List of Weaknesses For Job Interview – What Is Your Weaknesses? 10 Example Weaknesses For Job Interviews

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When you were expecting to talk about the skills, abilities, and qualities that make you the best candidate for the job, it can be challenging to respond to the interview question “What is your greatest weakness?”

It can be difficult to frame your greatest weaknesses in a positive light during a job interview; however, if you combine self-awareness with a strategy, you can use the opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants by answering the questions. Prepare for this common interview question by identifying strengths and weaknesses that still convey strengths. This will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are sufficiently self-aware to recognize your areas for growth.

In this article, we examine ten of your weaknesses and discuss how to respond to the question “What are your weaknesses?” in a positive light and in a way that the hiring manager will remember.


When you are asked about your weaknesses during a job interview, you can also talk about the steps you are taking to make your weakness a strength. During your interview, you might want to mention the following weaknesses:

  • Getting caught up in details
  • Unable to let go of projects
  • Trouble saying “no” to others
  • Managing missed deadlines
  • Little experience in certain areas
  • Lacking confidence at times
  • Difficulty asking for help
  • Working with certain personalities
  • Maintaining a work-life balance
  • Requiring specificity

Example weaknesses for interviewing

Ten examples of the best weaknesses or flaws to mention during a job interview are as follows:

  1. I focus too much on the details
  2. I have a hard time letting go of projects
  3. I have trouble saying “no”
  4. I get impatient with missed deadlines
  5. I could use more experience in
  6. I sometimes lack confidence
  7. I can have trouble asking for help
  8.  I sometimes have difficulty working together with certain personalities
  9.  It can be challenging for me to maintain a work-life balance
  10. I’ve been uncomfortable with ambiguity

1. I focus too much on the details

Usually, being detail-oriented is a good thing. However, if you spend too much time on a project’s specifics, this could be seen as a weakness. Be sure to explain in your response to the interview how you’re improving in this area by looking at the bigger picture:

For instance: My greatest weakness is that I sometimes spend too much time analyzing the finer points of a project and focus too much on its specifics. I’ve been giving myself opportunities to refocus on the bigger picture and checking in with myself on a regular basis in an effort to improve in this area. This way, I can still guarantee quality without becoming so engrossed in the nitty-gritty that my productivity or the team’s ability to meet the deadline are compromised.

2. I have a hard time letting go of projects

It’s easy to be nervous about marking something as finished or giving it to another team for the next steps when you’ve worked hard on it. There is always room for improvement, and some people have a tendency to over-criticize their work or try to make changes at the last minute, which can put the timeline in jeopardy. If this is a weakness of yours, you can talk about how you’re working on getting better by setting a deadline for all revisions and being proactive about changes so you don’t wait until the last minute:

For instance: My inability to let go of a project is one of my biggest weaknesses. My work gets the most criticism from me. I’m always able to spot something that needs to be changed or improved. I set deadlines for revisions in order to assist myself in improving in this area. As a result, I won’t have to make any last-minute adjustments.”

3. I have trouble saying “no”

It takes skill to strike a balance between assisting coworkers on projects and effectively managing your workload. From your employer’s perspective, a person who accepts all requests appears to be dedicated and eager, but they may also not know their limits and require assistance or additional time to complete their work.

Share how you are attempting to better manage yourself by organizing your tasks and setting more realistic expectations for yourself and those around you if you are so eager to take on new projects that you are unable to say “no” to them.

For instance: My biggest flaw is that I sometimes find it hard to say “no” to requests, so I end up taking on more than I can handle. This has previously caused me to experience burnout or stress. I use a project management app to help myself get better at this, so I can see how much work I have at any given time and whether or not I have the time to take on more.

4. I get impatient with missed deadlines

Employers value workers who place a high value on deadlines and strive to complete projects within the allotted timeframe, even though it can be considered a weakness to publicly express stress or frustration over missing a deadline.

If you’re using this as a weakness in a job interview, frame your response so that it focuses on how you value timely work and how you can help make processes better so that work can be done more efficiently on your own.

