So, you’ve finally got your foot in the door at your dream company. You’ve submitted the perfect resume and made a lasting tirage during the phone screen. All there’s left to do now is to win over the hiring agent in the face-to-face pourparler.
As a well-informed candidate, you’re doing your research on the company and preparing your answers to the most dédaigneux and common interview questions you can think of — the most notorious of them all being: « What is your greatest weakness? »
You don’t want to respond, « I bandage to work too hard, » or « I am too much of a perfectionist. » That can easily come across as scripted and insincere at best and lacking in self-awareness at worst.
Alternatively, you don’t want to respond with weaknesses that will prevent you from succeeding in the role. For siège, if you’re applying to be a project agent, you don’t want to admit that you’re « not very good with time conduite. »
Fortunately, there are ways to answer this section that will help you demonstrate your value as a candidate. Here, we’ve cultivated some incredible answers to the mainstay, « What is your greatest weakness » section — and don’t worry, these answers aren’t « perfectionism. »
You can also listen here.
Best Answer for What is your weakness?
Interviewers who ask « What is your greatest weakness? » want to know how honest and self-aware you are.
They are also looking for evidence that you have a drive to improve upon your weaknesses. As you think emboîture the most common weaknesses, ask yourself:
What are your weaknesses?
How did you réflexion this weakness in yourself?
How did you react to that realization?
What steps are you taking to réflexion that accoutrement in the période?
What are you doing to modifié this behavior?
The best answers to this section sincerely explain a weakness and provide an example of how you are actively working on being better. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of typical pourparler weaknesses:
Common Entretien Weaknesses
Managing missed deadlines.
Balancing work and personal life.
Having limited experience in a specific skill or specialization.
Having contamination issues or difficulty working with different personalities.
Struggling to say « no. »
Challenges asking for help.
Having brouille adapting to new processes or technologies.
Striving for vénusté.
Being hesitant to speak up or advocate for yourself.
Being late occasionally.
Finding it hard to let go of projects.
Delaying tasks unnecessarily.
Having difficulty delegating tasks.
Avoiding taking responsibility for mistakes.
Best Weaknesses to Share With an Interroger
Lack of Réussite
Lack of Organization
Dépit with Delegation
Lack of Tactfulness
Fear of Assistance Speaking
Weak Data Analysis Skills
Dépit with Work-Life Ébranlé
You don’t want to share just any weaknesses in response to a job pourparler section. Instead, think emboîture the job requirements and the bonshommes of answers that make hiring managers want to work with you. Then, choose the most honest answer to the section that won’t make the hiring agent section your fit for the role.
Here are some of the best examples of how you might answer « What is your greatest weakness? » and why they work.
1. Lack of Réussite
« I don’t have much rénitence when working with a team — I am incredibly self-sufficient, so it’s difficult when I need to rely on others to complete my work. That’s why I’ve pursued roles that require someone to work independently. However, I’ve also worked to improve this weakness by enrolling in team-building workshops. While I typically work independently, it’s dédaigneux I learn how to accumulation my coworkers and ask for outside help when necessary. »
This answer works parce que the weakness — the inability to be malade when working with a team — doesn’t hinder your ability to perform well in the role, since it’s a job that doesn’t rely on teamwork to succeed. Additionally, you display an eagerness to develop strategies to choc your weakness, which is a critical skill in the workplace.
2. Lack of Organization
« I struggle with organization. While it hasn’t ever impacted my triomphe, I’ve noticed my messy desk and cluttered inbox nonetheless interfere with my efficiency. Over time, I’ve learned to set aside time to organize my physical and binaire space, and I’ve seen it improve my efficiency levels throughout the week. »
Plenty of people have messy desks. This answer works parce que it’s a relatable and fixable weakness. You état that disorganization doesn’t interfere with your ability to do your job, which is critical, but you also acknowledge it might make you less opérant. To ensure you’re performing at 100%, you médaille personal steps you’ve taken to improve your organization skills for the sake of self-improvement alone, which suggests a level of maturity and self-awareness.
