“Tell Me About Your Weakness.”

Recruiters are like Investigators, and they would love to know the REAL you.

Asking “What are your weaknesses?” is a way for interviewers to find out if you are self-aware, and a proactive learner who makes improvement plans.
So the Key Focus here is on Your Self-Management skills. That is, whether you are able to evaluate what you are good at and bad at, and manage them accordingly.

Your Answering Strategies

No one is perfect. So pick a REAL weakness which is relatively minor to the success of the job, and highlight what your improvement plans will be in details. At best, it’s something you have been working on improving throughout the years, and you can share the steps you’ve taken and changes made.

For fresh graduates or entry level positions, examples of weaknesses you might mention could be:
1 Public Speaking: It’s the No. 1 fear worldwide (Death is only No. 2) so you are definitely not alone. More importantly, it is a skill that could definitely be improved by more effort and practices. Unless you are getting a sales or consulting role which your key to success would rely on your current public speaking ability, this could be a safe one.
2 Impatience: That you want things to happen fast and shows your ambitions to achieve more. But that might put too much pressure on those who work with you. You can explain what you have learnt to adjust yourself so this tendency won’t affect how you interact within a team;
3. Lacking the ability to ask for help: You tend to want to do everything yourself. At your early career when you are not a manager yet, not knowing what and when to delegate is actually pretty normal.

Never say you are a “perfectionist”, even if you think you are.

It is because psychologically speaking, the moment when you say you are a perfectionist, your interviewer would go into the “fault-finding” mode to pick at you!

Sample Answer for “Tell Me About Your Weakness”:

*Choose qualities that are not critical to your role or that you have already overcome

“Actually there are a lot that I want to improve myself on.  One of them is Public Speaking. [Improvement Actions] I used to be really shy, but through joining Toastmasters as well as many practices, now I’m getting better.”


“I’m always impatient and want things to happen fast, which put many tensions on myself as well as onto other people. [Improvement Actions] I have learnt to adjust myself so as long as we have given our best, we can relax and don’t attach too strongly to the results. This mindset adjustment is helpful in maintaining my peace of mind as well as my relationships.”

[This article is extracted from the Book First Job Bible: Strategies and Answers to Top Job Interview Questions. Get it now HERE]

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