So, you’ve applied for a new job at an airline and the interview is set. Congratulations! Among other questions, at some point during the interview process, you may be asked to describe your personal strengths and weaknesses. Interview questions on weaknesses are more of an old school style of interviewing, however they may use this as a probing question during an interview. Not answering this question can be worrying for interviewers as everyone will have a weakness. Pointing out your strengths is something most people can easily answer. But talking about your weaknesses is another story. If you’re like a lot of people, you may be unsure about how to approach this question.
“What is your weakness?” is typically how the interview question is asked.
To answer this question you should state your weaknesses and give an example of a time where this weakness affected something you needed to do but also ensure that you show how you overcame the weakness or how you are currently working on overcoming the weakness.
Every person is going to have a different weakness. Some common examples of weaknesses include:
Perfectionism (note: this can be a strength in many roles, but it can also be a problem
Shy/Not adept at public speaking
First, be honest and choose a real weakness. Make sure you state an answer that a hiring manager would not consider to be essential qualities or skills for the position for which you’re applying. When addressing your weakness, draw upon examples relating to either skills or personality traits.
Next, add additional context and a specific example or story of how this weakness has come up in your professional life and describe how you’ve worked to improve your area of weakness. Let’s take the example of being self-critical.
An honest, yet positive way to answer to that weakness would be the following:
“Sometimes I can be too critical of myself. I’ve noticed that I often feel I could have done more, even when I’ve done well. This sometimes led to negative self-talk. One solution I’ve implemented to address this is to celebrate my achievements. By doing so, I’ve improved my self-esteem, but it has also helped me genuinely appreciate and recognize my team.”
Why is this a good answer? To begin with, it’s authentic and personal. It acknowledges your weakness and shows that you are self-aware and willing to do what it takes to solve the issue.
We all have weaknesses but rarely want to admit to them. But when you take the time to prepare a thoughtful response, you can create a unique story about who you are, your professionalism and the career path you want to take. Remember when answering any question in an interview to use the STAR technique. As you prepare your interview answers, turn weaknesses into challenges that you’ve overcome and strengths into the reason you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
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