The Right Way to Answer- What are Your Weaknesses in an Interview?

The Right Way to Answer- What are Your Weaknesses in an Interview?

As you sit across from the interviewer, a mix of excitement and nerves fills the air. You’ve rehearsed your strengths and accomplishments, ready to impress. But then comes the dreaded question: “What are your weaknesses?” It’s like facing a hidden obstacle course, uncertain of which path to navigate.

Imagine you’re a highly organized individual, and your weakness in interviews is time management. You’re an expert at creating to-do lists and color-coded calendars, but sometimes you find yourself struggling to stick to the allocated time slots. Or perhaps you’re a charismatic communicator, yet you occasionally feel anxious when addressing large groups, causing a slight tremble in your voice.

Another scenario might be that you’re an analytical problem solver, but sometimes your meticulous nature makes it challenging to delegate tasks to others, fearing they won’t meet your high standards. Alternatively, you’re a resourceful team player, but you have a tendency to be overly accommodating, leading to occasional difficulty saying no.

It’s natural to feel uneasy about discussing weaknesses in interview setting. However, acknowledging and addressing these areas of development can display self-awareness and a willingness to grow. Like a puzzle, embracing your weaknesses can become the missing pieces to unlock your full potential.

In this unique guide, we’ll delve into strategies on how to approach this question gracefully and turn it into a chance to showcase your growth mindset. Discover how to discuss your weaknesses with confidence, demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement. Together, we’ll navigate the weakness in interview terrain with grace and authenticity, leaving a lasting impression on your potential employer.

In this blog,

Why Employers Ask, ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’ 

How to answer “What are your weaknesses?” in an interview 

3 weaknesses job interview examples 

How to Identify Your Weaknesses? 

Best Weaknesses to Share With an Interviewer 

What to avoid in your answer 

Tips for Talking About Weaknesses in Job Interviews 

Why Employers Ask, ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’

Employers ask the dreaded question, “What are your weaknesses?” during interviews for several essential reasons. 

  • It provides insights into a candidate’s self-awareness and honesty. Candidates who can openly discuss their areas of improvement demonstrate a level of self-reflection and maturity, qualities highly valued in the workplace.
  • This question assesses a candidate’s willingness to learn and grow professionally. Employees who recognize their weaknesses are more likely to seek opportunities for skill development and training, enhancing their overall performance and contribution to the company.
  • Employers aim to gauge how candidates handle challenges and setbacks. By acknowledging weaknesses, candidates reveal their ability to take constructive feedback and turn it into opportunities for improvement, showcasing resilience and adaptability.
  • Understanding a candidate’s weaknesses allows employers to assess their fit within the organization. It helps employers determine whether the candidate’s areas of improvement align with the job requirements and the company’s culture. This ensures a better match between the candidate and the role, leading to greater job satisfaction and long-term success for both parties.

How to answer “What are your weaknesses?” in an interview 

Preparing your answer to the common weakness in interview question “What are your weaknesses?” requires honesty, careful consideration, and a focus on relevant weaknesses. Here’s how to craft a thoughtful response that impresses your interviewer:

  • Be Honest and Action-Oriented: Dishonesty is a red flag for interviewers. Take a hard look at your skills and experiences, identify real weaknesses, and think about how you’ve addressed or plan to address them. Emphasize weaknesses that you’ve turned into opportunities for improvement. For instance, if you struggle with procrastination, discuss how you adopted time management strategies like the Pomodoro technique to stay organized and on track.
  • Choose Your Weaknesses Wisely: Avoid naming weaknesses that directly relate to essential job requirements. Instead, focus on weaknesses that emphasize your desire to improve and grow. If applying for a leadership role, don’t mention struggling with public speaking; instead, talk about your commitment to becoming a better leader and supporting your team.
  • Avoid Turning Strengths into Weaknesses: Resist the temptation to present strength and weakness in interview as weaknesses, such as claiming to be a perfectionist or working too hard. Such clichéd responses lack genuineness and fail to demonstrate a growth mindset. Showcase your self-awareness by listing actual strength and weakness in interview.
  • Maintain Professionalism: While weakness in interview can be formal or casual, refrain from using jokes to respond to this question. A humorous answer like “Potato chips are my greatest weakness” can diminish your seriousness and willingness to address the question appropriately.
  • Keep It Relevant and Job-Focused: Shift the focus from personal areas of improvement by answering with something relevant to the job. For example, if interviewing for a client relations role, mention that you’re still getting to know your clients’ needs and intend to set up meetings to understand them better. This shows the recruiter that you understand the job’s expectations and are prepared to excel.

