Published On : December 06, 2016
No one enjoys being vulnerable- especially during a job interview. Unfortunately interview questions such as 'What personal weakness has caused you the greatest difficulty in school or on the job?' require workers to reveal their professional vulnerabilities. This question may also be phrased 'What is your greatest weakness?' However its worded- you will need to prepare yourself by thinking about your responses prior to the actual interview.
Interview questions allow employers to better understand your level of self-confidence and honesty. Employees who are truthful and comfortable with their abilities will be rewarded. However- if you provide a response that the interviewer does not fully agree with- you may ruin your chances of getting hired. To prevent this from happening you will need to craft an answer that sounds authentic and professional. Read the information below to learn how to answer this question with ease.
How to Answer the 'What Personal Weakness Has Caused You the Greatest Difficulty in School or on the Job?' Interview Question
Don't Avoid the Question: Many employees attempt to avoid interview questions by providing answers such as 'I really don't think I have a personal weakness.' This is a bad idea- and such responses will only make you seem insecure and dishonest. All human beings have weaknesses- both professional and personal- but it takes a strong person to reveal them openly. If you have difficulty thinking about a weakness- you may want to ask the opinion of another person before attending the interview. Frequently other individuals can provide you with a better understanding of yourself.
Choose Your Best Weakness: When choosing which of your weaknesses to reveal- try to pick one that highlights your strength as well. Oftentimes weaknesses or shortcomings provide workers with opportunities for growth and learning. For example- if you pay too much attention to detail- you may also be familiar with the benefits of flexibility- which is a highly desirable professional strength. If your tendency to please others is a weakness- you are probably familiar with the benefits of autonomy and independent thinking. Think about weaknesses that teach the most important lessons. This will show employers that you are capable of learning and persevering under difficult circumstances.
Recover From Your Revelation: After revealing your weakness you will need to quickly provide the positive benefits of it. This may seem strange- but even weaknesses can foster personal development. If you do not do this- your employer will only have memories of the weakness you revealed. This can prevent you from getting the job. Provide in-depth details about how you use your weakness for professional growth- and talk about how you are currently attempting to improve this aspect of your personality. Just be sure to expound upon the question with a positive comment.
Provide an Irrelevant Weakness: One of the most effective ways to answer this question is to provide the interviewer with a weakness that will not impact your ability to perform the job. For example- if you are applying for a position as a first-grade teacher- do not list communication as your weakness- since excellent communication skills are essential to the job. A better response would be something like 'I have difficulty using technology' or 'I have mediocre technical skills.' These traits are not highly relevant to being a successful first-grade teacher unless you are applying to work in a position that utilizes complex electronic devices. Just be sure to follow up your revelation with a positive statement. You may even want to look at the job posting again to better understand the skills the employer is looking for.
Sample 'What Personal Weakness Has Caused You the Greatest Difficulty in School or on the Job?' Interview Answers
1. Overall I would have to say my greatest weakness is my tendency to criticize myself in certain situations. This trait allows me to catch details that many workers overlook- but sometimes I spend too much time attempting to perfect projects and assignments. This constant rechecking and revising sometimes causes me to lose track of time. As time has progressed- I have attempted to remedy my penchant for worry with self-confidence and positive thoughts. I now understand that I am a good worker and as long as I perform my job to the highest of my abilities- I have no reason to worry about the quality of my work.
2. At this point in time my greatest weakness is my lack of professional experience. Despite the fact that I possess the necessary education and credentials- I do not have a vast amount of work experience in this industry. I recently earned my degree- so I have not had an opportunity to apply the knowledge that I have accumulated during my studies. Although I may not have decades of experience- I do have a strong understanding of the skills I need to perform this job. I am a fast learner- and I am ready to start a new career in a new field.
You are now ready to respond to interview questions that require a high level of honesty and vulnerability. As long as you remember this information- your chances of getting hired will greatly increase.