Making Your Bad Side Look Good: How to Talk about Weaknesses in an Interview

Think back to any interview you’ve had. There’s a good chance the interviewer asked the dreaded question: What is your greatest weakness? Suddenly, you’re plagued with fear. What do I say? What is my greatest weakness? How do I make myself look good to my potential employer while still being honest? What kind of weaknesses is the HR Staffing member looking for?

The best way to avoid freezing up on a question about weaknesses is to already have an answer. Try to think of real weaknesses (and not “I’m a perfectionist”) that are relevant to the workplace before your interview. Don’t tell them about your weakness for B-movie horror flicks or tendency to daydream. Other weaknesses that only appear during personal or social situations should be avoided. Potential employers want to know information that is relevant to their company. Your weaknesses should have a potential positive spin on them–a talkative person could be a good negotiator–but they should be truthful.

Acknowledging your shortcomings shows a strong sense of self and a willingness to change. That is what a company is looking for in a Payroll Manager, or any position for that matter. Learning from mistakes and failings is the mark of a positive, dynamic person who’ll admit to mistakes and ultimately help the company grow. Try to emphasize how you attempt to improve upon a weakness. A wallflower might talk about a new class she’s taking to meet new people. Someone who’s too controlling might be taking meditation classes or yoga to help them go with the flow. Other potential weaknesses include over sensitivity, being highly critical, or not being assertive enough. Using perfectionism as a weakness is overdone, and might lead the interviewer to think your work will be affected.

Job interview or not, you should always be looking for ways to improve yourself. It’s particularly important when thinking of a career change, whether spawned by a recruitment agency like Willory or not. Knowing weaknesses can ultimately lead you to becoming a better person, both in your personal life and the workplace.


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