Or, “What are some areas that you want to improve?” Or, “Can you give me an example of a situation where you failed?”
The whole point of this question is about seeing if you are capable of recognizing that you have made a mistake. If you can recognize this, then we think you are more self-aware. Being self-aware is being mature. It’s a sign of leadership.
It’s about seeing if you are aware that you too are human and may make a poor judgement in a situation, or maybe you over-reacted to a customer one time, or maybe you lost your patience with an illogical colleague, or maybe you were not as commercial as you should have been or maybe your planning and organization skills in a project had an oversight, or maybe you work too hard in your job and lack the ability and judgment to know your own limits, therefore fatigue hits in and the quality can be diminished.
Let’s face it…there are a hundreds of weaknesses and reasons that things don’t work out and go according to plan. That is part of life’s learning process and you too are part of this unknowing. Human beings are not computers. We are emotional beings that are filled with water and our ideas, goals, operational tasks, strategies don’t always get delivered. Other wonderful elements come along that ask us to stop, listen, question and think about what we are doing and if it’s the right way to proceed.
So, don’t be afraid to say the truth and express a time when you failed. You can address this question, “What are your weaknesses” by pointing to a situation. It doesn’t have to be a dreadful list which puts you down and negates the great person you probably are.
The HR Director or the Recruiter wants to know this about you:
You make mistakes. You are aware and capable to admit them. You have learned from them. Be prepared to talk about what steps you have taken to show that you have learned from them and that they won’t happen again.