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It’s always awkward when interviewers ask what your greatest weakness is. We’re always left wondering what we’re supposed to do; if you show too much weakness, you could be considered a liability, whereas saying you have no faults isn’t very humbling.
As a result, we’re always expected to frame our responses positively. This is particularly challenging when combining self-awareness with an action plan. The goal here is to indicate individuality amongst a sea of applicants while discussing the talents, capabilities, and skills that make you perfect for the job.
Overall, you should be able to communicate weaknesses while still communicating strengths. So, to help give you better examples, the following are 10 ways you can show your introspection in areas of opportunity.
10 Ways To Respond To 'Weakness' Questions
Here at Apptree, we’ll help you go through 10 different answers. This would help ensure you always have an ideal response; continue reading to learn more!
"I get anxious around deadlines"
Possibly one of the more crucial aspects for employees, time management, is something that every employer looks for. Though expressing noticeable stress overpassed deadlines can be a red flag, it’s always ideal to indicate that you worry about your work. More importantly, employers look for employees who can draw importance to deadlines, striving to keep projects within a planned timeline.
“Often, I get anxious around days approaching a deadline. I’m strict during due dates because I like to ensure that work is completed on time and efficiently. To adapt to this fear, I tend to work on projects much earlier than needed, fostering productivity.”
"I nitpick at the subtle details"
Nothing can really go wrong with saying you’re detail-oriented. The drawback you’re indicating here is that you spend too much time on the specifics. This is considered a weakness. But, as with most flaws in this list, it can still be viewed positively. In general, by nitpicking details, you’re showing your interviewer that you’re capable of helping the company avoid subtle errors.
You must convey this flaw as a way of making improvements in an area through a different perspective. Though employers don’t necessarily want an employee wasting time fine-tuning details to perfections, it does make for an ideal asset to the company.
“Over years of experience, I’ve cultivated too strong of a work ethic. This training has made me always spend too much time analyzing finer points. Though I have been trying to better myself in this area, there are always moments I end up micromanaging subtle details. I do this to ensure quality, but I get so caught up in specifics it can affect my productivity and the team’s ability.”
"I'm not as confident as I'd like to be"
We can all be shy to some extent. It’s a common weakness, often seen amongst many entry-level contributors. It’s seen as a flaw because it can result in possible inefficiencies in your professional work. For instance, you could end up not speaking up on mistakes you notice in a project, restricting progress and innovation.
Though humility isn’t an unfavorable trait; it’d never hurt to demonstrate confidence. Companies understand this and, in consequence, require some degree of confidence for work at an optimal level. So, when indicating this weakness, it’s worth emphasizing your value and desire to strive for a more prominent role in the workplace.
“I have always been timid by nature. But, I understand that this is an area of needed improvement. Through my experience, I’ve realized feedback is beneficial and kind. So, I have been working towards becoming confident in providing productive and thoughtful feedback.”
"I can never seem to let a project go"
When you put your blood, sweat, and tears into a project, it’s understandable to have restrictions when marking it complete. In reality, there’s always the possibility of improvement. But, if people over-criticize work, it can result in last-minute changes that jeopardize deadlines.
“I am in the habit of being my work’s biggest critic. On inspection, I always find something to change in my projects. So, to help improve in this area, I account deadlines for revisions to ensure efficiency.”
"I can have difficulty adapting"
Despite how adaptable you may be, there would always be exceptions. People tend to be incompatible with certain personalities and characteristics, and that’s completely okay. Good teamwork skills involve realizing this incompatibility and adapting to it. So, if you have trouble doing so, it’s worth mentioning it as it’s a common weakness for many.
“Aggressive personalities are often my downfall. It’s difficult to overlook indifference and have my quiet ideas heard amongst louder colleagues. Often, I work better collaborating with personalities similar to my style and motivations.”
"I have trouble delegating"
With this answer, you must demonstrate flexibility while indicating eagerness for learning new skills. In addition, we recommend mentioning a successful implementation of your initiative and leadership skills in this process.
While on the topic, we would like to mention that Apptree does have solutions to these issues. If you have trouble delegating or in management, Apptree provides temp-to-hire services and on-site management as easy fixes for an affordable rate.
“Usually, I have difficulty delegating responsibility when I feel confident in a task. I wrongfully take control of a project without considering others. However, I have been working on this through project management systems and efficient delegation.”
"I'm not great at analyzing data"
We all have flaws, but companies expect us to actively seek skills that adapt to their company as a whole. This company-first mentality is valued by almost every interviewer, indicating your dedication and value as an asset.
“Analyzing data or numbers isn’t my forte. Yet, I do recognize these restrictions and have to work on improving my abilities.”
At this point, you can mention projects you worked on that improved your abilities.
"I'm uncomfortable working with ambiguity"
Most companies expect people with enough experience to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. So, though following instructions can be highly beneficial, it’s also what it takes for a wanted outcome.
“In my experience, I find that I work best with only defined instructions. This is because I recognize the need for a strong sense of direction and approach ambiguous assignments with uncertainty.”
"I can't find the right balance between work and life sometimes"
Though a work/life balance is crucial for every industry, some of us just can’t seem to maintain it. So, if this sounds like you, you should consider telling your interviewer about these issues. Do this while explaining ways you’re trying to improve, considering the importance of roles you are applying for.
“Since I commit so much to my work and family, issues tend to arise when I’m trying to find a balance between the two. To overcome this, I’m learning to focus on better scheduling and time management.”
"I can be really indecisive with my actions and plans"
Adaptability can be valuable in numerous ways. However, no company truly wants a wild card. Working in a company means working in a team. So, you have to stick to decisions and follow them through.
“I have a habit of second-guessing myself. Over the years, this has led to a few mistakes in my work through unexpected and last-minute changes. But, with that being said, I’m trying to improve and become more confident in decisions.”
The Bottom Line
At the end of it all, the hiring process is often unpredictable and personalized. Though these answers may work for some employers, others may just prefer honest and personal answers. So, if you’re looking for more help, you can contact us at Apptree for our premium recruitment services.