This week we will be taking on the dreaded "What are your weaknesses?" job interview question.
Now, no one ever really wants to admit they have faults, especially in a job interview. This question gives the employee the opportunity to see how you would fit in the position and what, if anything, you may need to make up for if hired. It’s scary to say, “Hey, I’m the best for this position, but here’s everything that’s wrong with me.”
Stay away from the obvious, cliched:
I work too hard
I care too much
You also want to avoid saying what you may be thinking:
I don't have any, I'm pretty perfect.
These answers are lame and predictable. Everyone has weaknesses and employers know it. Trying to pass it off that you don't have any weaknesses may lead the employer to believe that you aren't very self-aware and, therefore, they won't be able to manage you on the job and help you grow in the position.
You also want to stay away from weaknesses that have nothing to do with employment or make you a little scary:
I'm very impatient. In fact, in my last job, my computer had a virus so I threw it out window.
I'm really bad at cartwheels. Want to see?
You want to pick something you actually can improve on, or something that you have been working to correct. Your best bet is to turn this into a positive and show that you know you aren't perfect and are working to correct your shortcomings. I recommend picking a weaknesses that you've had but have worked on.
I used to not be so great at mapping out my time. But, my last job really forced me to master time management and I have gotten much better at setting a schedule and sticking to it. In fact, I now make a to-do list every morning to make sure I stay on track with all my priorities.
This answer shows the employer that when you see a fault with your work, you take the initiative to make it right.
This question stinks, there's no getting around that fact. It's kind of scary to tell an employer that you're not so perfect, especially when you're trying to put your best foot forward. But if you practice your answer ahead of time, you can really stand out and show them that you will make a great employee. Not to mention that you also think fast under pressure.