10 Ways to Discuss Your Biggest Weakness in Interviews

10 Ways to Discuss Your Biggest Weakness in Interviews
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From: Business Insider

You're bound to be asked about weaknesses and strengths in a job interview at some stage.

By asking this question, your recruiter can get a better idea of your skills and how you might fit in with the company.

Of course, no one in HR wants to hear something terrible from a candidate.

Ensuring you answer this question successfully isn't just about telling them what makes you weaker as a professional.

Rather, it's about explaining a shortcoming in a positive light, that minimizes the negative trait you're talking about.

"The key to preparing for this question is to identify weaknesses that still communicate strengths. This will show the interviewer that you are introspective enough to know your areas of opportunity," Indeed wrote.

To help you succeed in job interviews, Indeed has put together 10 ways to successfully answer the "what is your biggest weakness" question.

1. "I focus on details too much."

Telling them that you are too detail-oriented may mean that you care about getting the job done carefully. But even this has a negative side, as a recruiter might assume you're too obsessive or that this can slow down the pace of work.

To make sure that the recruiter sees this weakness in a positive light, Indeed recommends "explaining how you're making improvements in this area by focusing on the big picture" of the company.

You could say something like: "My biggest weakness is that I sometimes focus too much on the details of a project and spend too much time analyzing the nitty-gritty aspects. I've tried to improve in this area by acknowledging it and giving myself the opportunity to refocus on the big picture. That way, I can ensure quality without getting so caught up in the details that it affects my productivity or the team's ability to meet the deadline."

2. "I struggle to let go of a project."

If your weakness is that you have a hard time calling it quits on a job you've invested a lot of effort in and moving on to something else, you should emphasize that this can help eliminate mistakes that you don't see at first. On the other hand, you need to make sure this doesn't make the recruiter think this weakness may lead you to struggle with meeting deadlines.

To do this, make sure to focus on the idea that you always set a deadline for any changes you make.

Indeed suggests responding: "My biggest weakness is that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of a project. I'm the biggest critic of my own work. I can always find something that needs to be improved or changed. To help me improve in this area, I give myself deadlines for revisions. This helps ensure that I don't make changes at the last minute.:

3. "I don't like to say 'no'."

If you, like many others, don't know how to say no to a new project, a new task or a colleague's plea for help, this attitude can lead you to spread yourself too thin.

If this is your weakness, the portal advises telling the recruiter how you are working to better manage your time and be able to set more realistic expectations.

You could say, for example:"My biggest weakness is that I sometimes have trouble saying 'no' to requests and end up taking on more than I can handle. In the past, this has led me to feel stressed or burned out. To help me improve in this area, I use a project management application so I can view how much work I have at any given time and know whether or not I have the capacity to take on more."

4. "I get impatient when deadlines get extended."

The best way to explain this weakness to your recruiter is obviously by highlighting how you make sure to respect and stick to the deadlines set, while overlooking the frustration you feel when this does not happen.

Indeed suggests saying:"My biggest weakness is that I get impatient when projects get extended past the deadline. I am a stickler for deadlines and feel uncomfortable when work is not completed on time. To avoid this, I started being more proactive and paying attention to how I'm reacting to make sure I'm a motivator and help encourage efficiency."

5. "I could use more experience in some areas."

Nobody is perfect. They all have strengths and gaps in some areas that the job will require.

Indeed says: "Sharing something you feel you need to improve on shows the interviewer that you are self-aware and like to challenge yourself."

This is fine, as long as you're not telling the recruiter that one of your weaknesses is also one of the key skills they're looking for.

Read More: Why You Should Write a Resignation Letter When You Quit Your Job

6. "Sometimes I lack confidence."

Lack of confidence is a common weakness in the workplace. But this lack of confidence can have an impact on the overall performance of the company, for example if you find it difficult to express points of view that could improve some things.

If this is your weakness, emphasize why you value trust and the ways you are working to overcome this fear.

"In the past, I've sometimes struggled with confidence. It has been helpful for me to keep an updated account of the impact I've had on my team and my organization to better understand why I need to be confident in the unique skills and talents I bring to the table.I have also made it a point to express my ideas and opinions during meetings when I believe they are appropriate and will add value to the conversation. Because of this, our team ended up adopting my idea for a new funding process, which resulted in a 10% decrease in the time needed to plan our annual budget."

7. "I struggle to ask for help."

Asking for help when you need it or knowing how to delegate shows a clear awareness of yourself as a professional, and it can help the team to avoid inefficiency.

To express this weakness, explain it in a way that makes it clear that they understand the importance of asking for help and how you are improving this skill, as shown in the example.

"Because I am independent and enjoy working fast, I have found it difficult to ask for help when I have needed it. But I've learned that it's much more beneficial for me and the company to reach out when I don't understand something or feel exhausted by my workload. I also understand that many experts around me have specific knowledge and skills that can improve my work. As I continue to work on it, I have been able to produce more high quality work as a result of receiving help from those around me."

8. "I've found it hard to work with certain personality types in the past."

One of the soft skills most companies want to see is the ability to work in a team, so if you struggle to work with certain types of people, this can detract points from your candidacy.

To that end, Indeed's blog "recommends that you explain the personality types you've had trouble working with and quickly identify the reasons why. Then, analyze the ways you've adjusted your communication or work style to better work together with these people toward a common goal."

"In the past, I found it difficult to work with aggressive personality types. While I understand that having a diverse team makes for a strong business, I tend to stay quiet about my own ideas and opinions with louder colleagues. To address this, I've made it a point to spend more time with colleagues I'm uncomfortable working with. By learning more about them, their communication style and motivations, I can better collaborate with these personality types so that we both contribute equally with our strengths and skills."

9. "I sometimes find it hard to strike the proper work-life balance."

Striking a balance between work and personal life is important to stay motivated in your work. While it can be very positive to show that you are fully committed to your work, you also need to prioritize rest, vacation, and personal life. This helps you stay motivated.

If this is the weakness you choose to highlight during your interview, bring up the ways you've learned to balance life and work and how you've seen your work improve as a result, says Indeed.

For example, you could say:"Because I really love my job and have ambitious career goals, it can be difficult for me to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But I've seen a negative impact on my motivation and focus when I ignore my personal needs. As a result, I set out to create space in my schedule to focus on volunteering and spending time with my family. It helps to take small actions, like putting my phone on silent during dinner. When I maintain a good work-life balance, I have found that my performance is better quality, I can get more work done, and I'm excited to come to work in the morning.

10 ."I don't like to work with uncertainty."

Are you someone who's very comfortable defining individual tasks or with very open work environments where the path isn't clearly laid out for you?

If this is your weakness, present it to the interviewer by focusing on all the achievements you have made following the guidelines set by your superiors. But add how you are making progress with handling more ambiguous goals.

"In my last position, I found that my supervisor gave very specific instructions about my responsibilities. Because I became familiar with having strong direction, I tend to be unsure when approaching an ambiguous task or goal. My goal is to not only feel comfortable, but also to be successful working with uncertainty. To do this, I have created a personal framework for times when I feel overwhelmed or confused by an ambiguous task that includes conducting structured research and seeking advice from subject matter experts. Doing so has helped me thrive when working on ambiguous tasks or when working toward less specific or defined goals."

In short, whatever your weakness is, to present it as a strength, you just need to focus on the solutions that can address this shortcoming.

See more at Business Insider

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Career Magazine: 10 Ways to Discuss Your Biggest Weakness in Interviews
10 Ways to Discuss Your Biggest Weakness in Interviews
From focusing on details too much to struggling to strike a work-life balance, Indeed has a number of excellent and balanced answers to this question.
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