4 min

How to talk about your shortcomings in a job interview

Image de présentation de l'article How to talk about your shortcomings in a job interview

" Can you give me 3 of your strengths and 3 of your flaws ?" A phrase that you have certainly heard before or that you are likely to hear during a job interview! Indeed, talking about your flaws is an almost obligatory part of an interview. However, many candidates dread this moment because they feel they are putting themselves in a weak position. Yet, with a little preparation, it is possible to take advantage of this unsettling issue by turning your imperfections into a strength. To find out more, it's just below!

  • Why talk about your defects in maintenance?

First of all, let's put an end to this prejudice right away: no, this is not a trick question! Indeed, if the recruiter asks you about your shortcomings, it is mainly to get to know you better, beyond your school, university and professional background. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your personality. This is a good way for them to find out if your profile matches the position you are applying for. It's also a way to see if your personality fits with that of other employees and the company's values.

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The other reason a recruiter is likely to ask you this question is simply to see if you've prepared for the interview. Indeed, although it remains a classic in job interviews, the question "what are your flaws " can be destabilizing if you have not prepared for it! This way, depending on your reaction and response, the recruiter will already be able to get an idea of your interest in the position and how you handle this first " challenge ". Generally, an ill-prepared candidate will tend to recite platitudes or, even worse, a flaw that is constraining for the position.

Finally, this question is also a test of whether you are able to take a step back to identify your weaknesses and whether you make an effort to turn those flaws into qualities.

  • What defects should be given in maintenance?

When you mention your shortcomings to the recruiter, it's important to tailor them to the position you're applying for. Otherwise, this issue will work against you. Indeed, if you apply for a sales position and tell the recruiter that you are reserved by nature, this will obviously be a problem. On the other hand, for a web copywriter position, this will already be less problematic. 

Similarly, giving defects that have no connection to the position for which you are applying (e.g. " I am greedy ", for a nursing position) will not allow the recruiter to project himself to see if you fit the position. You'll miss out on an opportunity to prove that you're the perfect fit for the job.

When choosing your flaws, try to stay sober and avoid adjectives that are too strong, which could scare the recruiter, such as "resentful ", "impatient ", "anxious ", "    lazy ", etc. Also gone are the clichés, such as " I'm a perfectionist ", which are now devoid of originality.

Finally, if you were to lie to your recruiter about your flaws and qualities, know that it will end up doing you a disservice because the recruiter will quickly notice it and the work you receive may not meet your expectations.

  • How to highlight your flaws ?

Once you've figured out what flaws you want to talk about, it's not enough to recite them to the recruiter without explanations behind them ! Indeed, it is important to counterbalance each of your weaknesses by highlighting the underlying positive elements of them. 

For example, if your flaw is that you tend to be overly idealistic, you can demonstrate that this is also an asset because you are able to perceive possibilities and opportunities in all situations.

Also, don't hesitate to specify that you are working on this flaw and give examples of situations where this weakness may have been useful to you!

In this way, you will transform what may seem at first a flaw into a real strength in the eyes of the recruiter !

  • The list of flaws to focus on during a job interview

Here, we have prepared a list of flaws that you can rely on to prepare for your interview, as well as arguments to turn these weaknesses into strengths !

  1. I am talkative : very sociable and can create a real dynamic within the team

  2. I'm emotional : a creative person who invests himself fully if a project is close to his heart 

  3. Sometimes I'm too ambitious : someone who is confident and gives everything to achieve their goals

  4. I love competition : it motivates and pushes you to give the best of yourself and to surpass yourself

  5. I lack a bit of self-confidence : always try to surpass myself so as not to displease 

  6. I lack experience , but I don't lack enthusiasm and motivation to prove what he is capable of

  7. I'm a bit old : allows me to have experience and take a step back from a difficult professional situation

  8. I need a little time to adapt : I need to analyze the situation before making a decision, which helps to avoid making mistakes

  9. I am demanding : a rigorous person who has a desire to do things well

  10. I sometimes lack patience : provides quick solutions to a problem and is fully invested in a project, which makes him impatient to see the results of a job

  11. I'm a bit shy : a quiet, solitary person who needs some time to open up

  12. Sometimes I'm too honest : someone who is spontaneous, who favors action and honesty

  13. I'm quite suspicious of everything : a mature and cautious person who prefers to make up his own mind rather than follow preconceived ideas

  14. I am a hyperactive person: energetic and versatile

  15. I am sometimes a bit pessimistic : able to anticipate and deal with potential risks

  16. I am sometimes too idealistic : able to perceive possibilities and opportunities in all situations

As you can see, although the question of defects seems trivial at first glance, it can be decisive during a job interview. It is therefore important to prepare for this a minimum by adapting the choice of these defects according to the targeted position and by showing that you are working to compensate for these imperfections.

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Good luck with your interview ! 🚀

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