be a PITA to supervise, because supervision involves critique and feedback, and a person who cannot see their own weaknesses won't be able to accept it when others see them.

I agree with what your saying and when I've been asked for a weakness I definetly wouldn't say I don't have any, no one is perfect we all have our faults. I sometimes just have a brain freeze cause not all interviewers ask this question so when it does come up I am not always sure what to say and I also don't want to say something that would suede them from not wanting to hire me. Kinda seems like a tricky question to answer cause you know if they don't like the answer you give them, then they definetly won't want to hire you.

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Rde in Arizona

62 months ago

Duck! in Brooklyn, New York said: I have answered this question by pointing out parts of the job description that my background doesn't quite match, and then saying how I can compensate for it. For example, "In terms of the position, as we've discussed I don't have direct experience working in the public school system, so I think this is an area I will need to work on. However, I have supervised several school workers so I am familiar with the basics of how the school system works."

This type of answer has a couple of advantages: 1. it doesn't reveal any new weaknesses (they could see from my resume that I don't have experience in schools); 2. it allows me to directly address an area that could count against me; and 3. it allows me to address how I can compensate in that area. I also think interviews appreciate the fact that I'm not trying to give a safe answer.

I like your example. I never thought about giving an answer like that. Thank you for the advice:) I've always been curious as to how people answer this question while being able to turn it into a positive answer rather then a negative one.

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DoubleJai in Stevensville, Maryland

59 months ago

When asked this, I said something along the lines of "When I make a mistake, I tend to let it bother me and I think about it for awhile". I don't know how good or bad of an answer that was..

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Bluetea in Texas

58 months ago

Neil Lism in London, United Kingdom said: I expect professionals not to ask dumb questions.

During a job search, expect to meet a lot of unprofessional people asking dumb questions.

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Kate_outta_kontrol in deep in the heart of, Texas

58 months ago

"i dont have any obvious weaknesses....I am always willing to work on anything my employers would like me to".......this from my sister who has worked in HR.....sounds good as any an answer to that stupid question

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Bill in Farmingdale, New York

58 months ago

We ask several versions of this question at our company to candidates.

The winning answer does not lie in what your actual weakness is, but to paint a logical and clear explanation of how you overcame it. We do not care about your weakness as much as how you progressed through and defeated it, because this is the skill that is important when facing challenging obstacles at work every day.

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Vitaver Jobs in Fort lauderdale, Florida

58 months ago

Vitaver's Recruiters advise you to turn this question around to make it work for you not against. Point out parts of the job description that your background doesn't quite match, and then say how you can compensate for it.

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ZeeBiscuit in Atlanta, Georgia

57 months ago

I was asked this and I said (after she asked me "What are your strengths?" question), "My strengths are my weaknesses because I can improve them." or something along those lines.

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Dogbert in Dunedin, New Zealand

40 months ago

Dilbert (Scott Adams) has some answers you shouldn't use :-) dilbert.com/search_results?terms=What+Is+Your+Biggest+Weakness

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AndyRising in a State of Bliss

40 months ago

After being in the workforce for 30 years, I think that I've long since recognized my weaknesses and have worked to overcome or alleviate them. Anything that's left over is my personality, and it's not going to change.

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Sheyne Tricia Barreto in Hounslow, United Kingdom

30 months ago

Sheyne Tricia Barreto having education of MBA in finance. Hraworking, proactive and a team leader.

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ChevyChick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

30 months ago

Pick something, but follow up with how you have learned from it or how you can use it to your advantage. I usually say my weakness is that I'm very quiet, but I'm actually quiet because I love to observe my environment and learn from others, which is how I can pick up skills quickly. It helps me to pay attention to small details and I have a strong memory because of it!

So use a weakness that you can turn in to a positive. Just search on Google for a list of weakness and there's plenty that you can go through and think about! Heck, even if you just have to make one up to get through the interview ;)

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jonrgrover in Indianapolis, Indiana

5 months ago

I take a different approach to this question than most people. My weakness is troubleshooting. About half the jobs I apply for rely on my weakness and about half do not. I tell the interviewers that my weakness is troubleshooting. This immediately weeds out any positions where troubleshooting is a big part of the job. Most cases where it is not, the interviewers do not care much if I am weak in this area. I would not be happy in a job with lots of troubleshooting, and I am happy in most jobs in my field that do not have it.

The bottom line is that I use my answer to this question to weed out inappropriate jobs.

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