For instance: My most prominent shortcoming is that I get eager when activities run past the cutoff time. I don’t like to miss deadlines and feel uneasy when work isn’t done on time. To stay away from this, I’ve begun being more proactive and focusing on how I’m responding to ensure I’m being persuasive and helping foster effectiveness.”

5. I could use more experience in

Whatever the circumstance, telling interviewers something you’d like to work on shows that you’re self-aware and like to push yourself. People frequently require experience in the following areas:

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Team leadership
  • Interpreting analytics
  • Delegating tasks
  • Providing constructive criticism
  • Specific programs (i.e., “I would like to improve my PowerPoint presentation skills.”)

If gaining experience in a particular field is your example of a weakness, avoid responding with a weakness that is essential to the position for which you are applying.

6. I sometimes lack confidence

A common weakness, especially among contributors at the entry level, is a lack of confidence. In any case, it can now and again cause shortcomings in one’s work. When your idea could actually assist the team in achieving a goal, for instance, you might feel unqualified to speak up during a crucial meeting.

If this is the weakness you choose to highlight in your interview, talk about why you value confidence, how you know what you can offer, and how you’ve practiced showing confidence at work.

For instance: I have occasionally struggled with confidence in the past. To better understand why I should be confident about the skills and unique talents I bring to the table, it has been helpful for me to keep a running document of the impact I have made on my team and at my organization.

I have also made it a habit to express my thoughts and ideas in meetings when I think they are appropriate and will enrich the discussion. As a result, my concept for a new financing procedure was adopted by our team, reducing the amount of time required to plan our annual budget by 10%.

7. I can have trouble asking for help

When you lack expertise in a certain area, feel exhausted, or can’t handle a workload, asking for help is a necessary skill. Being aware of when and how to ask for help demonstrates self-awareness and prevents inefficiency for the organization.

For instance: It has been hard for me to ask for help when I need it because I like to work quickly and am independent. When I don’t understand something or feel overwhelmed by my work, I’ve learned that contacting the company is much better for both of us.

I also know that a lot of the experts around me have specific skills and knowledge that could help me do a better job. I have been able to produce more high-quality work as a result of receiving assistance from those around me, even though I am still working on it.

8. I sometimes have difficulty working together with certain personalities

Working with people who exhibit certain characteristics or personality traits can be challenging for even the most adaptable individuals. A strong awareness of how you collaborate with others and how you can modify your approach to better serve the organization is another requirement for having excellent teamwork skills.

If this has been a weakness of yours in the past, quickly identify the personality types with which you have struggled to collaborate. Then, talk about how you’ve improved how you communicate and work together to achieve a common goal.

For instance: I have had difficulty working with aggressive personality types in the past. Despite the fact that I am aware that a diverse workforce strengthens a company, I frequently suppress my own thoughts and opinions in the presence of louder coworkers.

To combat this, I’ve made it a priority to spend more time with coworkers with whom I’m uncomfortable. I am better able to collaborate with these personality types so that we can both equally contribute our strengths and skills by learning more about them, their communication style, and their motivations.

9. It can be challenging for me to maintain a work-life balance

To stay motivated at work, it’s important to find a balance between work and life. Spending time and energy on work is certainly honorable and demonstrates a strong work ethic; however, it is also necessary to prioritize rest, vacation, family time, and hobbies.

For instance: Finding a balance between my personal and professional lives can be challenging for me because I truly enjoy my work and have ambitious career goals. I’ve noticed that neglecting my own needs has a negative effect on my motivation and ability to concentrate.

Consequently, I have made it a priority to make room in my schedule for volunteer work and family time. It’s helpful to take small steps like turning off my phone at dinner. I’ve found that when I have a good work-life balance, my output is better, I can finish more work, and I look forward to going to work every day.

10. I’ve been uncomfortable with ambiguity

Many positions will require up-and-comers who are open to characterizing assignments all alone and pursuing objectives exclusively. This indicates that they ought to be knowledgeable, thoughtful, and accountable with ambiguity at work.

