How to Find and Phrase Your Weakness in a Job Interview

Knowing how to point out and explain your weeknesses could be the difference between you landing and losing the job. ŠiStockphoto.com/kzenon

Knowing how to point out and explain your weeknesses could be the difference between you landing and losing the job. ŠiStockphoto.com/kzenon

It’s one of the most dreaded questions of a job interview: “What are your weaknesses?” If you’d like to find a senior level position in the supply chain discipline, answering this question in the right way is essential. Talking about your weaknesses may always feel a bit awkward, but if you take the time to properly plan your answers and present them in the right manner, that awkwardness will not shine through — you’ll instead give off an aura of confidence that is highly sought after in management.

To understand how to answer the weakness question, you must first understand why interviewers tend to ask it. The goal of asking this question is to find out what costs the company would incur in they were to hire you — not to make you feel nervous or weak. Your interviewers need an honest answer in order to make a wide hiring decision.

Many interviewees skirt around this question, not really providing straight answers. Skirting responses like this do not give the company the information they need to decide whether you’re the right candidate to hire, so if you give an answer like this, don’t expect a call back.

Instead, you should respond by identifying one very specific weakness that truly does apply to you. For instance, you could say “I tend to get impatient when a team member does not deliver on promises in a timely manner.” Mentioning that the weakness only occurs in certain situations makes you seem like a capable person, but also acknowledges that, like everyone, you do have flaws. After identifying this weakness, acknowledge that you have found ways to solve the problem. For example, you could say “I manage this weakness by giving team members deadlines in advance of my deadline, so I don’t get nervous if they’re late getting work to me.”

With an honest response that identifies a specific weakness and notes how you deal with it, you’ll find a senior level position in the supply chain discipline more easily.

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