Many of us struggle to answer the crucial question, “what are your weaknesses?” without feeling humiliated or admitting defeat. In truth, talking openly and honestly about our weaknesses can be incredibly powerful in achieving success personally and professionally.
Being aware of our strengths and limitations is essential for self-improvement. Recognizing and admitting the areas where we need to improve demonstrates a sense of maturity, ownership, resilience, adaptability, and humility.
How to answer what’s your greatest weakness?
Choose words that make you not sound vulnerable and insecure, and stay positive. Talk about challenges instead of failures — emphasize how you faced them without being negative about yourself or giving excuses.
Use active language such as “I identified” or “I developed skills” instead of phrases like “I would not say I’m very good at..” Do not speak badly about yourself or others — focus on the positive aspects, such as how you have grown from the experience.
Try rephrasing statements like “I do not understand” with something more confident like “I would benefit from a better understanding.”
Do not try to pull off a generic answer like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I care too much,” as these will often come across as disingenuous.
One approach is to focus on specific tasks or skills that you have identified as areas for improvement rather than telling a sweeping blanket statement about your weaknesses. This adds context and allows you to own up to your weakness without letting it define you.
What are your weaknesses examples?
Common examples of weaknesses can include difficulty speaking up in groups, shyness around strangers, anxiety, ignoring details when making decisions quickly, or struggling to collaborate with teammates on projects effectively.
Here are more to what are your weaknesses examples with answers:
1. I can be too critical of others
On the surface, I come across as confident and independent. But underneath it all, I struggle with being too hard on myself and others. I can be excessively judgmental and expect perfection from myself and those around me.
It creates an unjust level of pressure that is neither valid nor beneficial at work nor even in my personal life. I set realistic standards for myself and focus on progress over perfection to deal with this tendency.
Instead of constantly seeking the exact ‘right’ answer, I accept that there will often be several ways to reach success.
Working alongside a supportive team helps me maintain this balance by ensuring my focus stays on progress rather than perfection.
The answer reveals my inner struggles but also shows I’m self-aware and mindful of how I can improve.
Seeking perfection can lead to unrealistic expectations and high levels of pressure, which can be damaging. I recognize this and aim to find success through realistic goals, focusing on continuous progress and accepting that there may be several ways to reach it.
2. I can be a control freak
I often find myself trying to control situations as if my presence is the only way to do things correctly. This need for control has been a struggle of mine for years now.
Unknowingly this behavior hinders me from trusting others and allowing them to help me achieve goals with their unique skills. So, instead of turning a blind eye to this weakness, I take a different approach.
When working on projects, I’m learning to be more open-minded, give up some control, and delegate tasks to make progress efficiently.
I also learn from those who disagree with me and recognize the value in their opinions — even if I do not agree with them.
My answer sheds light on my difficulty managing control. I know this behavior limits me and keeps me from trusting others, hindering progress.
Instead of ignoring it, I take a new approach — being open-minded, relinquishing control, and delegating tasks to reach objectives faster.
I also appreciate different perspectives, even if I disagree with them. Overall, I demonstrate my ability to turn any obstacle into an opportunity.
3. I find it hard to change my mind
I have found myself stuck in my ways too often. My opinion is often the only one that matters, and it can be hard to sway me from going down the path I start on.
It is a battle I’m constantly fighting — understanding how to delicately express my opinion without coming across as overly critical. Despite its challenges, I consider this a vital skill to master.
My answer is both constructive and positive, proving that I have thought critically about the issue and recognize the benefits of finding a way to express my views without alienating others.
It demonstrates that I am open to growth, eager to learn new techniques, and willing to try to ensure respectful conversation in any setting.
4. I can be vocal when I don’t agree with something
I struggle to keep my opinions to myself when they do not align with someone else’s. I have had moments where my views have been taken as a personal attack rather than constructive criticism, leading to strained relationships and awkward situations.
Though it is difficult, I am now working on how to express differing opinions more diplomatically.
I actively practice listening to others’ perspectives before voicing my ideas. This now allows me to contribute positively to conversations regardless of whether or not there is initial agreement.
My answer conveys that I am self-aware and take steps to address my weaknesses. It reflects that I’m developing a more diplomatic approach to voicing differing opinions and actively listening to others.
Through this, I’m learning to contribute positively to conversations without causing strain or awkwardness.
5. I struggle to admit when I don’t know something
People often expect me to have an answer for everything, but that expectation is often too high. While I have significant knowledge across various topics, I will be the first to admit I do not know it all.
The challenge is having the confidence to say “I do not know” without feeling overwhelmed or inadequate. To overcome this weakness, I ask mindful questions when faced with something unfamiliar or beyond my scope of knowledge.
My answer shows admitting “I do not know” reveals an honest and humble attitude demonstrating courage and self-awareness.
It takes courage and self-confidence to admit that you do not have the answers and need to ask questions to understand — without letting your pride stand in the way.
6. I can be impatient
The need for instant gratification is a tough habit to break. I sometimes want things to happen immediately, not understanding that success takes time.
Hurrying through tasks is my default mode when impatience takes over. Like a sprinter trying to beat the clock, I can find myself racing from one job to the next seeking quick solutions.
But such haste can sometimes be counter-productive and lead to sloppy work. Now I’m learning to be patient. I shift my focus away from time pressure and towards doing things right instead of quickly.
