What Is Your GREATEST Weakness? |13 Weaknesses To Use In Your Job Interview
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Answering the following job interview question: What Is Your Greatest Weakness can be extremely tricky if you are NOT prepared ahead of time. No candidate likes talking about their professional weakness, especially if they feel it will negatively impact their chances of landing the job. However, there is a strategy on how to answer the question what is your greatest weakness that will allow you to not only answer this job interview question but also demonstrate how your weakness can be considered a strength. With that said,
Before we jump into the 13 GREAT weaknesses you can use to answer the following job interview question: What Is Your Greatest Weakness? Let’s explore the EXACT strategy to follow when preparing your answer.
How To Prepare Your Greatest Weakness Answer
1) It is important to choose a weakness that will NOT PREVENT you from performing your duties in the job role. Finding what KEY skills are required for the job role is much easier than you think because all you have to do is skim through the job description and avoid mentioning any of the KEY skills listed in the job requirements section.
BONUS: Watch this video RIGHT here (SHOW VIDEO) to LEARN how to use the job description to STRUCTURE your answer. I WILL also post the video link in the description below, so make sure you watch that video RIGHT AFTER.
2) Never lie about your weakness by saying that you DON’T have any weaknesses. Even the person interviewing you has a weakness. However, when interviewers ask you about your GREATEST weakness, they are more interested in knowing how you overcome challenges and if you are someone that works hard to better themselves. So, be honest about your weakness as long as it does NOT conflict with a major KEY skill requirement for the job.
3) When providing what is your what is your greatest weakness answer, it is always important to follow it up with the steps you are taking to improve on your professional weakness. In other words, provide examples of how you have or what you are doing to improve on your weakness—for example, learning a new SKILL, mock-role play, training courses, etc.
Now that we have gone over the EXACT process to follow when answering the following job interview question: What Is Your Greatest Weakness? Let’s jump right into the TOP 13 Weaknesses you CAN use RIGHT now while preparing your answer.
Top 13 Greatest Weakness With Sample Answers
With each weakness on our list, I will give you the following:
– Why this WEAKNESS is so powerful to use in your answer, and
– I’ll provide you with a sample answer with EACH weakness so you understand how it CAN be used in your answer.
1) Hard Time Letting GO of a Project
This weakness is FANTASTIC to use in your answer because it CAN also be considered a STRENGTH. How? Well, it indicates that you are always looking for ways to IMPROVE your work but that you sometimes GET caught up in making improvements which can threaten project deadlines. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“My greatest weakness is that I sometimes have difficulty letting go of a project. I am extremely detail-oriented, so I am constantly reviewing my notes to ENSURE that I have completed my work with absolute perfection. Of course, it doesn’t help that I am the biggest critic of my work, and I always find something that needs improvement or needs to be changed. However, to help improve on this weakness, I have come up with a strategy where I give myself a deadline to go through my work and make revisions. This method has helped ENSURE that I am NOT making changes at the last minute.”
2) Lack of Patience
Another GREAT weakness to use because having a “LACK OF PATIENCE” will NOT hinder your ability to complete your work. Furthermore, you can to this answer by saying that you are incredibly self-sufficient, so you find it difficult when you need to rely on others to complete your work. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“My GREATEST weakness is that I don’t have much patience when working with a team. This stems from the FACT that I am incredibly self-sufficient and EXCEL when working independently, so I find it difficult when I need to depend on others to complete my work. However, I understand the growing importance of teamwork within an organization, so I am putting a conscious effort to improve on my LACK of PATIENCE. For example, I have enrolled in team-building workshops and meditate daily, which has helped me stay calmer when under pressure.”
3) Inability to PRESENT Your Ideas In Front of People
This is another GREAT weakness with a twist. When using this weakness, you are saying that you DON’T have a fear of public speaking but that you have a difficult time sharing your ideas with your team while doing a presentation. Also, this weakness does NOT hinder your ability to perform your job either. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say that my greatest weakness is that I find it challenging to present my ideas in front of a crowd. As you can understand, this has been challenging for me as I take enormous pride in my work and have some great ideas to share on how we can be more efficient in specific areas when working as a team on a project/task. To work on this weakness, I do mock presentations at home to get more accustomed to presenting my ideas. This strategy has helped me control my breathing and stay relaxed. I believe another great strategy would be to start volunteering to speak at team meetings because this will help me feel more comfortable sharing my ideas.”
