In a job interview, hiring manager will ask your weaknesses to know you and to determine whether you are suitable for that position or not. Of course, you have some weaknesses and you have examples of your weaknesses. But it is important that how you describe them.
Weaknesses are fraud to talk about, so you need to be careful while you are giving examples. If you give a wrong example, you can lose your chance to be accepted for the job, and they don’t invite you for a new job interview again.
You should be careful and prepare you to answer such questions, and even if you are describing your example, you should be positive.
Examples of Weaknesses
There are five different categories of weaknesses. They are hard skills, academic skills, interpersonal skills, soft skills and work ethic. Before you choose one of your weaknesses, you should be careful not to be related with that job. And it shouldn’t be reason to be criticized about the job.
- Hard Skills: You can choose to mention about hard skills. What are hard skills? They are skills which are learned at school or a private education. If they are not developed, you cannot be successful in these skills. What are they? They are computer skills, foreign language, spelling, advanced mathematics, finance and more. If you decide to mention about a hard skill, you should be careful that it is not necessary for that job. Even if it is necessary for that job, it should be developed. If you plan to develop it, you can describe, otherwise, it can be a dangerous situation. There are some examples of hard skills that you can mention about in your job interview:
- Advanced mathematics
- Creative writing
- Financial literacy
- Foreign languages (or one particular foreign language)
- A particular software packages
- Soft Skills: Unlike hard skills, soft skills are skills which are hard to quantify. They are directly about you and your character. They can be about your personality traits, your communication abilities and your social skills. If you want, of course you can mention about your soft skills. You can give examples of your weaknesses about this issue. But you should be careful that it shouldn’t be necessary for that job. And you should emphasize how you are working on improving that skill. These are some examples of soft skills:
- Delegating tasks
- Spontaneity (better when prepared)
- Taking too many risks
- Too honest
- Academics: If you have graduated from your school for long years, to mention about academic skills can be a good idea. Because the employer gives importance to your work experience than your educational life. Otherwise, you can be in bad situation. You shouldn’t give examples which are related to that job. You should be careful. Academic skills are:
- Coursework (a particular course you struggled with)
- Essay writing (be sure to emphasize your strength in other forms of writing)
- Overly involved in on-campus activities (if a student or recent graduate)
- Spending too much time on school assignments
- Standardized tests
- Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal skills are about interacting with others. If you struggle to interact with your coworkers, you can give an example about it in your job interview. But you should also describe that what you do to improve your skill. How do you solve problem with your coworkers? There are some examples of interpersonal skills:
- Covering for co-workers
- Expecting too much from colleagues
- Expressing too much frustration with underperforming staff or colleagues
- Presenting to large groups
- Public speaking
- Too critical of another people’s work
- Work Ethic: If you say “I like work hard.”, it doesn’t be a correct sentence. No one believes such sentence. But if you describe how you do certain things in excess at work, it shows that you are hardworking and you are a person who likes working hard. And it will be more honest answer. There are some examples about work ethic:
- Leaving projects unfinished
- Providing too much detail in reports
- Shifting from one project to another (multitasking)
- Taking credit for group projects
- Taking on too many projects at once
- Too helpful
- Working too many hours
Tips for Talking About Weaknesses
Focus on qualities not necessary for the job. If hiring manager wants to talk about your weaknesses, firstly you should think in detail. Your example should be related to that job. It shouldn’t be a comic moment. You should describe an example about it. For example, if you are applying for a job in English Teacher, you shouldn’t mention about your foreign language weakness. If you mention, you don’t have any chance to be accepted.
Keep it positive. If you want to mention about your weakness, you should describe it in a positive mood. You shouldn’t be upset while you are talking about it. For example; if you say you are too detail-oriented, you might explain how it is a positive in a job as an editorial assistant.
Emphasize your plan of action. After you say your weakness, the hiring manager waits your action about it. What do you do improve your weakness? How can you improve? You should describe it. For example, if you are unfamiliar with a software package, you might explain that you are taking an online course to learn the package. You might even phrase your answer as, “One skill I am currently working on…”
Be honest. Finally, while you want to be positive, you should also be honest. Hiring manager should believe you.
Share your strengths. While you are describing your weaknesses, you should also talk about your strengths. It can affect the hiring manager. And maybe you can be accepted for that job.