The ability to follow instructions precisely is a useful skill, but it’s just as important to be able to figure out what needs to be done to get the job done.

If this is the flaw you’re highlighting in a job interview, talk about how you’ve done well following instructions and how this could help you in your career. When given ambiguous tasks or objectives, also describe the steps you are taking to define your workday.

For instance: When I worked as a marketing intern in the past, I noticed that my supervisor gave me very clear instructions about my responsibilities. I tend to be unsure when approaching an ambiguous assignment or goal because I became accustomed to having a clear direction.

My objective is to become competent and comfortable working with ambiguity. In order to accomplish this, I have developed a personal framework that includes conducting structured research and seeking advice from subject matter experts when I feel overwhelmed or confused by an ambiguous task. I’ve found that doing so has helped me succeed when working on ambiguous projects or less clearly defined objectives.

Tips for discussing your weaknesses

Answering a question like “What are your weaknesses?” requires taking the first step. is determining your own areas for growth. To get started on this introspective exercise, you can make use of examples like the one above. Consider the following when giving your response during your job interview:

  • Be open and honest when discussing a real weakness.
  • Make sure to include all of your new insights in your response.
  • Choose a weakness that has nothing to do with the position.

You can turn your weakness into a strength by presenting the problem (the weakness) and the solution (the steps toward improvement).

The best ways to talk about your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview

There’s a ton of discussing yourself that happens in a meeting. It’s a torrent of “I” and “me” statements that wouldn’t work in many other situations. And when a recruiter or potential boss asks you about your strengths and especially your weaknesses, it could be one of the most stressful spotlights on you.

You will undoubtedly be asked, “What do you consider to be one of your weaknesses?” or “What is your strongest skill?” or both in almost every hiring process that you will ever go through. While that may be baffling — truly, like clockwork?! — it additionally implies that you can expect the inquiries and specialty insightful responses that will dazzle the questioner.

You can learn to sell your strengths without sounding arrogant and talk about your weaknesses without hurting your candidacy with just a little bit of preparation.

Why do interviewers ask about your strengths and weaknesses?

According to Future Decider dot com founder and career coach Sachin Ramdurg, interviews are primarily about getting to know you. She continues, “I know some people feel like the interview is trying to confuse them or put them in an awkward situation, but at the end of the day, it’s really about getting to know the person so you can make the best decision possible.” That is where I originate when I ask those questions.

It’s probably less important what you say about your strengths and weaknesses than how you talk about them. Sachin claims, “I’ve done a lot of interviews over the years, and when asked about them, I really can’t remember the answers.” That doesn’t mean the questions aren’t important at all; rather, the interviewer is probably looking at something deeper. They want to know what kind of employee you would be and how you would act in the position.

“I think it’s: Are they truthful? Do they know themselves? Can they own their stuff in a mature and professional manner? Is this a person with whom we can discuss growth and development? When it comes to providing feedback, are they likely to encounter resistance? Sachin states, the response they provide to that question reveals the answer to all of the other questions, which are the ones that matter.

5 tips for talking about strengths and weaknesses in an interview

That sounds great in theory, but what actually needs to be done to successfully discuss your strengths and weaknesses?

  1. Be honest
  2. Tell a story
  3. Remember to get to the insight
  4. Keep it short
  5. Don’t sweat it so much

1. Be honest

Although it may sound trite, this is also true: While an answer that sounds generic, calculated, exaggerated, or humblebraggy will not impress, one that sounds genuine and authentic will.

A boss won’t hire someone who can’t acknowledge and take responsibility for what they bring to the table and what they need to improve. If you are able to recognize and learn from both your strengths and weaknesses, you will be a better employee. Therefore, you want to demonstrate in the interview that you are capable of such self-analysis.

2. Tell a story

Another cliche that should not be discounted is: Show, not say.” It has been taught to everyone who has ever taken a writing class, whether they were in seventh grade or graduate school. It is certainly helpful here, and you should keep it in mind when responding to any interview question.