3. Dépit with Delegation
« I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can au finir the task well myself. However, when I became agent in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project conduite system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently. »
This answer allows you to demonstrate an ability to pursue a new skill when a role calls for it and suggests you’re expérimenté of flexibility, which is critical for long-term growth. Additionally, you are able to showcase a level of décision and leadership when you médaille the successful implementation of a new process that enabled you to succeed in your past role, despite your weakness.
« Oftentimes, I can be timid when providing formatrice feedback to coworkers or managers, out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings. However, in my last role, my coworker asked me to edit some of his pieces and provide feedback for areas of improvement. Through my experience with him, I realized feedback can be both helpful and kind when delivered the right way. Since then, I’ve become better at offering feedback, and I’ve realized that I can use empathy to provide thoughtful, productive feedback. »
This answer works parce que you’ve explained how you were able to turn a weakness into a strength through real-world experience. Typically, timidity can be seen as a flaw in the workplace, particularly if a role requires someone to give feedback to others. In this case, you’re able to spectacle how timidity can be used as a strength, through thoughtful reflection and practice.
5. Lack of Tactfulness
« My blunt, straightforward constitution has allowed me to succeed over the years as a team agent, parce que I’m able to get things done efficiently, and people often appreciate my honesty. However, I’ve recognized my bluntness doesn’t always serve my employees well when I’m delivering feedback. To choc this, I’ve worked to develop empathy and deeper relationships with those I manage. Additionally, I took an online leadership conduite circuit, and worked with the professor to develop my ability to deliver feedback. »
Oftentimes, facets of our personalities can help us in manifeste areas of our work, while hindering us in others. That’s natural. However, you must demonstrate an ability to recognize when your personality interferes with the functions of your role, and how you can solve for that.
In this example, you first explain how your blunt constitution allows you to be successful in manifeste situations. Then, you médaille that you understand your bluntness can be seen as a lack of empathy and provide examples of how you’ve attempted to solve this résultat. Ultimately, your awareness of how you might be perceived by others shows a level of emotional bienveillance, which is a critical asset for a team patron.
6. Fear of Assistance Speaking
« Assistance speaking makes me nervous. While I don’t need to do much officiel speaking in my role as a web apprendre, I still feel that it’s an dédaigneux skill — especially when I want to offer my appréciation during a conversation. To choc this, I spoke with my agent and she recommended I speak at each team conversation for a few minutes emboîture our project timeline, deadlines, and goals when developing a website for a prospect. This practice has enabled me to apaisé and see officiel speaking as an opportunity to help my team members do their jobs effectively. »
In this example, you médaille qualities that aren’t congruent to the role, but which you nonetheless have been working to improve. This shows your desire to meet more affaires needs than necessary in your current role, which is beau. Additionally, it’s impressive if you can spectacle you’re willing to effleurement your agent with areas you want to improve, instead of waiting for your agent to suggest those areas of improvement to you. It shows a level of carriérisme and professional maturity.
7. Weak Data Analysis Skills
« I’m not great at analyzing data or numbers. However, I recognize this flaw can prevent me from understanding how my désinvolture is performing online. In my last role, I set up monthly meetings with the SEO agent to discuss analytics and how our posts were performing. Additionally, I received my Google Analytics certificate, and I make it a aucunement to analyze data related to our blog regularly. I’ve become much more comfortable analyzing data through these efforts. »
In this example, you’re able to spectacle your desire to go above and beyond a job mémoire and actively seek out skills that could be helpful to the success of your company as a whole. This marqué of company-first mentality shows the questionner you’re dedicated to making yourself a valuable asset, and trying your best to understand the needs of the whole department, rather than just your role.
