During some job interviews, you’ll be asked standard interview questions like these twenty interview questions commonly asked by employers. In other cases, interviewers will ask more difficult questions designed to get an in-depth look at your qualifications for the job and at where you fall short.
Employers want to gain a comprehensive understanding of your background as they assess your potential as a candidate. In addition to learning about your assets, they will also want to understand your limitations.
You may be asked “What are some examples of what you could do better?” Recruiters are interested in candidates who are self-aware and willing to improve upon their skills and performance. You should be prepared to reference some potential areas of improvement. However, you need to be careful how you frame your answers to avoid raising significant concerns about your ability to handle the job at hand.
Best Ways to Respond
The first step in your preparation process should be to analyze your target job and identify the highest priority qualifications. You can accomplish this by reviewing the job ad, looking on the employer website for a more detailed description, reviewing advertisements for similar jobs on job sites like Indeed.com, and/or speaking with professionals in your field.
The next step will be to take an inventory of your past performance and select work related skills or activities which need improvement. Make a list of three or four areas that are not essential for the job at hand. For example, if you are applying for a customer service job which requires one on one interaction with the public, you might mention that you could be better at group presentations.
Consider areas of performance where you have an adequate but less than stellar capability. Also, you might include some areas that were historically weak, but which you have improved through some deliberate strategy.
Be sure to mention any steps you have taken to upgrade your skills in that area, even if you have only made modest progress. Avoid mentioning areas of extremely poor performance especially if they bear any relationship to your target job.
Since the employer has requested that you provide an example, you should be prepared to do more than simply mention a weakness. The interviewer may ask you to describe a situation related to that skill or activity where you came up short.
Try to choose situations that are not likely to arise in your target job. For example, you might mention that your anxiety about public speaking limited your effectiveness with your group presentations in business classes. Perhaps you got A’s in most business classes but only B’s for your presentations.
Turn a Weakness into a Strength
Finally, there are some limitations that also could be viewed as positives, at least in part. For example, a candidate for a sales job might mention some difficulty dealing with failure. However, this limitation could also be construed as a strength – a strong competitive drive and motivation to succeed.
More Job Interview Questions and Answers
Interview Questions and Answers
100+ job interview questions and the best answers.
Interview Questions to Ask
A list of the best questions to ask the interviewer.