Don’t be surprised if you’re asked direct and challenging questions during a job interview with an international company. It’s important that you can anticipate these questions and prepare your responses, just in case.

One of the common tough questions during a job interview is: “what are your weaknesses?”

We’ll look at this question in detail and provide some example to help you think about your response.

How to Respond to this Tough Question

Nobody is perfect! Everyone has weaknesses. It’s unwise to say that you have none!

The interviewer will want to see you attempt this question at the very least. In general:

  1. Try to turn your weakness into a strength. You probably remember the popular story of the turtle racing with the hare; while the turtle was slow, the turtle prevailed due to his focus, patience and determination.
  2. Propose a self-solution. Tell them how you are fixing your weakness! A creative solution shows that you are both self-aware and you have the attitude of a problem solver.
  3. Put the weakness in a context. Perhaps it was a particular time in your life, or came about during a specific circumstance that is no longer relevant to your life or the role you’re applying for.

Examples to Impress the Interviewer

Below are five examples of how you could discuss a weaknesses in a positive way. These are just examples!

  • I’m a detail-oriented
 person. I like to review my work and get it right; for example, I would read over my emails at least three times before it is sent out.
  • I can appear as an introvert, but I just prefer to listen and take my time to form a view.
 I’d like to understand the matter deeply before I speak.
  • It used to take my time to start working effectively in the morning. I figured out that I’m much more productive if I plan ahead, either at the end of the previous day or at the start of the week. Now I’m much better at having priorities to work on.
  • I am very direct with my coworkers. Whenever there is a problem, I’d like to discuss it openly. I understand some people may find it uncomfortable as first but I tend to win people over with my honesty. Over time, people feel easy to give me feedback or to tell me if they are unhappy with me as well.
  • Public speaking makes me nervous! I know it’s important so I’m working hard at it. I try to prepare ahead to manage my nerves and imagine the questions that I might get asked.

Of course, your answer needs to be authentic and consistent with your interview. If you’re clearly an extrovert, don’t tell them you’re an introvert! Be honest.

Good luck!