How To Answer An Interview Question That You Have A Weakness In

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Most people feel at least a little nervous during job interviews. Those nerves can go into overdrive if the interviewer starts probing into areas where you don't feel particularly strong. Before you go into a job interview, take a hard, honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you won't be caught off guard by blunt questions. If the interviewer does as you about areas where you are weak, there are several strategies you can use to convince your interviewer that you are still the best person for the job.

Take a Moment to Think

If the interviewer asks a difficult question, don't blurt out the first answer that comes into your mind. Take a moment to think about what the interviewer really wants to know. It may help to take a couple of deep breaths of a sip of water if water is available. When you do answer, speak in a calm, confident voice. Avoid becoming defensive or hostile. It's also a bad idea to try to make a joke out of your weaknesses.

Downplay Your Weaknesses and Emphasize Your Strengths

Everyone has areas where he or she is less strong than others. There's no shame in admitting that math isn't your strongest subject, that you don't have a lot of leadership experience or that you aren't familiar with the inner workings of a computer. The story doesn't have to end there, however. Once you've acknowledged your weaknesses, be sure to point out your strengths as well. For instance, you might say, "It's true that I don't have experience as a supervisor, but I'm excellent at gaining the trust of others and I'm familiar with the policies and procedures of this position" or "I admit I'm not a genius when it comes to computers, but I am experienced in using this particular software package."

Describe How You Will Overcome Your Weakness

Employees like to hire people who are willing to take responsibility for their own issues. Explain how you will address your weakness so it does not become a problem. You might volunteer, for instance, to get additional training or to join office committees that will help you enhance your strengths and mend your weaknesses.

Someone looking to hire a new employee does not expect immediate perfection. What the interviewer does expect is that the new employee will make every effort to quickly and efficiently learn the duties associated with his or her job. You can show the interviewer that you are this type of person by giving careful, considerate answers, focusing on your strengths and describing how you will address your weaknesses.

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Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How To Answer An Interview Question That You Have A Weakness In," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 25, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-answer-an-interview-question-that-you-have-a-weakness-in/ (accessed August 22, 2017).
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