What is a good weakness to say at an interview?

Updated February 21, 2017

Attending a job interview can seem extremely daunting, especially when you consider that the interviewer is likely to ask you a wide variety of questions in an attempt to determine whether you are the best fit for the advertised position. Practicing answers to the most common questions in advance will ensure you are able present yourself in the best possible light, especially when faced with tricky questions about your weaknesses.

Allowable weaknesses

Consider the position you are interviewing for and identify weaknesses that will not matter very much in that line of work, as well as ways you have been trying to overcome them. For example, if you are interviewing for a job in a creative field, you might mention that you find repetitive tasks very boring, but you understand that repetition is a part of every job and you strive to remain focused no matter what you are doing.

Weaknesses that are strengths

Focus your answer on something that is a weakness when brought to its extreme, but can be a strength in moderation. For example, you might explain that you are so focused on ensuring everything gets done correctly that you sometimes find it hard to delegate, but you have learned that trusting the rest of your team will ensure you have the energy to deal with issues when something goes badly wrong.

Potential concerns

As long as you are careful not to reveal flaws that would not have otherwise been noticed, you can present a potential liability as your weakness and explain why it doesn't apply to you. For example, you might mention that your age has led some people to worry that you may not be able to perform your duties appropriately, but because of your experience you are confident that you can prove them wrong.

Answers to avoid

When choosing an answer to the question, avoid arrogant answers such as claiming you have no weaknesses, as they show lack of self-awareness and humility. You should also ensure you never use a strength as your answer without making it clear that you truly believe it is a weakness, since that can make your answer sound trite and cliché.

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About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.