“It is a good idea whenever you can have a concrete example or a real-life example. According to Smith, contextualizing the response in some way just helps. A story just helps us comprehend ideas and situations better. Therefore, it is always helpful if you are able to tell a story that supports your thesis.

Discuss a time when your strength helped you accomplish something in a professional setting or when your weakness prevented you from doing so. For instance, if you want to demonstrate how calm you are under pressure in a fast-paced setting, you might tell the interviewer about the time you revised a client proposal in response to a last-minute change in plans.

If you are going to admit that one of your weaknesses is presenting in front of high-level executives, you might start by briefly describing the time you got so nervous presenting your plan for a new marketing strategy that you weren’t able to effectively convey your (very thorough) approach, forcing your boss to step in and help get the plan approved.

Sharing a real-world example will not only make your response stand out, but it will also make it sound thoughtful and sincere and bring attention to all the other qualities interviewers are actually looking for.

3. Remember to get to the insight

An honest response that includes an example is a good place to start, but it won’t be complete until you address the question, “So What?”

The last beat of your answer should connect the skill or trait you’ve been talking about to the position and company you’re applying for when discussing a strength. Describe to the interviewer how that skill would benefit the position at this company.

To return to the updated example of a client proposal, you could add, “Since things move quickly at [Company], this would allow me to come in and earn the confidence of a new team, foster a trusting team culture, and ensure we’re all hitting our goals and delivering high-quality work.”

“Really showcase your growth trajectory, your learning curve, and what you’ve done as a result of the awareness of that weakness,” Smith advises in the event of a weakness. It will assist the interviewer in comprehending your approach to problem-solving and professional development at this new position.

If you were the candidate who made the mistake in the presentation, you could talk about how you met with your boss to come up with a plan to improve your public speaking skills and how you did a great job the next time you had to present to the executives.

4. Keep it short

These responses do not require you to devote half of the interview to them. Depending on how the question was phrased, you can focus on one or two strengths and/or weaknesses in your response. To add to our list of useful but overused expressions: Prioritize quality over quantity. Don’t just start ranting about your strengths and weaknesses without providing any explanation. Instead, focus on the specifics and narrow it down.

5. Don’t sweat it so much

Try not to stress too much, even though you absolutely want to prepare well and do your best to nail your answers. Smith asserts, “I have never known a decision about employment to come down to how someone answers those questions.” It is merely one data point interconnected with numerous others. Don’t put too much weight on it.

What are some example strengths and weaknesses you could use in an interview?

You can use these potential strengths and weaknesses as a foundation for your responses to these questions.

Example strengths for job interviews:

  • Being adaptable
  • Being proactive
  • Building relationships
  • Being willing to go above and beyond to help others
  • Coming up with innovative solutions
  • Communicating in writing
  • Delegating
  • Displaying emotional intelligence
  • Having experience with a problem that the company is currently facing
  • Figuring out how to effectively use a piece of software
  • Giving or receiving constructive feedback
  • Handling conflicts
  • Interpreting data and/or results
  • Managing projects
  • Motivating employees
  • Noticing small details
  • Prioritizing
  • Public speaking
  • Recognizing patterns
  • Setting deadlines
  • Switching between different tasks quickly
  • Self-motivating
  • Thinking critically
  • Working well under pressure

Example weaknesses for job interviews:

  • Being a perfectionist
  • Being too hard on yourself
  • Getting too caught up in small details
  • Getting nervous about speaking to groups or on the phone
  • Ignoring or rationalizing away constructive feedback
  • Locking in on a certain idea or way of doing things
  • Losing track of deadlines, tasks, or work products
  • Making basic math errors or not being able to do math in your head
  • Making frequent grammar errors when writing
  • Maintaining work-life balance
  • Not being comfortable with vague instructions
  • Not being confident
  • Not being willing to change your mind
  • Not knowing when to ask for clarification
  • Not picking up on nonverbal cues
  • Missing deadlines
  • Overlooking small details
  • Procrastinating
  • Struggling with time management
  • Taking on too much work rather than delegating or saying no
  • Writing unclearly

How to answer “What are your strengths?” in an interview

Make the most of this opportunity to highlight the qualities you would bring to the role, team, and company.

