"How do I answer questions about my weaknesses in job interviews?" is the most common question we're asked as interviewers.
It's also a common job interview question so you're right to want to be prepared for it.
Few people are so here's your chance to get ahead of your competition.
We interview for a living and here's our advice.
When asked about your weaknesses remember to talk about something you've perceived as a ‘weakness’ but worked hard to overcome or something which you find harder than others but can still do, using some strategy or another.
And make sure it's not something central to the role!
Good answers might be:
For a job where organisation is important, but not central:
"I'd like to be more naturally organised like my manager who remembers everything and never has to write anything down. Although my memory's not as good as hers I am able to keep on top of things by using a to-do list and keeping a diary so I know where I am with my work all the time".
For a job where working as part of a team is important:
"I prefer working in teams to working alone. Although I'm able to stay focussed and complete the task, I prefer the sharing of ideas and achievements which happens when you work in teams. Some of my colleagues work better alone and this is something I am working on to improve".
Notice how, with a little forethought, you can give your ‘weakness’ a positive spin? In this answer, you're showing that you work well in teams, which is a quality most employers look for.
Finally, never identify emotional states or personality traits as weaknesses, only skills, experience, knowledge or preferences. Don't ever say you get stressed, bored, demotivated, angry, upset etc.
People have said this in interviews with us. Although, as employers, we might accept shortcomings in people's skills, experience and knowledge, few of us want to take on employees with attitude issues!