How To Answer: What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses? (Job Interview Questions Guide + 4 Examples) Video
How To Answer: What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses? (Job Interview Questions Guide + 4 Examples) Video Transcript
I am Marat from EMMOTION, HR Professional and Career Coach and I’d like to guide you through job interview questions in easiest and enjoyable way.
It’s time to discuss the question which nearly everyone dislikes, yet it is still being asked constantly in many job interviews: What are your greatest weaknesses? I personally prefer rephrasing it to – What are your most important development areas? It can also be asked in other similar ways: – What would your manager or colleagues describe as your biggest weakness? – Which tasks or duties do you struggle with the most? – Which difficulties and issues have arisen in your current role? – Is there any area of your skill set that you feel still needs work? From my experience as a recruiter, I tend to ask this question to candidates which make big and noticeable efforts in selling themselves.
Sometimes without realizing it.
For many hiring managers it is interesting to hear candidates analyzing their development areas.
To hear how reflective they are about their skill set.
This question can trip a lot of people up, because no one wants to talk about the less impressive parts of their skills or personality.
However NEVER say you don’t have any development areas.
I’ve had candidates saying this to me during interviews and the impact is the same as saying as that you don’t have the ability to learn and to grow.
Important checklist before we proceed to full examples: Analyze your development areas It should be a weakness related to your professional competencies and skills.
Answers like “I just don’t do enough exercise” or “I don’t speak a (certain) language well” sound like you are avoiding the question.
Don’t try to disguise a strength as a weakness I work too hard… or I am a perfectionist…
These are ridiculous because as a recruiter you hear them every day.
The hiring manager will see you through and might label you as someone dishonest.
Be honest but don’t raise any red flags Giving an honest answer is important.
If you make something up, you might not be able to handle the follow-up questions.
Pick a weakness acceptable for the role.
Don’t say you are awful with numbers if you are applying for an accounting job, for example.
Explain the measures you took to correct this skill First part of your answer should reflect that you detected this weakness.
The second part is how you had actively been working on it.
The weakness needs to be something that you could improve through a personal effort.
Here are a few examples some of which can easily be adapted to your profile.
Example (for a position dealing with numbers and data): “I never had much experience working directly with clients, that’s why my client-facing communication skills definitely need some work.
I’m much more comfortable digging into the data and providing the analysis, rather than talking about that with a client.
I realised that the experience of working with clients directly would be a big help to the way I present my analysis, so I have used every chance to take an opportunity to talk to a client and I will continue to improve this area of expertise”.
Example which is more generic: “At the beginning of my career, I was overwhelmed with the level and amount of work expected from me.
Projects came in at the same time and I didn’t schedule and plan each of the stages properly.
Eventually this made me overlook certain mistakes which I detected further on.
Since then I attended a number of time-management seminars and have found my workload much more manageable.
Each time I am more productive and detailed, and I continue to work on it.” Example which could be a case for many: “Public speaking is an area which I should still work on.
When I started college, it was a real problem, I was just terrified of doing it, and I ended up ruining my speeches a few times.
I decided to take a small step of promising myself that I would speak up in front of small groups, for example in a class.
Then, I worked up to taking a public speaking class, which made a big difference.
Now, even though I get nervous, I feel like it is something that doesn’t hold me back.
Recently I gave a speech at a conference.
I was still shaking during my speech, but it went great and I received a really good feedback in the end.
I plan on continuing to seek out opportunities to improve in this area.” Example on being “Too Direct”.
“Sometimes I can be a little too honest when I provide feedback to coworkers.
My personality is naturally straightforward and most of my colleagues really value that.
However I have learned that there are times on the job when more diplomacy is required.
I took a training class on “How to Communicate with Power” and it really opened my eyes to the need of communicating differently with different people.
So now I am much better at providing constructive and inspiring feedback, even if it doesn’t always come naturally.” Keep it short and to the point.
Practice a couple of times before the interview to make a stronger impact and to answer with confidence.
Thanks for watching.
For more information on professional and personal growth subscribe to my channel 🙂
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