The Ultimate List of Weaknesses You Can Talk About in an Interview

When attending a job interview, it’s important to be ready for that weaknesses question. If you’re struggling to come up with an answer, then our ultimate list of weaknesses should be able to help!

The weaknesses question is one of the most common job interview questions that is asked and one that candidates often struggle with. How can you tell them about your biggest weaknesses without having a negative impact on their opinion of you?

That’s the tricky part of answering this question. You won’t want to say anything that may harm your chances of being offered the job. You’ll want to be honest and as positive as possible without using clichés like, “I’m too much of a perfectionist” and “I’m too hard working”. So, what should you say?

Why interviewers ask this question

Firstly, it’s important to understand that hiring managers don’t ask you this question to catch you out or make you feel awkward. In fact, asking about your greatest strengths and weaknesses is a great way for them to see how self-aware you are, how honest you are and how you address your shortcomings.

How you should approach your answer

When answering this question, you should first ensure that you choose a weakness that isn’t a vital skill or requirement for the role you are interviewing for. Remember, giving the interviewer an opportunity to question whether you can do the job is not a very good idea.

After stating your greatest weaknesses, you should focus on talking about what steps you have taken/are taking to improve. This demonstrates that you are self-aware and have the self-motivation and drive to improve your skills. This is a big tick for interviewers!

The ultimate list of weaknesses

If you’re stuck for good ideas about what your weaknesses are, then take a look at the list below and see if any stand out for you.

  • A key area of knowledge e.g. a software package or programme like Excel
  • Being impatient
  • Being able to handle conflict
  • Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Expecting too much from others
  • Focusing too much on details
  • Getting frustrated with poor-performing colleagues
  • Long-term planning
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Multi-tasking too much
  • Not delegating well
  • Organisation
  • Presenting skills or public speaking
  • Problem solving
  • Self-criticising
  • Speaking up in meetings
  • Struggling under pressure
  • Taking criticism to heart
  • Taking on too much at once
  • The ability to adapt quickly and be spontaneous
  • Time management
  • Trying to please everyone
  • Writing skills

Bringing it all together

Job interviews aren’t easy, and you can never predict exactly what you’re going to be asked. There are, however, a number of common interview questions that you should prepare for and the weaknesses question is certainly one of them!

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