What are your weaknesses?
From “I am too much of a perfectionist” to “Always saying yes”, here are 16 answers to the interview question, “What is your greatest weakness?”
- I Am Too Much of a Perfectionist
- Figuring Out Priorities
- I Have a Tendency to Be Over-optimistic
- My Lack of Experience in Certain Areas
- Personal Pressure Cooker
- Multitasking is Not My Type
- Being Attached to My Comfort Zone
- Marketing/public Relations
- Imposter Syndrome
- Too Detail-oriented
- Data and Analytics Aren’t My Things
- Always Saying Yes
I Am Too Much of a Perfectionist
My greatest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. I have incredibly high standards for myself and often expect too much. This can lead to me being overly critical of myself and my work. It can also make me procrastinate because I am waiting for the perfect conditions to start something. This perfectionism can also be a strength, however. It means that I am constantly striving to improve and do my best. It also means that I am usually very detail-oriented. But I need to remember that no one is perfect and that mistakes are part of the learning process.
Jacob Dayan, Co-founder and CEO, Community Tax
Figuring Out Priorities
When you have a lot to do, sometimes it’ can be hard to sort things out on the fly. Prioritizing whats important and what can wait is an important skill for both your average and professional life. Unfortunately, people in general can be swayed by many factors, both logical and emotional, which can make it harder to figure out what to prioritize on your agenda, or to stick to a plan of prioritizing tasks when they may not be pleasant to do. Making and adhering to a list can be a helpful way to overcome this particular weakness. That said the most important tool you’ll have is your self-control. You have to be willing to rein yourself in and focus on whats important.
Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers
I work from home and therefore don’t interact much with others. So when I do meet up with friends, go to a party, or go to a workout class, I tend to give people an earful. I’m very detailed when I talk and probably share more than people want to listen to. I do this in my freelance writing work, too — I want the reader to have all the necessary context, but in doing so, my writing turns out to be much longer than I intend.
Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance
I Have a Tendency to Be Over-optimistic
I tend to believe that I can finish everything at the last minute. This is a huge weakness for me because it can lead me to procrastination and allow me to put off important tasks.When I’m over-optimistic, I tend to overestimate my abilities and underestimate the obstacles in my path. I also tend to underestimate the importance of time management. I tend to be overly concerned with the amount of time I have available to complete a task. For example, if I’m planning a trip, I may overestimate how much time it will take me to prepare and plan my trip. I also tend to underestimate the importance of self-control. When I’m over-optimistic, I may find it difficult to resist the temptation to procrastinate or put off important tasks.
Benjamin Basic, Content Writer, Fast Food Menu Prices
My Lack of Experience in Certain Areas
When it comes to my greatest weakness, I would say that it is my lack of experience in certain areas. While I am confident in my abilities and have a strong work ethic, there are some things that I am not as knowledgeable about. This can sometimes lead to me feeling overwhelmed or unsure of myself. However, I am always willing to learn new things and constantly am looking for ways to improve. I am confident that it is an opportunity for me to grow, learn, and become even better at what I do.
Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal
Personal Pressure Cooker
My greatest weakness may be expecting too much of myself. Sometimes I feel like I should be a one-man show instead of leaning on others for help and support. That’s what a talented team is there for! By placing only the highest expectations on myself it’s easy to be let down. When you’re passionate about what you do, it can be easy to pressure yourself to go faster, jump higher and create more. My greatest weakness may be the pressure I put on myself.
Temoer Terry, Partner, Mommy Care Kit
Delegation is a hard task. For a person who wants things done a certain way, in a certain order and at a certain time, it can be difficult to watch someone else do it differently. While it’s not always possible to do everything yourself, delegating important tasks can feel like giving your first-born child away. Perfectionists especially struggle with this. You must constantly remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be done your way – it just has to be done. Failure to delegate can cause real issues in the workplace.
Caroline Duggan, Chief Brand Officer, Lumineux
Multitasking is Not My Type
Some people excel at multitasking, but not me. I discovered that multitasking is not fair to me; I get distracted and find it difficult to handle three or two tasks at once. This affects my productivity. Some people believe that multitasking is common and amazing in today’s fast-paced world. According to scientific evidence, multitasking can seriously impair performance. It can also lead to mistakes at work, and I feel more stressed when multitasking. It cannot be handled by everyone; I feel as if all of my concentration is missing while juggling three tasks at once, affecting the overall productivity of my business. I want to prioritize all of my tasks, and I believe that going through them one at a time, without changing two or three jobs at the same time, is best for me.
