Interviewers are quick to ask about a job seeker’s strengths and skills, but asking about weaknesses is equally important.
Prospects find the question “what is your biggest weakness?” as one of the most challenging interview questions.
With so many possible ways to answer, being honest and answering thoroughly is overwhelming during a job interview.
Most candidates choose to either downplay their weaknesses or share far too much information about their flaws without showing they have the potential for personal growth.
These approaches are less than satisfactory, often causing individuals to lose out on jobs.
However, learning more about your weaknesses can help you respond in a professional manner, truly showing your personality traits and potential and positive qualities while giving an example of weaknesses!
This article will explain the best ways to understand your weakness and how your strengths relate to them.
What are Work Related Weaknesses? Definition & Theory
Work related weaknesses are qualities or character traits that hold you back from excelling in your job.
What may be considered weaknesses in certain settings would turn out to be a strength in others. For example, focusing on details can help in certain situations.
If you were in a project with a strict deadline, overly focusing on details can hold you and the entire team back.
Lacking a key skill in a job can also be seen as a weakness.
If you do not have organization skills or communication skills, which are key to most jobs, that is viewed as a weakness.
Why Interviewer Ask About Work Related Weaknesses
A job interview question is designed to reveal the most information possible about you.
After all, the hiring team only has about 30 minutes to decide whether they would like to have you as an employee or not.
Answers to weakness questions show whether you are genuine and willing to admit you have flaws.
Some people choose to tell interviewers a positive weakness, such as caring about everything or being a workaholic.
They will see that you chose not to share real weaknesses, and will likely view you as phony. On the other hand, listing off dozens of flaws makes you seem insecure and potentially incapable of thinking positively or having room for professional growth.
Weaknesses questions are asked because there are simply so many ways to answer negatively, rooting out potential bad employees.
However, answering honestly truly helps prospective candidates in the interview process.
6 Examples of Work-Related Weaknesses for Interviewing
Being your own biggest critic can be one of the traits you mention as a weakness.
Over time, this negative thinking can contribute to burnout and negative self-thoughts.
Mention the steps you take to minimize this weakness’s impacts on your career. For example, taking time to appreciate your success will put your mind in a more positive space.
2. Lacking Confidence
A lack of confidence can negatively impact your career.
However, make sure that hiring managers understand the ways you turn this weakness into a strength.
While lacking confidence often means low self-esteem, try mentioning the risks you have taken as you begin to believe in yourself.
State prior projects where your leadership skills shined and you had faith in your ability to delegate. However, your last ventures may have had project limits because of your lack of confidence.
3. Difficulty Asking Questions
You may believe that problem solving is part of your list of strengths, but you cannot solve every problem. Realize you need other’s help at times, but still prefer to be independent.
Reflect back on times when you wanted to do everything yourself, but ended up realizing that the support of others could truly have been beneficial.
Tell the hiring team how you dedicate time to solving this issue, such as creating a support network around you when starting projects.
4. Lacking Experience
If knowing a certain software is not part of the job requirements, but is still a desired skill for the company, mention that you may not have much experience.
State the other software, hardware, etc you have experience with but acknowledge that you do not have this particular skill.
Instead, you can tell the interviewer you will work on this technical skill.
Understand the impact that procrastination has on the team.
It creates stress for you and others; the last minute changes often made by procrastinators are not appreciated by teams.
Keeping a schedule and eliminating distractions can ensure you stay on task.
This can be an example of a professional strength in certain moments, but it can also hold back project development.
If you focus on every small detail, adhering to deadlines can be challenging.
Note the ways you learned to stop stressing over the insignificant aspects of your job.
Showing that you strike a healthy balance between not stressing and still being timely and productive.
How to Answer Interview Questions About Weaknesses
Being one of the most common job interview questions, preparing to answer the question about weaknesses is crucial to be viewed as a great candidate.
The hiring manager wants to understand how you handle adversity, so ensure you keep that in mind. Begin by listing your flaws.
These should be traits that limited career opportunities and stifled your ability to thrive. See if you can find feedback from previous managers to help you see your weaknesses from a managerial perspective.
