One of the most intimidating moments in a job interview can be when you are asked to tell your potential employer about a “weakness.” It can be especially difficult because you spend your time pumping yourself up for the interview and then you have to describe something negative about yourself! However, the right job interview tips will help you tackle this portion of the interview and tell the potential employer what they need to hear without lying.
Use a Weakness as your Strength
One of the best job interview tips for these difficult questions is to answer the “weakness” question with one of your actual strengths. If you have a tendency to take the job home with you, it shows that you value dedication and commitment. Perhaps you are impatient when a task is not completed properly but you tend to take care of the matter yourself. These types of answers show that you are not looking to pawn the work off on someone else.
Another weakness that really isn’t a weakness is being organized to a point of perfectionism. However, you have to be careful here or you could end up sounding as though you cannot work well with others. You might also want to tell your potential employer about a task that you had trouble with at your last employer, but add that increased training or repetition took care of the problem. This shows that you have initiative to learn and improve your performance.
What Not to Say
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, an interviewee will list a weakness that is truly a weakness an employer does not want to hear. These might include that you are lazy but working on correcting the problem or you don’t work well with others or that you hate smokers. These are not the types of things you want to tell a potential employer. You also don’t want to take badly about your former employer – in any way. Listing your weakness as you couldn’t leave the last rotten company you worked for because of financial reasons isn’t what you want to say!
Some of the best job interview tips are those that help you prepare for any question. You won’t always be asked difficult questions, but many employers want to know how you handle adversity or being put on the “hot seat.” It’s okay to take a moment and think about your answer. Don’t just blurt out the first words that come to mind.
When you are searching for job interview tips, look for those that offer sample questions of what you might hear in an interview. These will allow you to write out answers and practice ahead of time. No one likes to be surprised in an interview. It can cause you to say things that simply don’t come out as planned. When you are asked about your weakness, respond with something positive, as well. You’ll be surprised at how well this works and how often it can actually be a great turning point in the employer offering you the job!