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What to answer to what are your weaknesses question?

May 2018

What are your weaknesses?  It is a common question asked in interviews and more often than not the reply is “I am a perfectionist”.

 In fact it is used so frequently that it has become meaningless and is rarely believed even if you actually are a perfectionist!

It is a tough question, as none of us wants to present our flaws to a stranger at the best of times let alone when we are trying to impress our audience with our skills, flare and expertise.  But it is important to demonstrate your human side.  The question is asked so the interviewer can see if you have the ability to self-evaluate, identify your short-comings and take action to overcome them. 

As with all aspects of an interview it is vital that you prepare and you should have an honest answer to this question that shows you can self-critique and admit you are not a super human.  Most importantly you need to demonstrate how you have already taken, and continue to take, steps to rectify or improve them. 

Below are some good examples of answers:

  • I can get stressed/flustered when having a deadline to meet, however I am aware of this and still succeed in meeting the deadline by making an effort to be more organised, improving processes and utilising all resources available to me.
  • I’m not naturally a confident person and can come across as shy. I tackled that problem by pushing myself at university – I took on Committee roles in a few societies and did some volunteering in my local community
  • I can have a tendency to be disorganised, so I take measures such as strict diary keeping, and making notes and lists of priorities to ensure this does not hinder my work.
  • Lexcel

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