Turn the Weaknesses Job Interview Question Into a Strength

Let’s talk about weaknesses in a job interview. Of course, we all have them, so you’d thought by now it’s no big deal talking about them, right? Well, sort of. During a job interview, recruiters tend to play the strengths and weaknesses game with you. We call it a game because although you have to answer with weaknesses and own your imperfection, the final aim is to turn those into strengths as well.

If you think about it, it’s an entirely reasonable question. Recruiters need to know at least some of your flaws but also test your patience and skill around a difficult question. And no, you can’t answer with “I have no weaknesses”. First of all, no one will believe you, and secondly, you’ll give a boastful image of yourself. No one is perfect.

Turn the Weaknesses Job Interview Question Into a Strength

In this article, we’ll help you navigate the weaknesses job interview question by sharing job interview tips and examples. So, when you apply for your next job opportunity via ZipRecruiter, a well-established hiring resource with millions of job listings, you’ll feel prepared. Through ZipRecruiter, you’ll also get instantly matched with the best job posts for your profile.

Tips for Answering the Weaknesses Question

Here’s how you should plan your strategy to answer the weaknesses job interview question efficiently:

1. Be Honest and Upfront

weaknesses job interview

No one likes a lot of blathering, plus it shows that you lack confidence. Stay straight to the point, be truthful, and don’t overanalyze. The goal is to reach the part where you turn your weakness into strength as fast as possible. If you get into a lot of detail, you’ll risk making your weaknesses seem worse than they actually are.

Here’s a good example of what you should be aiming for: “I tend to be overly critical of my work, which sometimes leads to last-minute changes and slightly late deliverables”.

2. Pick a Weakness That Won’t Prevent You From Getting the Job

weaknesses job interview

If you’re applying for a copywriting position and are not confident in your research skills, you might want to avoid pointing this out in your weaknesses job interview question. Instead, focus on something not directly tied to the job role, which you can turn to your advantage.

For example, you can say: “Numbers and analytics are not my stronger trait. Although I’m aware that math is not directly related to the copywriting position, I believe that understanding Google Analytics is important. That’s why I’m currently taking online courses in data analysis to enhance my skills.”

3. Tell a Story on How You Achieved Results Despite Your Weakness

weaknesses job interview

There’s nothing that sells faster than a sob story. This is the part where you turn your weaknesses job interview question into strengths. Describe a related experience where your weakness stood in your way, but you overcame it and learned something from it. Make sure you don’t exaggerate, though!

A good example of a story is the following: “In my previous job, I tended to complete my deliverables on time and then get extremely judgmental of my work. I wanted everything to be perfect, which led me to make constant last-minute changes and miss deadlines. Slowly but steadily, I started to realize that my perfectionism led to nowhere but late business. That’s when I turned to my colleagues, asked for their opinions on my deliverables, and exercised confidence in my work”.

Land Your Next Job Opportunity With ZipRecruiter

The key to answering the weaknesses job interview question is being prepared and maintaining a healthy balance. You don’t want to come out as arrogant or underestimate yourself. Keep in mind that the goal of this question is not to put you with your back against the wall. Instead, this is a way for recruiters to understand whether you have self-awareness, honesty, and strive for self-improvement.

Remember, your interviewer doesn’t expect you to be perfect. So take advantage of your weaknesses to demonstrate your strengths. Before jumping on your next interview, make sure you apply to the right job positions for your skills with your free ZipRecruiter account. As one of the most popular job search sites, it will turn your job-hunting into a piece of cake. Start today for free!

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