Brad Burnie, Founder, Starships
As a woman in the industry, I’ve grown used to handling most situations on my own and have avoided accepting help from others. It took me a long time to realize that this wasn’t liberating but was rather a limiting tendency. Once I began to see the value of having a support network to lean on, I was able to grow more confident in my abilities and face situations head-on, regardless of the outcome. Although I am getting better at mitigating it, I usually revert to hyper-independence by default and I do see that as my biggest weakness.
Asma Hafejee, Senior Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical
Being Attached to My Comfort Zone
While I did understand that taking risks and venturing out of my comfort zone was necessary as an entrepreneur, I was still fairly attached to it. This, along with the fear of growth, kept me in a limited mindset that did not serve me in the long run. Once I slowly began to tiptoe out of my comfort zone and experiment with things that scared me, my self-efficacy began to increase and the horizons of my comfort zone widened. While I’m definitely a lot more comfortable with new challenges now, I do sometimes struggle with doing things that truly scare me. Of course, I don’t beat myself up about it.
Larissa Pickens, Owner, Repeat Replay
Marketing / Public Relations
I’m the chief revenue officer at our company, not the chief marketing officer, so public relations isn’t fundamentally part of my job description. However, I’ve been called upon to provide feedback on marketing strategies and I have been quoted in news articles about our company. It’s much easier for someone who has a flair for creativity to handle such tasks. I have a finance background. My flair is usually reserved for numbers and spreadsheets. I’ve had to learn fast how to handle marketing and public relations issues. It’s not my greatest strength, but the experience I’ve gained has been valuable. I have a fuller picture now of how a company is operated – but there’s still plenty of room for growth.
Emily Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, eLuxury
Although I strive to stay confident in my abilities, it is difficult sometimes to not doubt my accomplishments and feel like an imposter. Most developers encounter imposter syndrome at some point or another, and I am no exception. I’m aware that this is a common issue among developers, which helps me to recognize it in myself and find ways to combat my self-doubt. However, I strive to remain humble and open-minded to continuously develop my skills.
Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur
I have always been a perfectionist, and it is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I often get bogged down in the details, and I can spend hours perfecting something that only needs to be good enough. As the leader of a training group, I want every course to be perfectly balanced and eloquently explained.This tendency has sometimes caused me problems at work, when I have been so focused on getting everything just right that my business has missed deadlines. Our consumers had to wait longer to get their “perfect” learning resource.I have also had to learn to let go of perfectionism in my personal life, or I would never get anything done. While it is important to strive for excellence, I have learned that there is a point where good enough is good enough.
Derek Bruce, Senior Director, Skills Training Group
Sometimes something that seems like an advantage can actually be a weakness. Multitasking is precisely one such thing in my case. Sometimes it makes life easier, speeding up some processes and helping to get out of a pile of responsibilities successfully. However, in the long run, multitasking becomes more of a disadvantage than an advantage. When multitasking becomes a daily occurrence, it contributes to increased stress and fatigue. Your brain works at higher speeds, so you feel confused, distracted, and not entirely focused. Ultimately, tasks are completed with less efficiency while the number of mistakes and errors increases. Multitasking over time deprives us of the ability to prioritize and manage our work and time skillfully. All this makes me consider it a bad habit worth fighting against.
Nina Paczka, Community Manager, Live Career
Data and Analytics Aren’t My Things
My greatest weakness is taking data and having to analyze it. As a creative, numbers can be difficult for me to “play” with. Once the data is analyzed and placed in a dashboard I am perfectly capable of making decisions from it, but I refer to others to do the collection and analysis side of things.
Kelli Anderson, Career Coach, Resume Seed
Always Saying Yes
I will always say yes to people, even if I may have a full plate of work on my hands. If a colleague asks me for help, I will always make the time to support them. I may continue to operate in this way, but I must delegate tasks and communicate to team members what my bandwidth is. It’s important to give an estimate timeline on when I have time to complete it so it sets expectations for everyone involved.
Lindsay Malu Kido, CEO, Empower Pleasure
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