Every candidate has weaknesses. But the hiring process is all about putting your best foot forward. How can you be honest when asked about them in a way that won’t sabotage the offer?
You might think answering with the old “I’m a perfectionist” is the way to go. Or stating that “I have really high standards that slow me down.” However, managers aren’t looking for the same generic responses many candidates give; instead, they want you to be authentic during the process. So stating this or something like this can lead you to lose points in credibility.
Instead, follow these tips for surviving this tricky interview questions:
Prepare an answer ahead of time.
You know you’re going to get asked this question. So don’t improvise. Instead, truly think through an area where you’ve struggled. Keep in mind too it doesn’t have to be a current problem. It can be an issue you’ve dealt with in the past and overcome. But being honest about it will help a hiring manager to gain more insight into your personality and ability, as well as your willingness to proactively resolve a weakness.
Give a specific example.
Rather than simply telling the hiring manager about a particular problem, tell them a story. This will make you more memorable and relatable. For instance, your problem might be that you don’t like speaking in public. Instead of simply saying that, explain a scenario that actually happened, such as:
“A few years ago, my boss asked me to give a presentation to the team on a project we were working on. I was so caught up in the details of the project that I didn’t prepare enough for the presentation and thought I could wing it. Well, I couldn’t and really bombed it. I learned my lesson, though. I’ve since taken classes on public speaking and even joined the local Toastmasters Club. I also thoroughly prepare now before every presentation.”
With whatever you say, try to be as genuine as possible. Remember, everyone has weaknesses, even the hiring manager. So if you simply tell them the truth, but also spin the situation as a learning experience, then you’ll better set yourself up to win the offer.
Get more details on answering common interview questions by reading this post: 6 of The Most Common Interview Questions & How To Answer Them. If you’d like help with your job search, Future Force can help there, as well. As one of the leading temp agencies in Orlando, FL, we have a range of positions that could be a great fit for you. Find out more by searching our jobs!