Job interview questions and answers (Part 5): What are your weaknesses?

Job interview questions and answers (Part 5): What are your weaknesses?


In this week’s job search tip, we’re going to be going over interview questions and answers. Today, we’re gonna be tacking the scary “What are your weaknesses?” question. We’re gonna look at it from a couple
different angles and find out what employers are really asking. That’s coming up! Hey guys, I’m Kim with Snagajob, and welcome to Job Hunters, our weekly advice show. Where we give you resume tips to interview advice, and everything in between. Today, we’re taking on the scary “Tell me what your weaknesses are” question. This is a common interview question and
chances are you probably will see this in a job interview. Now no one ever wants to admit they have
weaknesses, especially when you’re talking to a job interviewer. You don’t want to tell someone that hey I’m the best person you have but oh look, here are my weaknesses. So this question gives the employer the opportunity to see what, if anything, you need to make up for if you
do get hired for the position. So you need to give a substantive answer with a real weakness that you do have. So stay away from the cliche and obvious answers like: “I work too hard.” “I care too much.” And also avoid saying what you really want to say. “I really don’t have any I’m just pretty
perfect.” So the answers you just heard are really lame and predictable. Employers know that you have faults. They have them. You have them. Everyone has them. And it’s OK to admit them. So trying to pass it off that you don’t have any weakness may lead the employer to you think that you aren’t very self-aware and that you may be hard to manage on the job. You also wanna stay
away from weaknesses that don’t have anything to do about the job and that may make you a little scary. “I’m very impatient. In fact, at my last job, my computer had a virus so I threw it out the window.” “I’m really bad at cartwheels. You want to see?” “I don’t speak fluent Portuguese, yet.” “Well, I really generally don’t get along with anyone. At my last job, some guy ate my lunch. So, I ended up setting his car on fire.” You want to pick a trait that you can actually improve on. Or think of something that’s a flaw you have, that you’ve been working to improve on. Try taking something negative and turning it into a positive. “I use to be not so great at mapping out my time. But at my last job, it really forced me to be able to work on my time management skills. So now in the mornings before I do anything, I do a to-do list. And that way I can make sure that all of my priorities are done during the day.” This answer is a great way for the employer to see the
initiative and the steps that you take to turn a weakness into a positive. It really shows that you
have a great chance to grow in their company. Now this question stinks. There’s no
getting around it. But employers probably will ask you this question so if you practice your answers
beforehand you won’t be thrown off by the hey what’s wrong with you question. So thanks for joining us today, if you like
this video, please let us now so we know to keep making videos like this. And make sure you subscribe to our
channel by clicking that little button right there so you’ll get a new job search video every
week. And don’t forget to head over to snagajob.com to start your job
search today. Bye! See you next Wednesday.

100 thoughts on “Job interview questions and answers (Part 5): What are your weaknesses?

  • Thank you so much for your feedback, laurainer0159! We're so glad you found our videos helpful! Let us know how your next interview goes! We've got our fingers crossed for you! Good luck!

  • Is there a way that you could do a video on how to get a job in a field that you don't have any experience in, if any experience at all? It would help a lot! 🙂

  • Hi Tyler! This is a great topic. Are you looking for a job with no work experience at all? If so, we actually have a video on "How to find a job with no work experience". Or are you looking to switch industries? We can definitely make a video about that!

  • You're very welcome, Ste! Thanks for your feedback! We're so glad you find our videos helpful in your job search!

  • Can you please make a video on how to sell an item and how to break the ice with a customer and how to approach them, It's so harrrrrrrrrd

  • We're adding that to our list, Nichole! Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so you know when the video is posted. Thanks for the request!

  • Could I say that I have trouble keeping a converstation going so some times I'm discourage to talk to certain people. But can greet them? Do you think this will deeply affect my job acceptances?

  • An answer like that really depends on what type of position you are interviewing for. For example, if you are interviewing for a back of house type of position (cook, inventory, ect.), then that answer probably won't affect your job performance. But, if you are applying for a position where you will be working with customers, it may be best to stay away from saying you are uncomfortable talking to people.

  • my grand daughters weakness is second guessing herself. are there any tips on how she would handle this weakness?

  • Could you help me?, I need to know what is the woman saying in the second 1:38 cause I don´t speak english only write.

  • Hi Charlie, you can actually read the transcript of the whole video in the video's description! Check it out and let us know if you have any questions.

  • I recently applied to Wendy's today. I am only 16 so in a way my only way to get into my career choice, I can't work in any other restaurant near me because they all serve Liquor.

    my weakness would be. "I can get agitated or upset to do the task at hand when things go wrong, I can quickly defuse it with Humor I even learned to laugh at myself." is this okay? or is this a must avoid response to the question?

