Although many interviewees go into an interview prepared to talk about their strengths, many times they get asked about their weaknesses as well. Therefore, you should be ready to answer something like: “Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want me to know.”
You obviously do not want to go off stating all of your deepest, darkest secrets. The interviewer just wants to see what things you could improve upon in your work. The important thing to remember when answering any question about your weaknesses is to give a weakness that is not detrimental to your ability to successfully do your job.
Points to Emphasize
There are certain things to keep in mind any time you are discussing areas of improvement in an interview.
- Be prepared with a response that ultimately reflects positively on yourself
- Feel free to ask for some time to think about it (but no more than 30 seconds)
- Be funny if the situation calls for it
- Talk about a weird hobby or quirk that you have
This is a question you do not necessarily have to take so seriously. You can certainly give an answer related to work or give an answer that shows your light-hearted side.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Any time you are asked to be critical of yourself in an interview, there are certain tricks you need to watch out for.
- Don’t talk about a weakness that would hurt you at work
- If you use humor, avoid crass humor
- Don’t pause for too long
- Avoid giving an answer other people are likely to give
Being able to talk about a perceived weakness in a positive light is a great way to make yourself stand out in an interview.
If you are interviewing for a more serious-minded position, then you might want to give an answer like this:
I have a tendency to triple-check my work before turning it in. However, I am learning to trust my instincts more so that I can turn in work sooner.
However, if you get the sense that you could have some fun, feel free to be silly like this:
I’m a huge comic book nerd. I must have tons of boxes of old comics in my garage that I’ll occasionally read on a slow weekend.
Employers sometimes go through dozens of interviews in a given day, so any time you are given a question that allows you to be creative, you should definitely take advantage of it. Just make sure to give an answer that is honest instead of an answer you think the interviewer wants to hear.