Pin Me

The Job Interview: What Are Your Weaknesses?

written by: Sidharth Thakur•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/9/2011

One of the trickiest and the most difficult questions to answer during an interview is – What are your weaknesses? That’s one question that makes most people stumble…but not anymore, for we have here a short list of weaknesses that you can use during a job interview.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Talking about one’s weaknesses is never easy, especially during a job interview. This is one point where most people stumble as pointing out the wrong weaknesses at a job interview may mean jeopardizing your job prospects. We have here a list of weaknesses for a job interview that will not leave your interviewers with an unfavorable opinion of you.

  • slide 2 of 4

    How to List Weaknesses at a Job Interview?

    Before we dole out the list of weaknesses that can be smartly used at a job interview, here are a few ground rules that you must bear in mind while talking about your weaknesses.

    1. Although you’re expected to talk about your weaknesses, there is no need for you to be overtly modest and start talking about some of your major weaknesses that may get counted against you.
    2. Remember that no one is perfect and that every person lacks somewhere or other, so don’t even try and utter the words, “I have no weaknesses."
    3. Strengths are strengths…you just cannot make them sound like weaknesses. You may certainly feel tempted to talk about weaknesses which have positive undercurrents. But remember just one thing--if something sounds positive and more like a strength then you cannot push it as a weakness.
    4. The same weaknesses may be interpreted differently across different industries and across different job positions; you cannot make the same weaknesses work everywhere and every time. Whatever weaknesses you plan to list at the job interview, do take into consideration the industry and the job requirements.
    5. It does sound good to say that you’re making some efforts to overcome one of your weaknesses--but don’t do that for each and every weakness you talk about. It just gets to be too much, and the interviewer will not digest this kind of a perfectionist attitude.
    6. Don’t use clichés; the interviewers have heard such stuff time and again, and they’re not going to take you seriously.

  • slide 3 of 4

    List of Weaknesses for a Job Interview

    Here are some weaknesses that you can tactfully use during job interviews, so that your interviewers get a substantial answer. At the same list of weaknesses for a job interview time, these weaknesses won’t damage your job prospects.

    Over-Friendly Attitude

    You can talk about how you end up in trouble because of your overly friendly nature. This does sound like a weakness but one that cannot be detrimental in any way – unless you’re being interviewed for some secret services-type of job.

    Nervous in Public

    Now, this makes for a great weakness if you are applying for a desk job that doesn’t require public speaking or much interaction with crowds. You can just say that you take some time to feel at home when you’re with new people or that you’re not comfortable in public speaking. However, if you’re keen on marketing or some similar type of job that requires meeting and talking to people, then this weakness will have an adverse effect – simply rule it out.

    Scared of Trying New Things

    If the job involves sticking to a particular routine or protocol and doesn’t require any type of experimenting with new ideas, this weakness will work in your favor.

    Easily Get into Debates

    This weakness works well for sales and marketing jobs that often require people who can logically debate on issues to make a sale. Also some analytical job positions may like this weakness. And even if your job doesn’t belong to one of these categories, talking about this weakness won’t really cause any considerable damage to your job interests.

    Impatience

    Even though a negative trait, impatience may have some positive undercurrents if the job entails achieving targets and sticking to the schedule.

    Egoistic about Winning

    Being egoistic is certainly negative, but when you’re egoistic about winning it can be interpreted as your determination for growth and success. However, be sure to let the interviewers know that you love to win and that, too, the right way.

  • slide 4 of 4

    Now You're Ready...

    These are just a few weaknesses that you can use at a job interview, and a careful introspection on one's own character may help in adding more to this list of weaknesses for a job interview.

    Image by: Sidharth Thakur