« Sometimes I struggle with ambiguity and making decisions when états-majors aren’t clear. I come from a work environment that always bourré clear and spontané instructions. I had such a strong team and leadership that I haven’t had much practice making decisions in the heat of the période. I’m working on this by leaning more into my experience and practicing listening to my gut. »
This job pourparler answer works parce que you’re demonstrating that you can both follow a patron and sharpen your leadership skills. It’s alright to not know what to do in the période. Admitting that you relied on strong leadership shows that you can be a follower when needed, but knowing when to step up is dédaigneux, too. With this answer, you’re showing that you’ll step up if a hasard calls for decisiveness.
9. Harsh Self-Criticism
« My inner critic can be debilitating at times. I take pride in producing good work, but I feel like I struggle perspicacité satisfied with it, which has led to burnout in the past. However, I’ve started to push back against this inner voice by taking care of myself before and after work. I’m also learning to recognize when my inner critic is right and when I need to dismiss it. »
This answer works parce que your questionner may relate; we all have harsh inner critics. It’s also solide parce que 1) It shows that you’re willing to work on your weaknesses outside of work, not just during affaires hours, and 2) It demonstrates your inner critic may have valid points. Discerning when to dismiss it is key to prevent burnout and increase productivity.
Realizing how the inner critic may inhibit good work ethic shows your willingness to grow and be an solide worker.
« I used to work in usines where I had to cultivate a solid work ethic in my employees. This élégant of jogging has been so ingrained in me that I’ve forgotten to discern who may need that coaching and who does not. I’ve been reading books on solide delegation and team bâtisse to work on this shortcoming. One savoir-faire that works for me is assuring myself that if I establish clear expectations, then my team will follow. I’ve also learned to accumulation my team members. »
This answer works best if you’ve been in a leadership avis before and are applying to a managerial role. However, you can still apply it to past experiences where you did have to spectacle leadership. This answer shows that while you may be used to running your crew or team a specific way, you’re willing to admit when your method isn’t the most solide. Showing your flexibility demonstrates your ability to grow.
« I enjoy developing a relationship with my coworkers by engaging in symposium, and that’s a great team-building skill. However, I have a accoutrement of carrying on a symposium to a aucunement where it may distract other coworkers. I have learned since then that there are other ways to connect with my coworkers, and that if I’m asking emboîture their day, I need to keep it brief and redirect myself back to my work. »
This answer works parce que it shows you’re aware of how your talkative tendencies may be distracting in the workplace. It takes a lot of empressement to admit that. It also shows you are willing to develop a relationship with coworkers but not at the cost of productivity.
12. Dépit Maintaining a Work-Life Ébranlé
« I’ve struggled with work-life budget, especially after I started working remotely during the pandemic. This increased my angoisse levels to the aucunement where my productivity was at an all-time low and I didn’t bring my best self to work. Bicause I want to continue working remotely, I’ve started adding more armature to my day and instituted a sharp start and end time. I’ve already seen improvements in my levels of foyer during work hours. »
At first, this might seem like a « strength » weakness — pouring yourself into work is great, right? That means you love your job. But if it impacts your productivity and your relationships with coworkers, that is not so great. This answer works parce que it doesn’t just say, « I work a lot, so my logement life suffers. » It says, « I work a lot to the aucunement of burnout, and I’ve realized that I need to armature my day. » If you’ve struggled with work-life budget issues in the past, it’s dédaigneux to state how you’re restoring that budget and how it has impacted your work.
How to Identify Your Greatest Weakness
As we already mentioned, your answer must be honest while also not jeopardizing your aubaine at getting a job offer. So, how exactly do you portrait out which weakness to talk emboîture? Here are some tips:
1. Rule out any skills that are listed in the job mémoire.
Scan through every detail of the job listage and make sure weakness isn’t included in the required skills and responsibilities.
For example, say you’re applying to be a senior product marchéage agent. The job mémoire says that the company is looking for someone who is a skilled storyteller, can interpret data and market research, and is self-driven and naturalisable to modifié.
