Tricky Interview Questions
What are your main weaknesses?
First things first – no-one is perfect and the interviewer knows that. So don’t stress, they’re not looking for perfection – they’re looking for someone who’ll fit in nicely with their team. You don’t have to be a completely open book, we know an interview is about marketing yourself effectively within a limited amount of time, but the most important thing to remember is to be genuine and open and you can’t really go too far wrong!
It may seem like quite an old fashioned question but it’s often still asked because it can be telling about your emotional intelligence and self-confidence. Most people tackle it by turning the negative into a positive which is a bit, dare I say it, cliché? So try to think of a more pragmatic and constructive way. Here’s some pointers to get you thinking:
- Think about a trait but also a solution or a method you use to overcome it. For example, “I get stressed when speaking in public or when I need to reach a tight deadline” but “I prepare more than usual in order to be less stressed” or “I go to mindfulness/meditation classes that are really helpful”, etc. Show that you acknowledge the weakness but also have a solution for it.
- Or maybe your memory isn’t brilliant, you could say ‘Well, I don’t have the best memory but I’m a committed list maker because I like to know I’ve got everything under control.’
- If you phrase it this way, it also shows your problem solving skills – tick!
- Don’t say that you don’t have any. From my experience people tend to employ people who can be honest about what they need to improve or work on rather than people who profess to be perfect.
- Keep it professional. You don’t have to mention personal characteristics if they don’t affect your professionalism or work commitments. Think of work related aspects and give examples (it puts things into perspective and the interviewer can relate to what you are saying), you don’t have to tell them you have the loudest laugh in the world, save that for when you’ve got the job...'Be genuine and open and you can’t really go too far wrong!'
'Be genuine and open and you can’t really go too far wrong!'