3 weaknesses job interview examples 

Example 1: Difficulty with Time Management

One of the common weaknesses I’ve observed is time management. In the past, some team members struggled to meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks efficiently. To address this, they adopted time management tools like to-do lists, calendars, and prioritization techniques. With better planning and organization, they significantly improved their ability to manage time effectively and consistently meet deadlines.

Example 2: Struggle with Public Speaking

Public speaking has been a challenge for several team members. They faced nervousness and anxiety when presenting in front of others. To overcome this, they attended public speaking courses and participated in community speaking opportunities. Gradually, their confidence grew, and they learned to deliver coherent and engaging presentations. Now, they actively seek speaking opportunities to further enhance their public speaking skills.

Example 3: Being Too Self-Critical

Some team members tend to be overly self-critical, especially when receiving feedback or evaluating their performance. This self-critical mindset often led to self-doubt and hesitancy to take risks. To address this, they started practicing self-compassion and reframed negative thoughts as opportunities for growth. Seeking feedback from colleagues and mentors also helped them gain different perspectives and become more self-assured and open to continuous improvement.

How to Identify Your Weaknesses? 

Identifying your weaknesses is an essential step in personal and professional growth. Recognizing areas where you may need improvement allows you to focus on self-development and become a more well-rounded individual. Here are some steps to help you identify your weaknesses:

  • Self-Reflection: Take some time to reflect on your experiences, both at work and in your personal life. Consider situations where you felt challenged or struggled to achieve desired outcomes. Think about the skills or qualities that you believe could have made a difference in those situations.
  • Seek Feedback: Ask for feedback from trusted friends, family members, colleagues, or mentors. They can offer valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, as they may have observed aspects of your behavior or performance that you were not aware of.
  • Performance Reviews: If you are currently employed, review any performance evaluations or feedback from previous reviews. These documents often provide valuable information about areas where you may need improvement.
  • Take Assessments: There are various self-assessment tools and personality tests available that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. These assessments can provide valuable insights into your personality traits, communication style, and work preferences.
  • Keep a Journal: Maintaining a journal can be a helpful way to track your experiences, emotions, and reactions in different situations. By regularly recording your thoughts and feelings, you may identify patterns or recurring issues that can highlight potential weaknesses.
  • Analyze Mistakes: Reflect on past mistakes or failures and analyze what led to them. Understanding the root causes of these errors can help you identify areas where you need improvement.
  • Ask for Input from Others: Don’t hesitate to seek input from colleagues or superiors who have worked closely with you. They may have valuable observations about your weaknesses or areas that need development.
  • Take on New Challenges: Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and take on new tasks or responsibilities. By pushing yourself to try unfamiliar activities, you may discover areas where you need to develop your skills further.
  • Consider Personal Goals: Think about your long-term personal and professional goals. Identify any weaknesses that might hinder your progress toward achieving those goals and focus on addressing them.
  • Be Open-Minded: Be receptive to feedback and willing to accept your weaknesses. Embrace the idea that nobody is perfect, and weaknesses provide opportunities for growth and development.

