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What are your weaknesses?

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > What are your weaknesses?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also

 

The question

What are your weaknesses?

Where are the areas where you will find difficulty?

Where do you find you are most challenged?

Tell me two thing about yourself that you'd like to change.

What they are looking for

This is a very direct question and they may well take a more indirect approach, but you can be certain that they are very interested in the limits of your ability.

They will also be interested in your knowledge of your weaknesses. Many people either lack self-confidence and over-estimate weaknesses or are over-confident. A self-aware person knows their weakesses. An arrogant person may well believe they have none.

This can also be a test of self-knowledge and honesty.

How to answer

Do not say you have none. Be prepared with a good answer for this. Whilst you do not want to admit to serious incompetence in the key skills required for the job, you do want to show that you are aware of your weaknesses and can own up to them.

Sometimes I get forgetful about names. You know, when you meet someone and forget their name immediately.

A neat trick is to follow up the admission of weakness with a description of how you neutralize it, thus showing strength in managing weaknesses.

 I have managed to largely overcome this now. I did a really good business memory training course and now I can retain most names. I also use contact software to keep details of people, and review this regularly.

Another trick with this is to admit to a weakness in a way that they conclude that it is actually a strength.

I do get rather impatient at times. I cannot abide unnecessary delay and waste. I don't mind mistakes, as long as they are not repeated.

See also

What is your greatest strength?

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