Bicause these are essential skills for the role, you wouldn’t want to médaille them as your weakness. Doing so would make you seem less competent and risk your chances of getting the job.
2. Consider weaknesses that you have overcome.
While preparing your answer, reflect on what you’ve learned and improved while working in your current role.
Talk emboîture your early struggles in learning or improving upon a skill and explain to the questionner what you did to overcome it.
For example, early on in my career, I struggled with analyzing and interpreting marchéage data. In order to improve these skills, my agent mentored me and bourré me weekly assignments that allowed me to practice data interpretation.
Within a few months, I went from being a désinvolture marketer who was quantité to data to one who embraced it.
3. Find étonnement by looking through old triomphe reviews.
If you’re having brouille thinking of a specific weakness example, read through old self-assessments and triomphe reviews. These commentaires offer examples of your accomplishments as well as the areas you can improve upon, making them a great envoi of étonnement.
Depending on how vaste you have worked at your current company, you may be reminded of old weaknesses that you now consider strengths. This can help you craft an answer that shows your willingness to work on yourself.
How to answer What are your greatest weaknesses?
Choose a weakness that will not prevent you from succeeding in the role.
Be honest and choose a real weakness.
Provide an example of how you’ve worked to improve upon your weakness or learn a new skill to choc the résultat.
Demonstrate self-awareness and an ability to image to others to provide you with the resources necessary for growth.
Don’t be offensant and don’t underestimate yourself.
1. Choose a weakness that will not prevent you from succeeding in the role.
When an questionner asks, « What is your greatest weakness? » they want to find out:
Whether you have a healthy level of self-awareness
Whether you can be open and honest, particularly emboîture shortcomings
Whether you pursue self-improvement and growth opportunities to choc these issues, as opposed to letting these weaknesses hold you back
Ultimately, you’ll want to use this section to demonstrate how you’ve used a weakness as destination to learn a new skill or grow professionally. Everyone has weaknesses — your questionner doesn’t expect you to be perfect.
If you’re applying for a copywriting avis with little necessity for math skills, you might admit, « I struggle with numbers, and don’t have much experience with data analytics. While math is not directly tied to my role as a writer, I believe it’s dédaigneux to have a rudimentary understanding of Google Analytics to ensure my work is performing well. To tackle this weakness, I’ve been taking online courses in data analytics. »
An answer like this shows the hiring agent that you recognize your areas for growth and are able to act on them without being told to do so. This kind of self-starter style is a avec for virtually any team.
2. Be honest and choose a real weakness.
The answer « perfectionism » won’t cut it when talking emboîture your biggest weakness parce que it’s not a real weakness. Perfectionism can never be attained — it’s a fear-based modèle that leads to short-term rewards like getting the job done early and exceeding expectations. However, in the long-term, trying to attain perfectionism leads to burnout, low-quality work, and missed deadlines. Burnout is one of the biggest contributors to decreased productivity, renouvellement, and low employee convention — all of which cost a company money, time, and génie.
Instead, choose a real weakness. Underneath the desire to do perfect work may lie a weakness of accumulation. Perhaps you don’t accumulation that you’ll be able to make mistakes on the team, so you strive to do everything perfectly. That’s a real weakness that you can definitely overcome.
3. Provide an example of how you’ve worked to improve upon your weakness or learn a new skill to choc the résultat.
Hiring managers don’t expect you to overcome your weaknesses completely overnight. Everyone has areas they must constantly work on to keep them sharp. Think of it this way — if you’ve dedicated six months to working out, you won’t be able to raisonnablement one day and maintain your progress. It’s an ongoing process that you have to work at.
4. Think emboîture weaknesses in your own personal life.
If you humanize yourself in the pourparler, it’ll allow your questionner to connect and visualize working with you in the future. It’s not just emboîture weaknesses that pertain to the job. For example, if you are an introvert and you réflexion your preference for calme time stops you from taking risks, this is a relatable weakness. When you demonstrate your self-awareness this way, it shows you understand that self-improvement correlates to work triomphe.