4) Asking Others For Help
If you are wondering what is a good weakness for an interview, then “your inability to ask others for help” is a GREAT weakness to use in your answer. Why? Because it can also communicate a STRENGTH. For example, your inability to ask others for help means you are efficient working on your own and take enormous pride in your work. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say my greatest weakness is that I don’t like asking others for help. I have always been the type to take the initiative and get work done independently. I guess my inability to ask others for help also has to do with the fact that I take enormous pride in my work, so I want to ENSURE that I deliver the highest standard of work possible. However, I have learned that sometimes it CAN be beneficial to reach out to co-workers if I do NOT understand something I’m working on. Also, I feel that having someone else’s perspective on a project or assignment may bring a unique set of skills allowing us to produce higher quality work.”
5) I have TROUBLE saying “NO”
This weakness can also communicate a STRENGTH in your ability because stating that you have trouble saying NO to others makes you seem like an individual that others can count on and that you can multitask, which is also considered a STRENGTH. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“My greatest weakness is that I have trouble saying NO to co-workers, and because of this, I take on GREATER responsibilities than I can handle. I have noticed that when I take on more work, I start to feel burnt out, affecting the quality of work I deliver to my manager and team. I take enormous pride in my work, and delivering work that I feel CAN be improved does take an emotional toll on me. However, to improve on this weakness, I have started utilizing two (2) project management apps, Asana and Slack, which help me organize my work and deadlines. By using these apps, I can see how efficiently I am progressing through each project of mine and whether or not I have the capacity to take on more work.”
6) Knowing The Difference Between Working Hard And Working Productively
This is another FANTASTIC weakness because it does NOT hinder your ability to PERFORM your job. I can guarantee that interviewers have NOT heard a candidate say this before. Someone who does NOT know the difference between working hard and working productivity needs to understand what time during the day they are MOST productive. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say my greatest weakness is that I need to learn the difference between working hard and working productively. I easily fall into the mindset of thinking that long hours working in the office means I’m getting a lot more done, which is NOT always the case. Unsurprisingly, I actually do my best work when I’m not super tired or stressed from completing a project. After doing some research on my own, I have learned what times I am MOST productive throughout the day and prioritize my MOST important tasks to be completed during this window. This change has helped me compress the amount of work I accomplish into fewer hours—which also means I can produce higher-quality work.”
7) Too Action-Orientated
Saying that you are “Too Action Orientated” when asked what is your biggest weakness in a job interview, you are describing yourself to the interviewer as someone likely to take practical action to deal with a problem or situation. This is a GREAT weakness because being ACTION-ORIENTED can be considered a STRENGTH, as you will hear in our sample answer.
“I believe that sometimes I can be too action-oriented, especially when there is a tight deadline to be met. I have always been the type to get things done on time because I know how essential this is to the company’s overall success. However, because I jump right into the project, I may miss some of the finer details of what’s required from me, which causes me to have to go back and correct things causing further delays. However, I have implemented a great strategy to ensure this does NOT continue to happen. First, before starting any project, I thoroughly go through the requirements and ask questions when I am unclear about something. Then, I make notes and utilize an app on my phone to highlight the key points I need to pay close attention to as I work through the project. This has been an amazing learning experience because I have noticed that by incorporating this strategy, I have not only been able to get things done correctly and also meet all the deadlines on time.”
8) LACK of Delegation
Lack of delegation is a UNIQUE weakness to give when answering the following job interview question: what is your greatest weakness? To delegate a task means to distribute and TRUST others to complete work even when you FEEL you can complete it independently. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say my GREATEST weakness is that I find it difficult to distribute work to others, especially when I feel like I have the resources to complete it on my own. I’ve always been the type of person who can multitask and have a great system to ENSURE the most important work gets done first. However, I understand how sometimes my job involves working within a team and trusting others to complete different parts of a project we are working on. I also understand how having people with different skills can add value to the project. To work in this area, I have implemented a project management system to help me maintain control of the project and oversee its completion. This system also gives me the ability to delegate efficiently.”
