The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

March 13, 2018

How to Talk About Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview


Knowing how to talk about your weaknesses in a job interview can be difficult. However, it is important to understand the motivation behind the question in order to answer it favorably. Answers to this question hold a lot of weight because its tough questions like this that are used to distinguish candidates from one another and disqualify interviewees from eligibility. Although there is no right or wrong answer, there certainly are better answers than others.

Know Your Weaknesses

Be prepared for this question; a large part of that is actually knowing your weaknesses. If that involves taking a personality quiz or looking at past performance reviews, do the research that helps you learn and understand your downfalls.

Be Honest

We will always encourage honesty from our candidates going in for interviews. Just as how you would want the interviewers to be honest with you about the work and the company, you should be your truest self in order to know that the fit is right. Present yourself in the best light, and being honest is the best means to doing that.

Talk About Overcoming and Conquering Weaknesses

Everyone has flaws but how they deal with them and in this instance, communicate them, say a lot about a person’s character. You want to show a good amount of resiliency and self-awareness without oversharing or giving hiring managers reasons to be concerned. Share an example of failure or weakness that was overcome or ended triumphantly.

Don’t Recite an Answer

Be prepared but don’t come across as though you are mentally reading from a script. Be natural and conversational, hiring managers are people too and they will appreciate the familiarity of shared conversation over a recited response that appears too good to be true.

Don’t Use Spin to Try and Sell Something as a Weakness

Saying you’re a perfectionist or you work too hard will not be received well by hiring managers. It is disingenuous and deceptive. You want to be sharing anecdotes of overcoming professional challenges. In trying to portray yourself as humble, you will come across more conceited. If you are a humble individual, that will come across in your honest and almost vulnerable answers.

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