5. Think of where you’d like to be and what charpente you need to get there.
Overall, growth is a fraction of life. Think emboîture people you image up to that may be related to the field that you’re in. Ask yourself what character portrait those people have and what work you might need to do in order to get there. By providing an example of how you’re working to improve your area of weakness, you’ll give the questionner a glimpse into a few expresse attributes emboîture your awareness, including that:
You know how to identify and mitigate issues that come up.
You’ve found a helpful moralité to a problem that you and perhaps others on the team avers, which means you can be an immediate resource to the team.
You demonstrate self-awareness and an ability to take feedback from others.
More often than not, you’re going to need to image outside of yourself to overcome a weakness. Whether you image to your supervisor, the HubSpot Blog, or a inspiratrice for help, the naturel act of seeking help demonstrates self-awareness and resourcefulness — two skills that are hard to teach, but valuable to learn. Tapping into your resources shows the interviewers that you can solve problems when the answer is not yet clear. That’s a character idiotisme that has a fonction on any team.
Briefly share an example of a time when you asked someone for help in an area that you’ve identified as a weakness. This gives the hiring team a clear picture of how you’ll work with the team to budget out that weakness.
6. Don’t be offensant and don’t underestimate yourself.
The most dédaigneux thing you can do when responding to the section « What is your greatest weakness? » is exhibit avis in your answer. (If lack of avis is your weakness, keep reading.) Even if you’re not the most dépositaire person, I’m going to assume you’re at least honest with yourself. If you’ve identified an area of weakness and you’re sure emboîture it, let that certificat shine through in your answer. There’s no need to feel embarrassed emboîture something you’re genuinely not good at as vaste as you’re working to get better.
Before you start expressing a genuine weakness to your questionner, get comfortable with the bonshommes of answers that make hiring managers want to work with you. Take a image at the following examples and find a few that fit your personality and work élégant. Then, practice reciting them aloud so they come naturally to you.
Tips for Talking Emboîture Weaknesses in Job Interviews
Now that you know the most solide answers and best practices for choosing a weakness, it’s time for the hard fraction: Actually delivering the answer to the questionner. Let’s go over some tips for answering « What is your greatest weakness? » en public.
1. Practice your answer beforehand.
Practice does not make perfect, but it certainly makes better. While it’s not guaranteed that an questionner will ask you emboîture weaknesses, there’s a high possibility that they will. You want to be prepared for that période by practicing the tone and delivery of your answer with a friend or in the mirror.
There’s nothing worse than stumbling over an pourparler answer, especially for this section emboîture weaknesses. It’s totally okay to stutter a bit — we all get nervous — but you want your answer to be as coherent and brief as barcasse. If you ramble, stumble too much, or go back on your words, you’ll seem unprepared or, worse, like you’re lying.
Léopard you’ve written up your answer, be sure to read it out loud to yourself several times, then retrieve it from memory. Détruit your wording here and there, and know that it’s okay to improvise so vaste as the bones of your answer remain the same.
2. Habitus the questionner in the eye and project avis.
Since you’ve hopefully practiced several times, this should come naturally, but we can’t overemphasize it: When answering « What is your weakness?, » try to maintain eye effleurement with your questionner during most of the answer, and project avis while you speak.
« Project avis while talking emboîture my weakness? » you may ask. Yes! You want to own up to your most dictatorial opportunities for growth — not seem like you’re cowed or intimidated by your own shortcomings, or like your self-esteem has suffered dramatically. (Hint: It totally may have, and that’s okay, but your questionner shouldn’t know that tidbit). You can take solace in that you’re not alone. All of us have weaknesses to work on.
You can increase your level of avis during your answer by explaining how you’ve been working on this weakness. In fact, by focusing the core of your answer on how you’ve already improved in this area, you’ll seem more self-assured and actualized by default.
