Say a weakness but make sure it’s not a character flaw or shows a lack of ability
Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, told The Grindstone, when asked, offer up a true weakness but not one that is a flaw in character or ability. It should also be relevant. “For example, if you are interviewing to be a salesperson at a local store or to be a barista at Starbucks, here’s a possible response: “When I have to sit behind a desk all day, I get restless and am easily distracted. I need to be up and around, straightening things up, and talking to people”. Notice that I’ve turned a true and genuine weakness into a real asset for the kind of job being interviewed for,” he said.
Cohen said to suggest a weakness that is irreversible and has no solution, that you are aware of and know is damaging, and that will have a material impact on your ability to perform the job with success. “It is also pointless to suggest a weakness that is silly – eg I’m a “chocoholic” – or one that is tired and overused – “I sometimes push myself and others too hard”. The former has no relevance on you as a candidate for the job unless you work in a chocolate store and you’ll eat the product all day. The latter sounds far too familiar and will not distinguish you from the legions of other candidates who offer the very same weakness,” he said.
Some of the worst things to say with this question according to Real Estate Specialist Chantay Bridges include:
- Never tell a potential employer you have time management issues
- You didn’t get along with your last boss, actually, you do not get along with anyone
- You do not know how to multitask, therefore, they can only give you one assignment at any given time
- You are not a team player
- You really do not like their personality but you need a job
- You have been searching for years and every time someone gets ready to hire you they find out about what happened at the last three jobs
- I like to party a lot but will try to make it in to work on time