Smith advises reading the job description carefully and learning as much as you can about the company’s activities and culture. Check out the organization’s website, social media accounts, and various pages to catch up on recent announcements and, if applicable, news coverage.

Take what you’ve learned and use it to figure out which of your strengths are most important and how you can use them to help others. Then make the connection impossible to avoid. According to Smith, every response should position you to assist them in determining how you can assist the company in achieving its objectives and solving a problem.

However, you should avoid going overboard. The line is so thin. “You also don’t want to come across as cocky or too full of yourself,” Smith states. “I always tell people not to worry about bragging. Be sincere and confident in your evaluation of your skills, but be careful not to exaggerate.

Example answers for “What is your greatest strength?”

If you’re applying for a startup position in operations, you might say:

“I’d say that one of my greatest strengths is organizing frantic environments and establishing procedures to simplify everyone’s lives. I have developed new procedures for almost everything in my current position as executive assistant to a CEO, including meeting scheduling, monthly all-hands agenda planning, and event appearance selection and preparation. The structures assisted in relieving stress and establishing expectations on all sides, and everyone in the company was aware of how things worked and how long they would take. I would be thrilled to apply that same method to the position of operations manager at a startup, where everything is brand new and constantly expanding and could benefit from just the right amount of structure to maintain smooth operations.

A teacher might respond as follows:

I believe that keeping students engaged should be one of your top objectives as a teacher. Because of this, I believe it is crucial that some of my greatest strengths include being adaptable, determining the excitement and energy of a classroom, and devising inventive and varied lesson plans. I’ve devised a system that gives me a comprehensive lesson plan for each day but allows me to go in any order. I also make sure that every day I have activities that help students unwind, get them moving, get them involved, and let them work on their own. Combining variety and adaptability enables me to adapt to the students’ energy levels and moods, such as when they are energized after lunch, exhausted after gym class, or agitated after a prolonged period at their desks.

For your response, if you just graduated, you might use examples from your education, such as:

Time management is one of my greatest assets. I really honed my ability to prioritize and schedule my time to account for classes, practices, games, homework, and shifts as a Division I athlete with a 3.7 GPA and part-time employment. Before putting each activity, assignment, or study session on my calendar and setting my phone to alarm, I gave each one a priority and estimated how much extra time would be needed for each one. I rarely required as many reminders, but it helped me feel more at ease. To determine which shifts were best for each semester, I discussed the matter with my boss, who was thankfully extremely understanding. I was mocked for having a huge wall calendar in my bedroom, but the results were worth it. I plan to refine and improve my existing systems to ensure that everything is completed on time and to a high standard because I am aware that as an HR assistant, I will be assigned numerous tasks by the team.

When applying for a position at an agency, a graphic designer might say:

“I believe that changing design styles and aesthetics to match various campaigns, brands, or, in the case of this job, clients, is my greatest strength. I love the challenge of being creative under different constraints, like brand guidelines or a client’s desired mood. I love to see a lot of different artists and art styles so I don’t get stuck in one style and always have new ideas. I have created campaign templates and graphics for medications that are being explained to pharmacists and doctors, exercise equipment that is being advertised to teenagers and young adults, and more at my current job, all of which have produced excellent results.”

How to answer “What is your greatest weakness?” in an interview

When discussing your weaknesses, you should steer clear of relating your strengths to the position and company you are applying for. According to Smith, “You don’t necessarily want them to associate a weakness with their business or with what they’re looking for.” For instance, even though you’ve worked hard to get better and are now more than competent, you shouldn’t list thinking on your feet while on the phone as one of your weaknesses in a sales position if the job description lists excellent verbal communication skills.

Instead, discuss a weakness that does not clearly hinder your ability to carry out the essential responsibilities of the position. Be sure to acknowledge the flaw, pivot to the insight, and conclude strongly. According to Smith, “I think that says a lot about their emotional intelligence and their professional maturity” if they are able to answer that question honestly and with self-awareness.