  • Great question, Jacob. You might want to avoid the words "agitated" and "upset". You might want to say that you get a little impatient when things don't go according to plan, but you have learned how to defuse situations with a smile and humor (when humor is appropriate). I hope that helps! Good luck!

  • My worst habit is that I tend to take things literally, no matter how they are said, and this tends to lead to me overthinking things in the end. I try to fix this by repeating the directions back at whoever issued them. How could I best phrase that to an interviewer?

  • I recently got called in for a group interview… It's going to be for my first real job… What should I expect? How can I stand out??

  • Hi, Sadie! Make sure you do your research on the company before going in for the interview. Check out they're website and even go into the store to learn how they do things. Also, take a look at our "Job interview questions and answers" video series on our YouTube channel for the typical questions you get asked. Make sure you check out the video, "Why do you want to work here?" You can also find blog posts about this topic in the "Job Tips" section of Snagajob's website. Good luck!

  • Good question. It's not a cliche answer, but you might want to say you lose your energy when you doing have anything to do. Then start talking about how you are energized by being active so you try to keep busy.

  • Try talking about how you are very analytical and sometimes that gets you into trouble because it can lead you to overthinking things. You can talk about how you deal with this by repeating directions back and clarifying them. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  • hey i find ur vlogs very helpful and i want to thank you all for the tips..so i have a interview tomorrow.. but idk if this is a right answer for this question …im kinda sentamental and ive struggle on math but notice that ive improved by getting help…

  • Thanks for your feedback! We're glad you find our videos helpful! That's what we're here for! Struggling with math is a fine answer. For example, you can start your answer like, "Math is not my strongest subject at school, which is why I work with a tutor several times a week." Then you can briefly talk about how you have noticed that your math skills have improved. Good luck!

  • You might want to talk about how you are a perfectionist, which can occasionally cause you to question your work. Then talk about how you overcome this so you can move on to the next project or task.

  • i have a job interview on wednesdeday for macys and idk how to make my weakness a positive , should i say my legs are getting tired but improve this on by exercising ? should i say that ?

  • You might not want to talk about your lets getting tired since the job probably requires you stand for an extended period of time.

  • Unfortunately, it may sound like you don't prepare.You want to pick something else that you can describe what you're doing to improve and how you've seen improvement. It's a tough question and no fun to answer!

  • lol! I'd have to agree. The person talking to them will probably think they're on drugs because they keep spacing out.

  • @1:24 – LOL! "I get so impatient that when I was at my last job, my computer had a virus, so I just threw it out the window." .lol

  • Snagajob, PLEASE RESPOND BACK to this question.

    For my interview in a few days (for an internship at a music publishing company), I'd like to say, "I was never some1 who was a good note taker, so months ago, I noticed that my cell phone has a recorder built in & now I just record things I need to remember. This allows my hands to be free as I'm not hurrying up wondering what was said & I wouldn't miss any info! Later when I have time, I'd write down what was on my recorder"

    What do u think?

  • Good question! You may want to would avoid saying that you forget things. Maybe you could phrase it like, "I was never really great about writing things down until I discovered I could record things on my phone. This has helped my free up my hands and has really impacted my ability to multitask".

  • Aw, thanks so much for asking! It went well (in my opinion). However, the lady that interviewed me asked me NOTHING of the questions I studied..lol! The interview went a good hr and 20 min. The only question she asked that you helped me with was "what was your aspiration?". She said she had 2 grad students to interview and she'd let me know her decision, soon. I'm not that optimistic that I'll get the intern job, though.

  • Glad the interview went well! All you can do is prepare and do your best. Were there any questions in particular that you had trouble with?

  • Not that I can remember. They (it was 2 people in the room) were doing the most talking. Question: for any future interviews, how in the world do you explain when hiring managers want a person that has "Excellent math and problem/puzzling solving skills & Strong data entry skills with high degree of accuracy" in a cover letter???

  • Hi, Hector. While it's a clever answer, it's very similar to the answer, "I don't have any weaknesses." Employers know that everyone has weaknesses and they're looking for how aware you are of yours and how you manage them.

  • Thank you… On my last interview I answered "trying to do the job without asking for help and I know that if I get help sooner I can eliminate scrap, defected product and the help might help me get the job done quicker or make a final decision". What do you think?

  • Thank you. What about the ? that they ask? If we would to call your previous boss? What will he say about you??

  • @Hector Garcia-Martinez talk about the strengths you brought to work, your work ethic, what you brought to the job and how you worked with the team.

  • I realy don't have too many weaknesses because I realy only worked for 4 weeks in petco training but that was 2 years ago. My only weekeness is math skills but every workplace has a cash register. How do I tell them I'm horrible at math 🙁

  • if i say to share the dorm with somebody else (im a cruise ship worker) could be that a weakness???? o.O thx for the videos :)))))))

  • what if the weakness is that youre shy? but youre working on that weakness to be more out there you know what i mean? 

