Talking about your weaknesses

Most interviewers will ask about your weaknesses. Everyone wants to put a positive spin on their weaknesses, but you risk overdoing it by trying to make a great impression. You can talk about your weaknesses honestly, and still look good by providing some insight into your self-awareness.

Firstly, you need to be prepared. You need to be aware of your weaknesses to answer this question well. If you are aware of your flaws, you can work on improving them, which is a great skill to have. You’ll be able to talk about changes and improvements you’ve made already. Weaknesses can be anything from not being a morning person to not taking feedback well. We suggest you prepare for this interview question by listing your weaknesses, and then re-writing them in order, starting with the worst at the top.

What not to say

Under no circumstances should you deliver the clichéd, “I don’t have any weaknesses.” Avoid talking about working too hard, or being a perfectionist. That’s not the answer the interviewer is looking for, and if you’re prepared, you’ll steer clear of this rubbish. They’ll probably drill you until they get a reasonable answer, and you risk saying something detrimental. This article suggests what weaknesses you should not mention because they are important skills for any job. We like this example example;

“This is a difficult question to answer. Of course, we all have certain strengths and weaknesses. When I applied for this job I assessed the key skills I would need. For me, this job requires the key skills of X, Y, and Z. With my new role will come new responsibilities such as X, and in my previous job I have had limited opportunities to fully develop these. However, I am a fast learner and will focus on developing these areas.”

Talk about weaknesses that aren’t relevant

This is the quickest and easiest option. Put simply, if you are a being interviewed for an Administration Clerk role, you can talk about not being able to sell cars, or interpret parts. Parts Interpreters can talk about their inability to manage a sales team or do payroll. Technicians can talk about not being able to work behind a desk at a computer all day. You can also talk about non-dealership skills, such as public speaking.

Redirect the question

Listing your weaknesses in order will allow you to redirect the question and end on a positive. For example, if you’re not a team player you can talk about how you don’t like distractions. You could say you’re most efficient working autonomously, and prefer to put your head down and get work done distraction-free. Link this in with your ability to manage your responsibilities.

Finally, the best thing you can do is rehearse your answers. Grab a friend or family member, take a look at our advice on simulating an interview here, and give it a go. You can read more on this topic here. Good luck!