Last piece of advice from her? Don’t pick something like, “I’m such a hard worker” or “I’m too much of a perfectionist” as a “weakness.” That approach will backfire because it comes across as dishonest, naive, or immature, none of which are qualities that will land you a job.

Example answers for “What is your greatest weakness?”

You might say: If you’re applying for an engineering job:

“Probably waiting too long to ask questions to clarify a project’s goals and ensure I’m on the right path is my biggest weakness.” In one of my first jobs as a coder after graduating from college, I noticed that when I was given an assignment, I would waste time going down a particular path that wasn’t 100% aligned with the ultimate goal because I assumed I should be able to work independently. After that, I would have to spend additional time making changes. After it happened once or twice, I started asking my manager more questions about the reason we were adding a certain feature, who it was meant for, what about the previous functionality had made for a bad experience, etc. I would also contact them when I needed a gut check, especially for larger projects, to ask follow-up questions and discuss the work I had done thus far and my plans for the future. I was able to finish projects more quickly and produce better work as a result.

Instead of saying something like, “I work too hard,” if your greatest weakness is overworking yourself, try something like,

“Probably knowing when to say no to more work is my biggest weakness.” I was certain that the best way to impress my coworkers as an entry-level IT worker was to make them believe I could do everything. Even though I already had four high-priority tasks on my plate for the day, if someone requested that something be fixed by tomorrow, I would promise to complete it by that date.

“I found that I had to work long hours, and my supervisor told me that I was doing extra work while my main work was getting worse and taking longer. I came to the realization that I needed to improve my ability to say “no” and “yes, but not right now.” I started asking a few standard questions whenever I was given a new task with the help of my supervisor. These questions included the nature of the problem, when it had to be resolved, how flexible the timeline was, and whether the employee had tried some easy fixes they could do on their own. In addition, I began scheduling an hour each morning or afternoon for unforeseen events; however, outside of those times, unless something caught fire, I concentrated on improving the security of our internal network. I’ve gotten much better over time at prioritizing, communicating, and setting expectations. I also make sure that taking on extra responsibilities doesn’t stop me from getting my work done, and done well.

A person who needed to improve their writing might say:

Before I started working, I had always believed that people who were good with numbers and computers didn’t necessarily need to be good with words, and that sometimes they just “couldn’t” be. As a result, in order to survive in the required English and writing classes, I kind of did the bare minimum. However, as soon as I started my first job, I realized that my written communication skills were holding me back. They were probably my biggest weakness. When I sent emails or Slack messages, I kept getting it wrong, and writing a paragraph would take me half an hour because I couldn’t put my thoughts and ideas into words. In my spare time, I made the decision to enroll in a basic writing course, but I also began reading the written communications I was receiving from coworkers with the intention of determining what worked and what didn’t. My messages have required less and less clarification over time, and I’ve noticed that I can get the words on the page much faster. Even my boss mentioned that she has noticed a significant improvement and gave me the task of sending out monthly updates to the team.

If your lack of self-assurance was your biggest flaw, your response might sound like this:

My greatest weakness is having less faith in my ideas than I should. I used to be terrified of bringing up my ideas in meetings because I was afraid they would be ridiculed or even rejected. However, as a result, I observed others at my level rise more quickly. So I went to a member of my team who was friendly and had a few more years of experience than I did. Before meetings, I asked her if I could start presenting my ideas to her. I could think to myself that at least I wouldn’t be laughed out of the office if she didn’t think they were hilariously stupid. Additionally, I would first practice speaking them aloud in front of a single person I truly trusted. It turned out that she liked most of my ideas very much, so I started talking about things I had practiced with her. In the end, I felt like I could evaluate my ideas more accurately for myself, so I no longer required that boost of confidence. I’ve likewise introduced a couple of ill-conceived notions — and acknowledged it wasn’t the apocalypse or even the finish of the discussion. I’m much more comfortable now sharing ideas with groups or higher-ups, and it’s been really satisfying to see those ideas become reality.

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