What are Your Weaknesses ? - Examples And Answers For Job INTERVIEW
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Example 1 : Delegation
“I think one area I could work on is my delegation skills. I am always so concerned about everything being done right and on time that I can get stuck in that mentality of “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Unfortunately, that’s not always possible and I’ve realized that I can slow things down if I am too controlling.
I learned this recently when given the opportunity to manage the department’s summer interns. I had never managed direct reports before, so this was a hugely educational experience in many different ways. It definitely taught me how to delegate and my manager noticed the difference in my management style at the end of the summer. I know that I can benefit from additional development in this area, so I signed up for a management skills training course and am always looking for opportunities to manage projects for our group.”
Why It Works : This is a great example for a junior-level employee in a role in which delegation abilities are not critical. Please note that the last sentence in the first paragraph is important because it acknowledges how the weakness can be a problem and why it’s worth working on.
The weakness is acknowledged and described, but the emphasis is more on how the candidate has sought out ways to improve.
Keep in mind that this is not such a terrific answer if you’re applying for a job that requires you to manage people.
Example 2 : Too Direct
“Sometimes I can be a bit too honest when I provide feedback to coworkers. My personality is naturally very straightforward and to the point, and most of my colleagues really value that, but I have learned that there are times on the job when more diplomacy is required.
I took a training class on conflict management and it really opened my eyes to the need to communicate differently with different people. So now I am much better at providing constructive feedback, even if it doesn’t always come naturally.”
Why It Works : This weakness is described well. The candidate notes how directness has been a weakness while also making it clear that he is not a raging jerk to his coworkers.
In the second part, he talks about concrete steps that he has taken and how he has improved.
Example 3 : Public Speaking
“Honestly, I would say that public speaking is an area that I could work on. I tend to get nervous when asked to present to a large group of people. In small team meetings, I’m the first one to stand up and present. But put me in front of a big group and I can get flustered.
I actually spoke to my manager about this and we set it as one of my development goals for this year. I took an internal presentation skills class and attended some meetings of Toastmasters, a networking group for people who want to practice public speaking. With some practice, I started to feel more comfortable. Last month, I even volunteered to represent our team at a division-wide town hall. I only had to present for 10 minutes, but I did it and got great feedback ! It was actually kind of fun, so I plan on continuing to seek out opportunities to improve in this area.”
Why It Works : Fear of public speaking is a common fear. In this sample answer, the candidate makes it clear that she has no trouble communicating in general (which could be a red flag). It’s just getting up in front of a big group that scares her.
She goes on to describe how she identified the weakness, spoke with her manager about it, and then took proactive steps to improve. She even has a little triumph at the end.
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