What's the best way to talk about weaknesses at job interviews? When you’re asked about weaknesses, it's important to respond carefully. You don't want to cast any doubt on your ability to do the job. However, you also don’t want to come across as arrogant or dishonest by claiming that you don’t have any weaknesses.
There are several different ways to answer when you're asked during a job interview what your greatest weakness is. You can mention skills that aren't critical for the job, discuss skills you have improved on, or turn a negative into a positive. Even though the question is about weaknesses, your answer should always be framed around the positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee.
Here are some of the best answers:
- "Organization hasn’t always been my strongest point. I’ve always been inclined to prioritize tasks that directly impact the bottom line, and maintaining a pristine desk or an organized inbox didn’t seem to truly move the needle in terms of my output. Over time, I’ve learned that keeping a clean workspace — both physically, and digitally — does support my ability to focus and enhance the efficiency of my workflow. I’ve implemented a time management system that enables me to stay organized without encroaching on my other responsibilities."
- "When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of when it is due. While this means I never miss a deadline, it also means that sometimes I can find myself rushed when I’m working. I’ve since learned to slow down, be more patient, and give each project the careful attention it deserves."
- "I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done the first time correctly. I also time myself when I work to prevent myself from spending too much time on one project, and guaranteeing I’ll have enough time to get to the rest of my work."
- "I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense. I’m now much more proactive about scheduling meetings, and this allows me to plan and segment out my work for the week without having to guess at when I’ll need to leave time for meetings."
- "I've learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage. I have become proficient at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know that my work is accurate."
- "Sometimes, I spend more time than necessary on a task or take on tasks personally that could easily be delegated to someone else. Although I've never missed a deadline, it is still an effort for me to know when to move on to the next task, and to be confident when assigning others work. In my recent position, I implemented a project management tool that allowed me to easily oversee the progress of all the tasks I assigned, which helped me feel much more comfortable delegating work."
- "Numbers have not always been my strong suit. Fortunately, as a copywriter, I can focus most of my time on the creative process of writing. However, in recent years I have begun to familiarize myself with the digital analytics tools used in the various websites and apps I write for and found that when you add context, “numbers” can actually be quite enlightening."
- "I used to like to work on one project to its completion before starting on another, but I've learned to work on many projects at the same time, and I think it allows me to be more creative and effective in each one."
- "As an undergrad, I used to leave assignments until the last minute, but with the workload of graduate school, I had no choice but to schedule my time very effectively. This has translated into an excellent sense of time and project management in my professional work."
Watch the video to find out how you can identify your weakness and structure your answer.