What are your go-to job interview weaknesses? You can fight off your stress and come in to a job interview more confidently by preparing some answers to this difficult question ahead of time.

Here are 3 great options to get you started!

By: Daniel Lorenzo | Content Marketing Manager at Let’s Eat, Grandma

It’s your least favorite part of every job interview: weaknesses.

I could go on and on about my biggest strengths, but you want me to talk about weaknesses? How am I supposed to answer that?

“What is your greatest weakness?” is one of the toughest interview questions. You don’t want to overemphasize and come across under-qualified, or underemphasize and seem conceited.

However, that’s exactly why interviewers ask it. Describing your weaknesses well demonstrates your communication, honesty, and self-awareness, all of which can prove how effective you’ll be in the job.

There are many effective weaknesses you could use respond to this question. Here’s a list of 5 common, useful ones to get you started:

A List of 3 Great Interview Weaknesses to Mention

1. “I take too many/too few risks.”

Risk-taking is a great weakness to mention. For one, these are natural character traits – we all know plenty of people who tend to be too impulsive or too careful and still excel in their jobs.

Also, it’s easy to think of specific examples of how you’re working on either stepping up or taking a backseat. (You should always back these weaknesses up with ways that you’re improving them.)

2. “I struggle with a particular soft skill.”

Perhaps your files on your work computer are a mess. You can’t always think outside-the-box. You get things done, but have trouble giving others meaningful tasks. No big deal! 

An architect wearing a construction hat and vest bends over a messy table, cluttered with tools, to work on a drawing.
Maybe disorganization is a big weakness for you – explain that it’s because you have a lot of ideas!

Again, as long as they aren’t critical to the job, it’s a good move to be honest about soft skills you’re lacking in. Anyone who’s taken a personality test (and the HR person interviewing you surely has!) knows that everyone has certain innate weaknesses that also come with accompanying strengths

Maybe you’re only disorganized because you’re an energetic people-person with lots of ideas! Or maybe you’re too critical when giving feedback because you have great attention to detail that makes you an excellent editor. Either way, use this psychological fact to naturally spin these weaknesses into positives. 

3. “I spend too much/not enough time on details.”

Whether you’re too picky or too carefree, either of these weaknesses show great self-awareness and provide an easy path for improvement.

If you spend too much time on details, explain that it’s because your top priority is satisfaction for the end user, but you’re working to pay more attention to others’ feedback and get things moving.

If you’re not detail-oriented, explain that you are focused on efficiency and hate getting bogged down, but you’ve recently made efforts to slow down, think through each component, and double-check everything to save time later.

Spin Your Weaknesses to Land the Job

Use the examples above as inspiration to think about your own most prominent professional weaknesses.

Take some time to think through 2-3 top weaknesses. Then write down how you’re going to explain exactly what you struggle with, how to spin it as a positive quality, and how you’re working on it for the future.

Above all, make sure the weaknesses you choose are honest and not critical to the job. (Nothing is worse than hearing “I don’t have any weaknesses.” Spare us!)

By doing so, you’ll demonstrate that you’re self-aware, proactive, and a well-rounded professional, all of which will make the interviewer that much closer to realizing you’re the perfect candidate.

For more fun, verified career tips each week, check out our Career Warrior Podcast wherever you get your podcasts!

A banner advertising Let's Eat, Grandma's resume services.