Best Weaknesses to Share With an Interviewer 

In a weakness in interview, discussing weaknesses can be a challenging task. Employers ask about weaknesses to gauge a candidate’s self-awareness, ability to address areas for improvement, and commitment to personal and professional growth. While it’s essential to be honest, it’s equally important to present weaknesses in a positive light. Here are some best weaknesses to share with an interviewer, along with elaborations to demonstrate how to handle them effectively:

  • Taking on Too Much Responsibility: You can explain that your enthusiasm for contributing to the team sometimes leads you to take on more tasks than you can handle. However, you have recognized this tendency and have implemented strategies to address it. For instance, you now prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, ensuring that you focus on high-priority projects first. Additionally, you have learned to delegate responsibilities to team members, fostering a collaborative environment and optimizing productivity.
  • Public Speaking: If public speaking is not a significant aspect of the role you’re applying for, you can admit that you have had challenges speaking in front of large groups. However, you recognize the importance of effective communication and have actively taken steps to improve your public speaking skills. For example, you have enrolled in public speaking classes and sought opportunities to present in front of smaller groups to build your confidence.
  • Impatience with Delays: You can mention that you occasionally get frustrated when faced with delays in completing tasks or receiving feedback. However, you have learned to adopt a more patient approach by practicing mindfulness and understanding that delays are sometimes unavoidable in a professional setting. By acknowledging this weakness, you demonstrate emotional intelligence and an ability to manage stress effectively.
  • Perfectionism: Sharing that you are a perfectionist and tend to spend more time than necessary on tasks to ensure they are flawless can be a good weakness to mention. However, you have recognized the importance of balancing perfectionism with productivity. You now set realistic expectations and deadlines for yourself, ensuring that you deliver high-quality work within a reasonable timeframe. This approach allows you to maintain a high standard of work while meeting deadlines effectively.
  • Being Overly Self-Critical: You can admit that you tend to dwell on mistakes or failures and can be overly self-critical. However, you have been actively working on adopting a growth mindset. You now view mistakes as learning opportunities and focus on understanding the lessons they offer. By embracing a growth mindset, you demonstrate resilience and a willingness to learn and improve from challenges.
  • Need for Feedback: You can mention that you thrive on receiving feedback to improve your performance, but at times, you may seek validation too frequently. However, you have been actively working on becoming more self-assured and relying on your own judgment. While you appreciate feedback from others, you now trust your instincts and decisions, demonstrating confidence and self-reliance.
  • Time Management: Sharing that you occasionally struggle with time management, especially when juggling multiple projects, can be a good weakness to mention. However, you have taken proactive steps to address this issue. For instance, you now use time management techniques, such as creating to-do lists and prioritizing tasks based on urgency and importance. These practices help you stay organized, meet deadlines, and maintain a productive work schedule.
  • Conflict Avoidance: Admitting that you tend to avoid conflicts or difficult conversations can be a weakness to discuss. However, you have been actively working on improving your communication skills. You now approach conflicts constructively, seeking resolution through open and honest dialogue. By demonstrating your ability to handle conflicts professionally, you show employers that you can contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment.
  • Technical Skills: If the job requires specific technical skills that you don’t possess, you can acknowledge this as a weakness. However, you can emphasize your willingness to learn and adapt. For instance, you have enrolled in relevant courses or workshops to acquire the necessary skills. Your proactive approach to skill development showcases your dedication to continuous learning and professional growth.
  • Networking: If networking or building professional relationships is not your strong suit, you can mention it as a weakness. However, you can also highlight your determination to expand your network. For instance, you have been attending industry events and networking sessions to connect with peers and industry professionals. Your proactive efforts to build relationships demonstrate your commitment to expanding your professional network and creating meaningful connections.

What to avoid in your answer?

When answering the question, “What are your weaknesses?” in a weaknesses for job interview, there are certain pitfalls you should avoid to present yourself in the best possible light. Here’s what you should steer clear of:

