In this video tutorial, watch an example of how two people answered the common interview question what are your weaknesses. Valerie Sutton, director Career Services at Harvard Graduate School of Education, analyzes their answers and offers tips on how to best address this interview question and ways to improve.
- Let's look at some examples of job candidates answering the question, tell me about your weaknesses. The key to answering this question is to be honest and mindful of what skills you may need to develop. The first candidate, Tom, is interviewing for an entry level position as a UX designer. - What are your weaknesses? - As you mentioned in the job description, I'm not able to use after effects, but I was able to pick up, illustrated quite quickly with the help of my friends, and by taking a course. I was also able to create a logo for my boss that turned out quite well.
With that I was able to pick it up and I know I can pick up after effects as well. - Tom's example is something the interviewer can readily see is not on his resume. To make up for his lack of experience, he touches on his other technical skills. He also uses an example from his past to address the weakness. Let's look at how someone seeking a more senior position as a training and development manager would answer this question. - What are your weaknesses. - I don't have experience working in the consumer package goods industry, but I do have a variety of training, or a variety of experience in training and development, and I find that setting up evaluation and training practices are pretty similar across industries.
However, technical training need to change the most and that is why it's so important to have somebody with that expertise to build evaluation and assessments from scratch. To come up to speed with the technical training needs, I would meet with managers in the area to gain an understanding of what their employee needs are and I would build program based on that information. - Great. - Again the interviewer can easily identify the candidate doesn’t have this experience on her resume.
Still Dona demonstrates her functional expertise and shows that it's transferable across industries as well as explaining how she would handle the situation once on board with the company.
- Tell me about your strengths
- Tell me about your weaknesses
- Why are you interested in our company?
- Why did you leave your previous company?
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation
- What questions do you have?