The answer demonstrates that success takes time, and I’m willing to try to achieve it. I do not have to rely on hurrying through tasks because that can be counter-productive. Instead, I’m learning to have patience and focus on doing things right instead of quickly.
7. I tend to withdraw from others
I often struggle with difficult situations because I withdraw from support systems instead of leaning on them. While it may seem easier to deal with problems alone, I’m learning that an open-minded approach is much more productive.
Instead of running away and avoiding the challenge, I take a step back to reassess my options.
When faced with a hurdle, I reach out to people in my network for honest feedback and try to gain as much insight as possible before making any major decisions.
The answer shows I’m now taking a step back and rethinking how I deal with difficult situations.
Instead of avoiding challenges, I’m learning to lean on support systems, gain feedback from my network and approach tasks strategically.
8. I can be pretty impulsive
I’m guilty of sometimes being impulsive and not always thinking through my decisions or plans. It can often lead to rushing and not considering the consequences or results.
But I have realized that if I want to succeed, I must pause and assess any situation before deciding.
When time is not on my side, I ask myself three simple questions: What if this decision fails? What are the potential risks involved? What will be the best result of taking this course of action?
After considering these questions thoroughly, I can make better decisions confidently.
The answer demonstrates that I need to consider decisions before acting. Three questions can help me assess situations and confidently make more informed choices.
With practice, pausing to think can become a habit that leads to success rather than impulsive decisions with unintended consequences.
9. I am inflexible when it comes to changing ideas
As a driven person, I am passionate about achieving success in my career. However, this can sometimes make me overly attached to ideas or plans.
As I strive to reach my goals, I must be flexible and open-minded to take advantage of potential opportunities and solutions.
To help me overcome this tendency, I’m learning to approach each task with an open mind and remain willing to adjust my strategy based on changing circumstances.
My answer communicates that I’m motivated and eager to succeed in my career. However, I need to be aware of not getting too attached to certain ideas or plans.
So, I’m learning to keep an open mind and stay flexible to ensure I take advantage of potential solutions.
10. I’m too brunt with others
I am passionate about honest feedback and direct communication, which can make me too blunt with others. This can lead to hurt feelings instead of productive dialogue.
To ensure that my criticism is helpful instead of debilitating, I have been working on being kind yet assertive when offering feedback.
I’m now mindful of word choice and communicating with tact and empathy to provide helpful criticism without alienating or offending anyone.
My answer shows I’m passionate about honest feedback and direct communication, but I must be kind and assertive when giving criticism.
To ensure it is helpful and not demoralizing, I need to use tact and empathy when speaking, being mindful of word choice to avoid alienating or offending.
11. I tend to focus too much on the negatives
One of the biggest challenges I face professionally is my sense of pessimism. Despite many successes, I often worry about what could go wrong instead of celebrating what has gone wrong.
I have been cultivating gratitude and looking on the bright side of any potential outcome to shift this mindset.
It allows me to approach tasks more optimistically while being mindful of possible risks. On top of that, I’m carving out time for relaxation to reset my mindset and come back with fresh ideas and solutions.
The answer shows that while it can be difficult to remain optimistic in challenging times, dedicating time to cultivating gratitude and staying mindful of potential risks allows me to approach tasks with an optimistic perspective.
12. I always cross boundaries
I often let my competitive nature get the best of me. To succeed, I sometimes take shortcuts or push too hard when it is not necessary. While this can be useful in some contexts, I must remember that certain boundaries must be respected.
To ensure that I do not go too far over the line, I am mindful of how my actions make other people feel and always strive for a balance between success and respecting the feelings of those around me.
My answer communicates that competition can be a positive source of motivation, but with it comes an inherent risk of taking things too far.
Therefore, I understand that sometimes success must come with a balance between our goals and the feelings of those around us. I now challenge myself to think before I act, considering how my choices might affect others.
13. I try way too hard to make everyone happy
I can become so consumed with making others content that I need to remember my needs. In striving to create a sense of harmony, I compromise my needs and expectations too much and try to fill an impossible role as everyone’s cheerleader.
I constantly feeling guilty if things do not turn out perfectly. I’m now learning to focus on taking care of myself first.
My answer shows, I understand the importance of my capabilities or limits and recognize that creating harmony should not come at the cost of self-compromise.
I must prioritize caring for myself and developing relationships with people who understand and honor boundaries.
14. Sometimes people find me overwhelming
I often find myself in the whirlwind of my enthusiasm, and sometimes that passionate intensity can be overwhelming to those around me.
It is taken me a long time to learn how to adjust my energy level without compromising on drive and commitment.
Now, I’m learning to tap into my natural enthusiasm while still gaining clarity on what it looks like to be mindful of those around me.
I’m doing this by practicing patience and active listening during conversations rather than talking just for the sake of it.
My answer shows that I am driven and committed to my work, yet I also recognize the need for balance.
To achieve that balance, I’m now mindful of how I come across to others — slowly learning to use my intense spirit as a positive force without pushing people away.
Read also: 15 Examples of Commitments
It is essential to understand that your weaknesses do not define you — they are part of life’s journey.
Every one of us has strengths and areas where we could improve — the trick is learning how best to play up the former while proactively working on the latter.