Talking about your weaknesses
during an interview

 

WHAT IS A WEAKNESS AND HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY IT?

 

How can you identify your weaknesses? How can you mention them during an interview? Let’s look at best practices which will mean weaknesses will not go hand in hand with failure.
The good news: everyone has weaknesses! A weakness is a relative notion because it may relate to a technical skill or a personality. You need to prepare for the interview by identifying any weaknesses in relation to the job:

 
  • Read the job description carefully so that you understand the elements and expected objectives.
  • Find information on the recruiter’s website (corporate site or recruitment site) which will help you learn about the company's culture and values.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROGRESS DESPITE A WEAKNESS?

 

The bad news: you have a weakness in terms of the job - BUT you are in an interview and you want to progress. When you are not proficient in certain things, it is better to admit to this. Be honest with your interviewer because he will pick up on this quickly. And this starts with your CV:

  • Have you said your English is fluent? Make sure you can speak English!
  • Have you said you have a degree? Make sure you can prove it!
 

Adopt an open attitude and be proactive: you need to know how to react, don’t be the victim of your own weaknesses. Show that you know how to tackle an obstacle and challenge yourself.

 

You also need to pay attention to the wording of expectations, which is very useful because you are showing the recruiter that you have grasped what is expected of you. And remember to question your recruiter about his priorities: to find out if your weaknesses will actually penalise you or whether, on the contrary, they won’t hold you back. If this is the case, you then have a chance to recover and define your areas for improvement.

HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE A WEAKNESS?

 

Beware of over-adjusting, as you risk getting tired and losing your concentration and motivation by moving away from who you really are.
But fortunately, you really can improve a weakness while being true to yourself. You simply need to identify the companies that are a match for you, but this presumes that you have good self-knowledge, both in terms of your personality as well as your skills.

 

However, apart from a personality or a skill which you might or might not have, it is important to save your energy and know just how far you can convert a weakness.

 

If you aren’t proficient in a particular software or language, think about training! Whatever the areas for improvement you choose, training and work on yourself are important and will always mean you make progress.

 

And lastly, don’t forget your professional and personal networks! The people you know have things to say, which may be a rich source of information.