Two women meetingDuring a job interview you'll do a lot of talking about yourself. Discussing your weaknesses with a recruiter or potential boss during a job interview might make you uncomfortable. Don't worry! With a little preparation, you can master the art of talking about your weaknesses in ways that show you're the right candidate for the job.

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What Is One of Your Weaknesses?

Aug 10, 2021

Two women meetingWorried about what to say if you get this question during an interview? Talking about yourself and your experience with a recruiter or your prospective boss during an interview can feel stressful. While this level of vulnerability may seem intimidating, discussing weaknesses is a common topic that you can anticipate for an interview in nearly any industry.

Being open and honest—with a strategy in mind—can actually be a sign of strength! Identifying weaknesses is an opportunity to show how you overcame past challenges and are working to improve.

Putting Things into Perspective

When an interviewer asks about a weakness, it means they are focused most on your thought process and level of self-awareness. For example, when evaluating your answer, recruiters are often looking for candidates who have a growth mindset and are open to feedback.

When crafting your answer, it's important to be honest so your response is credible; but don't be too hard on yourself. There's always room for improvement! The point of discussing your weaknesses is to show that you're in control of your professional development and aware of your flaws. Your answer should demonstrate that you're motivated to grow and ready to take on any future challenges.

STAR Answers: Improve Weakness with a Plan

Anecdotes or stories are an excellent way to make your points and paint a positive picture of yourself. When answering behavioral interview questions, consider using the STAR method to craft your response.

A good rule of thumb is to think of examples as you prepare for the interview and apply this method to break down a scenario into specific details that explain how you successfully navigated it:

Situation: Offer some background on the task or challenge that you'll be addressing

Task: Define your role and responsibilities for the particular situation

Action: Explain what steps you took or ideas you offered to help solve the problem

Result: Share how the situation was resolved, highlighting how your actions helped

Self-awareness is key when determining what to share and how. When using the STAR method to discuss your weaknesses, talk about something that doesn't negatively affect your ability to perform well in the role.

For example, someone who struggles with public speaking may say:

"It can be challenging for me to speak in front of a crowd and feel comfortable. I recently joined a book club where we meet weekly to discuss different themes and share our thoughts. Since it's important to contribute to team meetings at work, I set a goal to share at least 3 thoughts during each book club meeting to practice presenting my ideas in front of other people. I actually look forward to our weekly meetings and this experience is helping me gain confidence in my public speaking abilities."

Highlight growth. Be honest and use your answer to show that you're self-motivated in how you're working to improve.

Practice Builds Confidence

Preparing for an interview and practicing your responses will help you head into an interview with confidence.

Check out these blog posts for tips on how to answer other common behavioral interview questions, including:

How Ticket to Work Can Help

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. It connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or be successful while you are working.

Rehearsing your responses to common interview questions will help you feel more comfortable and confident. Ticket to Work service providers can help you develop or sharpen your interview skills by conducting mock interviews to help you practice. Service providers that offer interview preparation assistance can also support you through the different stages of the job search and application process.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

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If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

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