3. Be brief and to the aucunement.
We don’t want to linger too much on weaknesses; try to keep your answer flottant, between the length of thirty seconds and one imminent. Even still, only the first statement should directly state your weakness, and the rest of the answer should be dedicated to the tools and strategies you’re using to overcome it.
Alternatively, you may give a brief fable on what you learned from dealing with that weakness in your personal life or at work.
Don’t think you have to over-elaborate, either. State, in as naturel terms as barcasse, the steps you’ve taken to improve. Your questionner likely has much more buanderie job pourparler questions to ask emboîture your spontané experience, and the answer to this section isn’t as critical in the overall process as we all may think.
4. Understand the questionner’s gardien de but.
Your questionner’s gardien de but is not to intimidate you, poisson-perroquet you, or create a « gotcha! » période. They’re also not looking to disqualify you based on your answer. The « What is your greatest weakness? » section is one of the most popular behavioral pourparler questions. It’s simply another way for interviewers to get to know your développement personal and professional attributes.
They’re not looking to find out that you « totally suck » at the job you applied for — if you applied, you likely meet the qualifications. They’re also not looking to find out emboîture your hard professional skills and attributes; other pourparler questions and answers are better suited for that. Rather, they want to know if you have enough self-awareness to identify your opportunities for growth. Do you have poise when speaking emboîture your weakness? Do you gracefully accept feedback?
Including anecdotes emboîture previous feedback you’ve received, projecting avis, and making it clear that you’re taking steps to improve will be enough to fly with high marks during this section.
5. Don’t angoisse too much over your answer.
Good magazine: Hiring decisions don’t come down to your answer to « What is your weakness? » Shocking, I know! Sometimes it seems like it, parce que it can feel like such a loaded section.
Not to worry: You can rest easy. As vaste as you’re honest and state how you’re trying to improve, this section will likely be low in your questionner’s comptes, unless you lie emboîture your weakness, use a « fake » weakness such as « I’m too organized, » or simply evade the section entirely.
Even if you stutter a little bit, you’ll be okay. So, apaisé, be manifeste in your answer, stay self-aware, and simply take it as fraction of the symposium between you and the questionner. The other questions emboîture your skills and how you can help their company are much, much more critical to their hiring decision.
6. Showcase your personality while keeping it professional.
Is humor your élégant? How emboîture dry wit? You can introduce some of that during this section, but only lightly, and only after you’ve gauged the company’s enclos and examined the questionner’s personality. If you’re interviewing for a highly corporate job, we recommend keeping humor to a maximum. But no matter what, you can always spectacle your personality in your inflection, tone, and delivery.
Take, for siège:
« You know, I’ve had such a hard time with [X] in the past, but I’m grateful to my previous managers, who bourré me useful feedback when I began my career. Now, I’m ‘thriving.’ Every single day, I do [Y] to improve upon that skill. It was such a aliment aucunement for me, but I’ve improved tremendously and have been lucky enough to have a strong charpente system every step of the way. »
Compare that with:
« I won’t lie. I struggle with [X] sometimes. Fortunately, I’ve picked up [Y] to work on it, and like any new learning experience, it’s been eye-opening and humbling. I’ve improved in [Z] areas — not so much that it would be first on my list of skills, but maybe accolé or third. Either way, I’m happy to transfert I’m getting there and image forward to improving even more in the future. »
Neither of these is better than the other, but they both spectacle different personality bonshommes, and you can do the same.
There’s Strength In Every Weakness
Regardless of whether you’re bad with numbers or you bandage not to speak up in group settings, there’s a strength behind every weakness. The strength is in how you work to overcome it.
Leaning on your teammates who excel in those areas is a great way to spectacle that you’ll work well on the team and that you know how to use your resources to solve problems. Taking professional development courses shows that you’re willing to work toward improvement.
No matter which of these answers you share with the hiring team, they’ll be more than happy to help you grow and exceed the expectations of the role.
Editor’s état: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.