The Right Answer to the Question “What Are Your Weaknesses?”

If you’re currently on the hunt for a job or will be soon, you might as well prepare yourself for the interviewing process. While we all know about etiquette tips, what to wear on an interview, to arrive early and to be sure to follow up with potential employers, what is talked about a little less commonly is how to actually respond to questions in your interview. There are a couple of questions that are inevitably going to pop up during your meeting with the hiring manager and it’s important to have the right, well thought out answers to these questions to ensure that the interviewer is still thinking about you when you leave.

"What are your weaknesses?" is bound to be asked. It’s actually very common for people to answer this question with a response to the effect of being a perfectionist and being a workaholic, but the truth is that anyone can say that. In short, it isn’t the best response to give when asked a question like this. According to an article posted in Quint, the perfectionist response has outworn its welcome with interviewers. The article goes on to state that an approach that seems to work well is talking about an area that you actually have had a weakness in before and how you have worked to improve it. Keep in mind that saying that you don’t have a weakness isn’t a good response either, as everyone has a weakness and employers know this.

According to an article posted in CNN, don’t answer the question too literally either, as interviewers have no interest in the fact that you can’t cook or that you don’t exercise regularly. Being truthful about your weaknesses is important and telling a potential employer about a weakness and naming the ways you have changed it or the ways you plan to work hard to change it is the best plan of action for this type of question. Talk about your weakness and be sure to give examples of how you have changed it, such as coming to realize other people’s input and strengths to be able to work together with others as part of a team. It’s also important to be sure to talk about how your plans can be an asset to working with the company or business.

While it is important to be honest about weaknesses, it may not be the best idea to talk about a weakness so big that it could cost you the chance of getting the job. Also keep in mind that it is important to not evade the question and try to not answer it. This can give off the impression that you don’t care to talk about it or admit an area where you can improve, which can be a bad sign to an interviewer.

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