How should you talk about your weakness during the job interview?

How should you talk about your weakness during the job interview? Blog Gamechanger

What is your biggest weakness?

…the most feared question during job interviews


1) Why this question?


The question allows the interviewer to get an idea of the candidate’s different characteristics:

– The level of confidence of the person. Are you confident enough to admit to a real weakness? And how do you handle this weakness from day to day?

– The level of self-awareness. How well do you know yourself? To what extent do you practise introspection and analyse how you work, organise and communicate? To identify these types of « behaviour », it is essential to observe yourself and to recognise your conscious and unconscious actions.

– The level of coherence of the speech. The question raises a sensitive subject and makes it possible to test to what extent your communication is as convincing / coherent as it was previously during the discussion. It is the quality of your argument that will allow your interlocutor to get an idea of what type of collaborator you are. The best way to convince is still to be honest and truthful in your responses.

– The level of stress resistance. The question makes it possible to evaluate your reaction to an uncomfortable situation. It is usually in stressful situations that we see the real person. For people working in demanding fields who are used to longer series of interviews, this question should not normally make them feel uncomfortable.

Verdict: Do not spend too much time preparing this question
Deal with this question once and for all. You will save a lot of time. And with the saved time, you will be able to work on more important questions. Like the « why have you applied to our company » or your salary expectations, for example.


2) Try to be transparent and honest


The vast majority of candidates give the same answer: they are perfectionists, impatient and too involved in their work.
These are standard answers. The candidate, not wishing to expose himself, shares voluntarily weaknesses that are not virtues.

These are standard answers. The candidate, not wishing to expose himself, shares voluntarily weaknesses that are not.

« Hmm … I have many flaws … I work too much, I’m a perfectionist and demanding with myself … well at least that means I’m doing the job well (little confident smile) … and then, impatient as well. That’s right, I like to get things done quickly. »

Please, candidate, stop all this right away!
What is he trying to do?
Is he reciting prepared answers?

Do not do as he does!
You have skills, experiences and an experience … In short, you have things to say.
NO! You have a lot of things to put forward!
By answering like this, it is quite possible that you do not give an impression of frankness.

BE TRANSPARENT AND HONEST.

Moreover, some candidates are transparent and honest throughout the interview and when this question arrives, they suddenly change. This can call into question everything you said before and afterwards.


3) Switch the situation and change your approach


When asked the question, do not hear « default », but rather « improvement point ». A more positive approach.
Remember.
You are not perfect.
I am not perfect.
He neither.
She neither.
The other candidates for this post are not perfect.
Like everyone else, there are things you can improve on. During an interview, simply show that you are aware of it and that you know how to implement the necessary means to work on your areas of improvement.


4) Some exemples


A. A defect that may be an added value in your work. Example for an impulsive, impatient and demanding person: « I am involved and I like to see that things are moving forward and I must admit that I tend to jostle people when things are not moving forward ». I can be perceived as overbearing and tactless.

B. Talk about a defect that is visible during conversation. Example for an emotional, sensitive and communicative person: « My friends sometimes tell me that I express too much enthusiasm, that I show my emotions too much. « 

C. Talk about a defect that you compensated for with training. Example for a person of foreign origin: « French is not my mother tongue, but I took an intensive course that allowed me to expand my vocabulary and improve my accent. « 

D. Talk about a defect that is common to people who practice your trade. Example for a saleswoman who does not like routine: « I often need something new, I like to meet new customers and close new business. « 

E. Talk directly about the type of person with whom you have the hardest time working. Example for a person who does not like unreliability: « I would really have a hard time working with someone who is unreliable. With this type of person, you have to check everything, and sometimes even do some of the work for them. After a while, it becomes exhausting. « 


4) The formula that works


Give an example of improvement (default)

+ explain that you realised how this impacted your work

+ explain how you improved it

+ give a concrete example


The objective here is to show that you identified an issue that required improvement and that you found a solution for it. An example will support your explanation, which will help the interlocutor to visualise the situation.

Example:

Share an area of improvement: I was not an organised person. I had a tendency to scatter and go in all directions during the day.

How this impacted your work: the problem was that it adversely impacted my results and productivity and that it increases my stress! How to manage this weakness day by day?

The way to improve it: I really wanted to find a way to overcome this. After experimenting with several systems, I finally found the one that works for me. It’s about preparing my days in advance.

Example: In the evening, I prepare my work for the next day by listing the tasks to be performed and assigning them specific time slots in my calendar. The key is to stick to it and postpone tasks if there are any unforeseen events.

To summarise, I have a significant weakness, I am aware of it and I have found a system to fight it!


Conclusion


Honesty, introspection and positivity.
And above all, be prepared! Wait for this question with impatience, because being prepared, it will be an opportunity to put yourself forward and shine!

Hello there,
My mission is to facilitate the connection between individuals and companies in a challenging job market. After an in-house experience within a private bank, I changed career and specialised into recruiting in finance, IT and tech.
This blog is the opportunity to share my thoughts about the changing job market.
Feel free to stay connected and have a chat with me!

Stéphane Brun

Hello there,
My mission is to facilitate the connection between individuals and companies in a challenging job market. After an in-house experience within a private bank, I changed career and specialised into recruiting in finance, IT and tech.
This blog is the opportunity to share my thoughts about the changing job market.
Feel free to stay connected and have a chat with me!


Stéphane Brun


Image
 

The job market is changing. How do you adjust your approach?

2019 : Upgrade your job search

The job market is changing. How do you adjust your approach?

2019 last Update for your job search