What are your Weaknesses?
Do you get this question? I don’t ask it very much because the answers can be really canned but you should be prepared for it just in case.
You should not answer with things like “I’m lazy” or even worse “I’m a perfectionist and it really bothers me when others don’t work as hard as I do”. That is the worst and the oldest answer in the book.
But an interviewer wants to know that you have taken an honest inventory of your skills and know where your strengths and your weaknesses are.
For example I have been asked the question before and here is how I have handled it.
“I am actually a shy person and have had trouble meeting people in the past.” (this is true although most people don’t believe me) “Also paperwork is not my forte”
Just answering the question isn’t enough however. If I am interviewing you I will ask you what you are doing to improve yourself in this area. This is where you can make or break the answer. It’s fine to have some bogus answer about your weaknesses but you better be ready with a plan of action.
For example I took the Dale Carnegie Course and that really helped me get over my shyness. Also I hired a personal organization coach to help me with my paperwork skills.
There is no point having an answer to the “What are your weaknesses” question if you aren’t doing anything about it.
So think of weaknesses in terms of the things you are actively trying to improve upon. And if you aren’t working on something, now would be a good time to start.
One more thing: When an interviewer asks this they are generally talking about softer skills as opposed to a hard technical skill.
What are your weaknesses?
I don’t know HTML
What are you doing to improve in that area?
Taking a course.
See this is no good. Make it something related to Human Relations or some other soft skill area.
And for God’s sake if you are in sales for example don’t say, “I’m a lousy cold caller”