Make sure to review the job description before choosing a weakness to focus on.
This weakness should not be an integral part of working at the company. As long as the hard and soft skills you choose as a weakness are not listed in the requirements, you can proceed with the weakness.
How to Put Your Weaknesses in a Positive Light
After you understand your weaknesses, you must find a way to put them in a positive light Firstly, avoid using negative language like ‘failure’ and ‘incapable’.
This only shows employers you have a negative mindset. Then, find ways that you have turned your weaknesses into strengths (or at least learned to manage your weaknesses). Doing so proves that you have the potential to improve.
Finally, show employers that you understand you need to improve and that you have already taken measures for self improvement.
This can include getting special training, downloading productivity monitoring apps, working with a mentor, building a new skill, or joining professional groups with like-minded individuals.
PRO TIP: How to Identify and Assess your Strengths and Weaknesses for Job Interview
Determining your core skills and inadequacies can help you stay honest and accurate during the interview.
The following methods can help you identify your shortcomings and strengths as an employee.
Assessing Your Strengths
There are now many resources you have to find your valuable skills before a job interview. Start by remembering your prior successes.
Ask yourself what qualities allowed you to thrive in that particular moment and in your overall professional career.
Hard skills can be viewed as strengths, and finding them can be as simple as recalling your prior experience and education.
At times, you may have even learned soft skills in your prior jobs. See if any trait helped you overcome obstacles and include it as a strength.
Additionally, ask some individuals you trust about how you contribute to your team.
Finally, you can also take a HIGH5test online strengths assessment.
This simplifies the work-related strengths finding process significantly and makes your skills easily understandable.
Accessing Your Weaknesses
The process for finding your weaknesses is quite similar to identifying your strengths.
Remember times where a quality held you back during your job.
Possibly, this can be a time that a weakness prevented you from using your strength. Possibly, your lack of handling stress prevented you from properly using your management skills so your team finished a project with a poor result.
Similarly, see if you can access prior evaluations from work to view your negative qualities.
Nonessential hard skills can be mentioned as a weakness, such as if you always struggled with writing skills.
Scripting Your Answers
Start by writing a positive statement about your strengths.
After that, think of just one weakness that you can confidently say you have and write a sentence describing how it manifested in your career.
When answering the strengths and weaknesses question directly, put more emphasis on your key strength.
Ultimately, your strengths will benefit the business and make you seem more experienced or skilled.
Your weaknesses should let the interviewer know that you are not perfect, but you are honest.
Also, mention how you are working toward minimizing your shortcomings.
What to Avoid in Your Answer
Instinctually, you may believe that downplaying your weaknesses gives you a greater chance of landing the job.
However, hiring managers understand your imperfections, and being dishonest is the worst way to start an employee/employer relationship.
They will view you as someone without self-awareness, overconfident, and arrogant. Some choose to respond to the weaknesses question by not giving a real weakness.
Remember, being a perfectionist, competitive, or overly caring are probably not the best answers to give in the interview.
Interviewers have heard such answers hundreds of times and they are overly positive. These answers can be salvaged if you give relevant details, though.
Work-Related Weaknesses FAQ
What is your weakness best answer?
When you are asked about your weakness in a job interview, it is important to give a genuine answer. Do not give an overly positive answer such as “perfectionism” or “over-commitment.” However, you should hot give them the impression that you are incompetent.
Therefore, you should choose a true weakness you have, but not one that will interfere with your ability to perform the job well. Ensure that the weakness you tell your interviewer is not listed as a required skill anywhere on the job listing.
Overall Conclusion For Work Related Weaknesses
Answering the question “what are your weaknesses and strengths?” intimidates many job seekers.
You should not brag or be arrogant, but being overly humble or unprepared are equally bad ways to answer.
Instead, adopt a positive mindset and understand that honesty is the best policy when giving a response.
You will have to explore your strengths and weaknesses to get a true understanding of yourself as a candidate.
Stay calm when in the interview and just remember the interviewer is genuinely curious as to how good of an employee you will be.
If you remember this, stay positive and honest, and prepare responses in advance, you will find the perfect balance of confidence and humbleness and answer brilliantly.