Appendix H: Weakness Questions: Strategies

Sarah Ladd

You should prepare a small list of weaknesses you can share with them during the interview. Preparing a list of three is ideal; if the employer asks you for two weaknesses, you can answer with two only. If they ask for three and you only prepared two, you might feel unprepared during the interview.

Table H.1

List of Do’s and Don’ts for answering weakness questions

Do Don’t
  • Be honest.
  • Lie or make up fake weaknesses.
  • Be strategic, and choose weaknesses that aren’t directly related to the job.
  • Spend too much time describing the weakness.
  • Name the weakness and immediately talk about what you are doing to improve upon it.
  • Offer examples of a time you were bad at something unless specifically asked to do so.
  • Be specific about the steps you are taking to improve.
  • Mention anything illegal or unethical.

The difference between a bad weakness and a good weakness is in how you describe it. For example:

Bad answer: “My weakness is time management skills. I always get my work done, but I wait until the last minute and pull all-nighters to get everything done, so it really isn’t a problem.”

Good answer: “My weakness is time management skills. This semester, I downloaded an app that helps me track all of my school deadlines, and I entered all the due dates from my course outlines at the beginning of the term. I also give myself a small reward whenever I cross an item off my list early. It’s really helping and I feel much less stress this term.”

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