9) Not Good At Providing Criticism
This is another GREAT weakness to use as it does not affect your performance in the workplace. Not only that, but it shows your ability to emphasize with co-workers and their feelings. Here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I’ve always been a positive person motivating those around me, so I find it extremely difficult to provide criticism and feedback to co-workers. This is especially true if I have to provide criticism to someone who is a new employee and does NOT fully understand the team dynamics. I can emphasize in these situations because I was also a new employee at one time, and I know how difficult it can be to learn the company culture and become familiar with the people you are directly working with. However, I understand how constructive criticism is a valuable part of any organization because it can put projects back on track, ensuring that these errors don’t keep being made. I have also come up with a great strategy to provide feedback where I’ll sit down with my co-worker, provide my feedback, and then ask how I can help them improve on it. This strategy is a great way for me to communicate my feedback and show my support simultaneously.”
10) Lack A Certain Skill
The key here is to choose a skill that’s NOT part of the job description or requirements. For example, if DATA-ENTRY is NOT a requirement for your job role, then here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“My greatest weakness is that I’ve never been a numbers person. For example, reading analytical charts and understanding performance KPIs. Throughout my academic career, I’ve always excelled in topics related to creativity and problem-solving in finding new and improved ways of doing things more efficiently. However, this does NOT mean that I don’t understand the importance of analyzing data in terms of numbers. I am improving this area of my skill set by taking online courses through Udemy. This course is self-paced, and I log in twice a week to complete various lessons. Also, I enrolled in the Google Analytics certification program to combat my lack of skills in understanding KPIs. ”
11) Extremely Self-Critical
Someone who is self-critical is always looking to strive for perfection. This characteristic can also be considered a strength because it shows you take enormous pride in your work. However, being overly self-critical can make you feel burnt out. So, here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say that my GREATEST weakness is that I am extremely self-critical of myself and my work. I always feel I can do more, which does NOT help when we have tight deadlines to meet. Also, being extremely self-critical can have an emotional impact, like feeling burnt out and never satisfied. To combat this weakness, I have a system where I write all the critical points before starting a project and check off each one as they are completed. Since these are well-detailed critical points, I know that when each one is checked off, I have completed it 150%. By doing this, I know that my work has been completed in full beyond expectations and that I should be proud of the work I have done. So now, if I become self-critical, I remind myself of the list I have check-marked.”
12) Difficulty Working With CERTAIN Personalities
This is another FANTASTIC weakness to mention because even if you are a flexible person, you MAY encounter some people whose personality traits DON’T match yours. For example, you may have to work with aggressive personalities or people who are introverts. So here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say my GREATEST weakness is that I find it difficult to work with certain types of personalities. For example, in the past, I have found that working with co-workers who are aggressive in nature puts me in a state of mind where I feel I have to quiet my ideas and NOT share as much. As you can imagine, this is difficult for me because I pride myself on creativity and helping my team become as efficient as possible. To overcome this challenge, I put a conscious effort into spending time around these same colleagues so I can become more accustomed to their communication styles and personality. At first, this may be difficult, but I have found that by using this strategy, I can better collaborate with my team and contribute equally to our overall objective.”
13) Not EFFECTIVE at Reading People
For example, you can say that you have a tough time understanding when your team member is having a difficult time unless they specifically tell you. You see, some people are GREAT at determining when others are having a difficult time without asking them. However, others have a difficult time making that observation. Here’s how to use this as a WEAKNESS in your answer:
“I would say my greatest weakness is that I find it difficult to gauge when my colleagues are overwhelmed or dissatisfied with their workloads. I believe the sooner I can determine they are having difficulty with their workload, the sooner we can make adjustments to ensure the highest efficiency at work. To combat this, we now have weekly check-ins where I ask my colleagues if they are on top of their workload and if there is any way I can support them. It’s an efficient way for all of us to communicate if we want to take on more or less work. Also, these meetings are a great way to lay the groundwork for better team dynamics”.
If you are wondering how to answer what is your weakness question, then our interview guide has just outlined the entire process you should follow. Remember, the method to answer this job interview question is to avoid any KEY skill that is required for the job. Instead, we recommend you use the job description and scroll through the KEY requirements when preparing your answer so you can choose a weakness that does not conflict with the job requirements. With that said,
Once you have selected your weakness, it is time to prepare your answer. First, keep your answer short and concise to avoid saying anything that can harm your character. Next, follow up on your answer by providing the steps you are taking to improve your weakness. The interviewer is interested in discovering how well you overcome challenges you may face in the job, so mention the training/courses you are or have taken to help you improve on this specific weakness.
Possible Follow-Up Questions
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