How to Answer the Interview Question: What Are Your Weaknesses?

Have you ever wondered how to answer the interview question: ‘What are your weaknesses?’ It’s a question that’s enough to throw anyone off-course, but the key is not to view it as a stumbling block. It’s an opportunity to showcase your self-awareness and ability to overcome your biggest personal and professional challenges.

Some of the most common professional weaknesses that you may wish to mention in this instance include:

  • Teamwork
  • Feedback acceptance
  • The inability to work under pressure
  • Lack of experience

Below, we provide some example answers for each of these common weaknesses:

Struggle to work in a team

In many industries, working in a team is often essential to carry out a successful professional project. Projects often require a combination of skills and expertise from different employees in various departments, which each contribute a unique perspective and capabilities to achieve the end goal. While some candidates may enjoy sharing ideas and working collaboratively, you may be someone who prefers to work independently.

Example answer:

“I’ve noticed that working collaboratively in a team can be a challenge for me. I tend to feel more comfortable working alone, and I often struggle with balancing different opinions and working styles in group settings.”

Next, go on to mention the steps and strategies you have taken to improve your teamwork skills – whether that be mentorship from a professional acquaintance, external projects or courses.

Struggle to accept feedback

Some companies choose to regularly share feedback with employees to help them grow in their professional roles, but not everyone finds constructive criticism easy to accept. People absorb feedback differently – for some, it’s an opportunity to improve, while others may take it personally and worry about their competence and position within the company.

Example answer:

“I have noticed that I can be very sensitive to feedback, and sometimes, I take it to heart. While I appreciate that constructive criticism is crucial for professional growth, I am working hard to build my resilience. In my previous job, I had been actively seeking feedback from my employer regularly to desensitise myself to criticism and instead, view these comments as an opportunity to become mentally stronger and forward my career.”.

Struggle to work under pressure

Some employers may require candidates to manage working under pressure as part of the job specification (particularly in fast-paced roles), however, you may not cope well in stressful situations – and that’s perfectly normal. With support and practice, you may be able to strengthen your adaptability and resistance when faced with tough challenges.

Example answer:

“One area where I feel I need to improve is being able to work under pressure. I have found that I get slightly overwhelmed in certain situations, but I am actively taking steps to improve my stress levels, through stress-management techniques Over the last few months, I have sought advice from experienced mentors and taken part in workshops to seek new strategies to better cope in demanding situations”.

Lack of experience

If you have recently graduated from university, it’s quite common to have a lack of professional experience. It’s natural to view this as one of your greatest weaknesses when up against more experienced candidates. But, why not view your new graduate status as an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the table, thanks to the latest knowledge from your degree?

Example answer:

“Even though my experience in this role may not be extensive, I’m genuinely excited about having the opportunity to introduce innovative ideas to the company. Moreover, I’m eager to learn from the experienced employees who have been contributing to the company’s success. My degree has equipped me with a solid foundation in [relevant skills or knowledge], and I am confident that I’ll adapt and become a strong member of the team. I am eager to gain hands-on experience and hopefully climb the ladder within the company”.

If you’re still on the hunt for a grad job, you’ve come to the right place. By registering today, you’ll have access to a vast selection of internships from various industries and companies across the UK.