Last Update: 21st August 2018
Reading time: 14 Min
How do you answer “what are your weaknesses” in a job interview?
Maybe you’ve been told to prepare for “what are your weaknesses” by one of your career advisors. Or maybe you have just seen or heard of it from a career blog/website.
“What are your weaknesses” can be one of the most critical answers in your interview process
Our Thoughts on the Job Speaker Video
“What are your greatest weaknesses?” by Job Speaker is a great video for awareness. However, the vagueness and unrelated job weaknesses may not reflect well in all business circumstances. When you’re asked about your weaknesses you should discuss your current weaknesses and they should be related to the job role wherever possible. You can display an understanding of your self-awareness and the job role by doing this.
So long as you have most of the skills required for the job, lacking one or two won’t hurt. The most important thing in an employers mind when hiring is finding the right person. Most of the time, the skills come after; especially for graduate roles.
However, getting sidetracked by answering the question in relation to your past, the answer can seem less transparent and less authentic.
Transparency and authenticity are highly valued in today’s business world.
Be sure you don’t let these values slip in the interview.
Capitalise on Generic Skills
You, as a business graduate, are likely going to be entering a role that may possess some general skill areas. These areas of administrative tasks can be great areas to capitalise on for this question.
An Example of What Are Your Weaknesses?
If you were an accounting student answering “what are your weaknesses?”
You could answer:
“Well, although I’m good with numbers and have a sound understanding of the taxation system, I find it difficult to delegate my administrative work to the rest of the team.
I find that if I am expected to do a job I typically stay back late to make sure it’s completed.
Going forward, what I think I should focus on is asking someone with a lesser workload to assist me with some of the lighter work. Although I may need some practice doing this, I am more than willing to try.
When I have failed to delegate in the past it has been damaging to my work/life balance. I’ve found that this can leave me with a sense of burnout from time to time.”
This type of answer demonstrates an understanding that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you look forward to working in a team. It also demonstrates you are looking to be effective in your work, not just productive.
Always finish your weakness with how you can turn it into a strength. Weaknesses are only temporary, but we all have them. At the end of the day, it’s about focussing on your strengths so focus on turning your weaknesses into a strength.