  • Being Dishonest: Avoid lying or providing insincere answers. Interviewers can often detect dishonesty, and it raises red flags about your integrity and trustworthiness. Be genuine and authentic in your response.
  • Mentioning Irrelevant Weaknesses: Stay focused on weaknesses that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Avoid mentioning weaknesses that are unrelated to the position or won’t impact your performance in the role.
  • Being Overly Critical: While it’s essential to demonstrate self-awareness, avoid being overly critical of yourself. Excessive self-criticism may lead the interviewer to question your confidence and ability to handle challenges.
  • Using Clichés: Steer clear of using clichéd responses such as “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard.” These answers lack originality and fail to show true self-reflection.
  • Sharing Major Weaknesses: Avoid discussing weaknesses that are critical to the job you are applying for or could disqualify you from consideration. For example, if the role requires excellent communication skills, don’t mention that you struggle with public speaking.
  • Lack of Preparation: Don’t go into the interview without preparing a thoughtful answer to this question. Being caught off guard or giving an unprepared response may indicate a lack of seriousness about the job.
  • Lack of Solution: After mentioning a weakness, avoid stopping there. Always follow up with the steps you have taken or plan to take to address the weakness. Show that you are proactive and committed to self-improvement.
  • Being Defensive: Don’t become defensive or justify your weaknesses with excuses. Instead, acknowledge the weakness and take responsibility for addressing it positively.
  • Being Too Generic: Avoid vague and generic answers that could apply to anyone. Provide specific strengths and weaknesses examples of how your weakness has impacted you and the actions you have taken to overcome it.
  • Dwelling on Weaknesses: While it’s essential to address weaknesses honestly, don’t dwell on them excessively. Shift the focus to your strengths and how you leverage them to excel in your job.
  • Being Overconfident: Refrain from giving answers that come across as overly confident or arrogant. Strike a balance between self-assuredness and humility.

Tips for Talking About Weaknesses in Job Interviews

Discussing weaknesses in interview requires finesse and preparation. Here are valuable tips to navigate this challenging question:

  • Emphasize Work in Progress: Highlight weaknesses that you are actively working on improving. Employers appreciate candidates who are dedicated to self-development and are committed to enhancing their skills.
  • Demonstrate Adaptability: Frame weaknesses as opportunities for growth and adaptation. Show that you are open to feedback and willing to learn from your experiences to become a more valuable team member.
  • Align with the Company Culture: Tailor your weaknesses to align with the company’s values and culture. For example, if the organization values collaboration, you can mention how you are working on improving your ability to work effectively in a team.
  • Showcase Problem-Solving Skills: Discuss how you approach challenges related to your weaknesses. Highlight your problem-solving abilities and resourcefulness to overcome obstacles and turn weaknesses into strengths.
  • Use the STAR Method: When providing weaknesses examples of how you’ve addressed weaknesses, use the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) method. Describe the situation, the task or challenge, the action you took to improve, and the positive result that followed.
  • Be Genuine: Avoid offering a generic response and be genuine in your answer. Interviewers can spot rehearsed or insincere answers, so share authentic weaknesses that you are genuinely working on.
  • Relate to the Job: Link your weaknesses to the specific job requirements. For instance, if the role demands strong communication skills, discuss how you have been developing your ability to present ideas more effectively.
  • Stay Brief and Focused: Be concise in your response and avoid delving into excessive detail about your weaknesses. Instead, focus on the steps you’ve taken to address them.
  • Be Professional: Remember that you are in a professional setting, so avoid discussing personal weaknesses unrelated to the job. Stay focused on work-related areas that can impact your performance.
  • End on a Positive Note: Conclude your response on a positive and forward-looking note. Emphasize your commitment to continuous improvement and how addressing weaknesses has contributed to your overall professional growth.


Discussing weaknesses in interview is a delicate yet critical task. By approaching this question with honesty, authenticity, and a growth mindset, candidates can turn this potential pitfall into an opportunity to demonstrate self-awareness and a commitment to personal development. Emphasizing weaknesses that align with the company’s values and culture showcases a candidate’s adaptability and fit within the organization.

The STAR method proves invaluable in structuring responses, allowing candidates to provide concrete weaknesses examples of how they have addressed weaknesses and achieved positive outcomes. Staying focused on job-related weaknesses and showcasing problem-solving skills further enhances the response’s effectiveness.

Throughout the weakness in the interview process, candidates should maintain professionalism, avoiding irrelevant or excessively detailed responses. Instead, they should emphasize their dedication to continuous improvement and how addressing weaknesses has contributed to their overall growth.

By adhering to these tips, candidates can navigate the weaknesses question successfully, leaving interviewers with a positive impression of their self-awareness, resilience, and commitment to becoming valuable assets to the organization. Ultimately, a well-crafted response can elevate a candidate’s candidacy and increase their chances of securing the desired job opportunity.

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