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How to talk about your weaknesses in an interview

Discussing your flaws doesn’t have to be tricky. Find out how you can use your weaknesses to your advantage in your next IT job interview.

weaknesses

When you’re looking for a new IT job, you’re probably accustomed to talking yourself up to recruiters, and emphasising your hirable qualities every chance you get. So when you get to the interview and the hiring manager asks you to discuss your weaknesses, this can be very disconcerting. Is it a trick question? Should you be honest, or just steer clear of the subject altogether?

Well fear not, this doesn’t have to be one of your most dreaded interview questions if you know how to give a good answer. Here are our tips for tackling the weaknesses question:

1. Understand what they’re really asking

Despite what you may think, potential employers do not expect you to be completely perfect. They understand you are human and you have flaws, it’s what you do with them that matters. While they may use your answer to gauge whether you have the right attributes for the role, they are even more interested in the way you address your own flaws. Not only can this suggest that you are self-aware and motivated to grow, but that you are capable of driving the same improvements in the organisation.

2. Don’t avoid the question

It may be tempting to quickly change the subject so you don’t have to navigate the minefield of this topic, but this would do more harm than good. You don’t want the recruiter making up their own mind about you, so face the question head on and own up to your flaws. It shows that you are humble and open, and gives you the opportunity to redeem yourself as well.

3. Be honest, mostly

One of the most common interview tips people give about discussing your weaknesses is to put a positive spin on it by highlighting a flaw that is actually a strength in disguise, such as being a perfectionist. But this is an obvious tactic, and you risk coming across as inauthentic or conceited. Be honest about your weaknesses to some extent so you can appear more genuine, but don’t reveal so much that you harm the interviewer’s impression of you.

4. Focus on the solution

The best way to be genuine but still positive is to highlight the ways you are trying to improve. For instance, perhaps you lack some technical knowledge about a particular aspect of software development, but you are studying online tutorials and undertaking personal projects to cultivate your skills – this is exactly the kind of answer a recruiter or employer wants to hear.

Now that you know how to use your weaknesses to your advantage, get in touch with Talent and thrive in your next interview.