“I get too absorbed in the detail.”
I am sitting in the interviewee chair and THIS is my answer to the weakness question. The panel smile, or is it a smirk? ‘Detail-focused’ is, of course, a strength – that’s why I chose it. The panel know that too. Embarrassment overwhelms me.
This question deserves honesty. I’ve never made the same mistake again.
If they ask for a weakness, they want to hear a weakness.
A bad answer to this interview question misses your opportunity to show vulnerability.
This is your chance to be authentic. If you get it right you connect with the panel, show self-reflection, and growth. Achieve a higher score with an honest answer.
Avoid these three common mistakes when answering this question.
Mistake 1. Making something up
You can’t sound authentic when you’re clearly using a stock answer.
Make a list of three of your actual weaknesses. Identify an example of how each has impacted you. Write down how you’re trying to address them. Then pick one of these to develop further.
Mistake 2. Stating your weakness has been conquered
If you claim that your weakness is eradicated, you aren’t answering the question.
Reflect on how you’ve tackled this weakness previously. Consider how you manage it day-to-day. Anticipate how it might impact you in future and what your plan is to handle it.
Mistake 3. Choosing a no-go weakness
Avoid weaknesses that are deal-breakers – communication problems, disorganisation, poor time management. Make sure your weakness isn’t a strength disguised as a weakness (“I’m a perfectionist”).
Now is the time to really dig deep. Be honest. Be specific. Practise.