  • Thank you snagajob I look at your video about 30mins ago and had an interview and I got the job on the spot about this questions! Thanks you so much on the helpful info

  • I love your guys videos I just came across them yesterday before going to an interview. Great advice and I love the bloopers

  • How do I talk to a restaurant manager when i turn in my application. Like I'm interested in the job but I don't how to put in words to the manager without sounding like I don't know what I'm saying.

  • How do I talk to a restaurant manager when i turn in my application. Like I'm interested in the job but I don't how to put in words to the manager without sounding like I don't know what I'm saying.

  • This is all bullshit if you can't get an email back, there's no way to contact anyone, entry level jobs requiring experience, fake job postings, recruiters lying to you, and you can't even get an interview despite perfecting your resume', cover letter, networking, and so on…AMERICA SUCKS…

  • Love these videos Kim!  Tell everyone hello from me! I was one of the contestants chosen for Snag-A-Job America's Number One Hourly Worker contest. 

  • Always wanted to ask 1 not job related question – Why there are so many computer science/programming books on the shelf? I mean, I understand why there are HR ones on the top shelf but why CS?

  • I have a interview today. I'm usually nervous and very uneasy in the interview but you have given me the confidence to go in today and nail this Interview!!!!! You guys rock!

  • Is saying I overthink things a cliche weakness? When I do something wrong sometimes I overthink on how I can avoid making that same mistake over again. 

  • Hello @Snagajob how can I say that my weakness is not been able to say No , even if I'm tired and don't feel like doing something I just do it because I think they'll hate me for not helping . In a way so that if they do hire me they won't take advantage of my niceness ?

  • So like if I don't have any experience would I tell them something like how schoolwork helped me manage time or chores at home

  • I tend to be easily discouraged or brought down. But I try to look at others opinions and criticisms in a way where I can learn from them to overall better myself when it's necessary.

  • Hey 🙂 I have a question about being previously terminated. I have about 2 1/2 years experience in the restaurant industry but I'm still finding it quite difficult to get a job! Could this be due to the fact I was terminated from my last job?

  • I have a job interview today for housekeeping. I used to have a job in this area years ago. The circumstances will be much different this time and I'm trying to get prepared on what may be asked. 😬 I appreciate all your video's.😁

  • My two biggest weakness are doubting myself and getting nervous before going to a interview. What can I say to that.

  • I had my third job interview today at Chick-fil-a and got the job. This was one of the questions that the manager asked me. However, before I could answer, she made it clear that everyone has a weakness and that if you don't know what your weakness is, you can't grow. This video helped as I mentioned how time management has been a struggle for me but also explained how I'm working to improve it. Speaking of weaknesses, can you guys do a video on the question "What's something you didn't like about your last boss?" I got that question before and I was stumped.

  • Thank you for making these videos. I like them very much. Although the bloopers may be funny, I think they are not necessary and they undermine your chances to be a credible source for job tips. Especially when the bloopers are 50% of the video.

  • >5 minute video
    >Tells us what not to do for almost two minutes
    >Tells us what to do for about 40 seconds
    >Almost 3 minutes of outro and "bloopers"
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????
    PROFIT!

  • +Snagajob

    I'm wondering if this answer would be great because I'm looking for a job in customer service because I've had experience in it and I'm wondering if I should say…

    "My biggest weakness is trying to step out of my comfort zone when talking to new people. Working at my first job it was difficult for me to do this at first, but with the proper training it eventually got easier for me to talk with people without getting so nervous. My last job, made it even easier for me to do this as well, because I had more customer interaction, as a sales associate and I feel like I'm better at talking with customers because of this."

    or I might condense it –

    I feel my weakness is stepping out of my comfort zone when talking to new people. I'm still working on this, however my first job, as a courtesy clerk helped me a lot as well as my last job as a sales associate. Now I feel like I can strike up a conversation with someone, and not get so nervous about it."

  • I have a job interview on Tuesday, absolutely nervous about it, these videos are helping me so far. I will let you guys know how I get on 😊

  • I like your video's only in a few of them like this one, the girl did not seem to speak up clearly and I really didn't understand what she said, the only thing I really got was something about time management? This video was not very helpful.

  • My job interview is in a few hours. I've gained so much more confidence in knowing what to answer in these questions so.. thank you in advance!!

  • My weaknesses are really bad for the job I'm trying to get. I'm terrible at customer service. Should I try to down play it? By saying something like "I'm not super great at customer service, and I've had issues with being shy with new people, but I have been getting better at talking to people"

  • I hate life, lol I cant think of any reason why i should be hired or even weaknesses or strengths or why I want to work somewhere. arghh. can I be a hermit instead?

  • Do you have video to calm nerves and not show it I screwed up my first interview because it was extremely obvious 😟😟 and I totally blanked out, very awkward it was awful!

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