Interview Prep Tips

What is your weaknesses – best answer for job interviews

What is your weakness – best answer

This staple of job interview questions invariably sends the majority of job applicants into a panic. You are being asked to deliberately shoot yourself in the foot!

Unless you’ve prepared for this question beforehand, chances are you’ll fall into this question’s trap and do just that.

This article goes into how you should think about answering “what is your weakness” and a couple of best answer examples so that you end up as a stronger candidate after answering the question!

After you’ve read this article, head over to Voomer, where you can practice for free on this question and others for 1,000’s of different companies and get AI-powered feedback on your answers to quickly improve and land your dream job!

Why is this question asked?

This question is asked thousands of times every day by recruiters and hiring managers, but the sad truth is that this is a very outdated question.

“What is your weakness” is a lazy way for the interviewer to identify your weak spots as a job applicant.

There are far more sophisticated ways to find out that information that reduce the probabilities that a job applicant will add their spin to the answer – which is exactly what I’m going to show you how to do!

What your answer should communicate

The best answers to “what are your weaknesses” should communicate two things:

  • Your weaknesses are consequences of being great at something else
  • You are aware of your weaknesses and work to address them

If you cover those two items, your application will be stronger after you answer the “what is your weakness” question!

In case you want to deliver an absolutely stellar answer, ensure you use the STAR method. That will keep your answer on track and make the interviewer’s life easier.

What is your weakness: best example answers

These example answers to “what is your weakness” are meant to inspire you and help you figure out a strong answer for you.

Everyone’s career was built differently, so use the concepts shown below rather than copying something that doesn’t apply to you.

A half-decent interviewer will quickly pick up on an answer that does not make sense.

Example 1: Not asking for help

“When I am given a task at work, my attitude is that is has to be done no matter what – and with the resources initially allocated. This means that sometimes if the task was harder or more complex that anticipated, I have a tough time asking for help and more resources. I’m working on this issue by giving myself a deadline to accomplish a task. If the task hasn’t been completed by that deadline, then I’ll ask a manager for help”.

Why is this a strong answer: Despite the fact that the candidate reveals a weakness, that weakness also reveals very desirable attitudes – initiative, determination and grit. The candidate also makes it clear that this is an issue that they are working on and have already put systems in place to solve the issue.

Example 2: Impatience

“On occasion I don’t like the way a project is going and I get very impatient with our execution. This results in some tense meetings where I want to see results sooner rather than later. I’ve been working on this by recognizing that some strategies take time to bear fruit”.

Why is this a strong answer: The candidate recognizes that impatience is a problem for them – but frames it in a way that demonstrates that they are extremely goal-orientated. That is a fantastic quality that any organization would love to have in all its employees.

Example 3: I bite off more than I can chew

“I love taking on complex tasks that test the limits of my capabilities. Unfortunately that usually leaves me scrambling for more information or help from others so that we can deliver on time. I’ve been working on developing my capabilities BEFORE taking on challenging tasks!”

Why is this a strong answer: The candidate revels a weakness but frames it in a way that demonstrates a massive amount of initiative – a highly sought after skill that is very hard to develop in people.

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Next steps

Now that you know the general idea of how to answer these questions, head over to Voomer to practice for free.

You can practice on questions for thousands of companies and get AI-powered feedback to quickly improve and land that dream job!

By David Anderton-Yang

David Anderton-Yang is the CEO and co-founder of Voomer where AI as a force for good, helping people be more confident on video.

He is a former researcher at the MIT Media Lab, Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.