You submit your resume for a job you’re excited about and are pleased to get invited in for an interview. So far, so good. So what’s next? If you’re like most people, you’ll start preparing by going through some common interview questions. After going through all the skills and qualities that make you the best candidate for the job, you’ll probably start to feel pretty good about yourself. And that’s a good thing! But don’t forget that nobody’s perfect. You’re likely to get that difficult-to-answer question: “What are your weaknesses?”

It’s a tough one, but some answers are better than others. It’s important not to lie or try to sugarcoat your weaknesses.  They know you have them, so it’s best to be honest. But you can still frame your answer in a way that will have you coming out on top. The right answer will show that you’re self-aware and willing to be flexible. To figure out what to say, you’ll have to ask yourself a few questions.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

No one likes to think about it, but we all have weaknesses. If you haven’t already, take some time to figure out yours. If you’re not sure if they apply to your career, think about it from another angle. If you tend to run late or lack self-confidence, it’s probably obvious that those are issues that will hold you back at work. But if you have trouble opening up to friends or a partner, that’s something can translate to a communication issue in the workplace.

Write down whatever comes to mind—you can refine your list later.

How Have Your Weaknesses Affected You?

After you’ve fine-tuned your list, go through it and add examples of how each weakness has affected you. You’ll probably realize pretty soon that your weaknesses affect your life more than you thought. Taking a good look at your shortcomings can do more than help you prep for the interview—it can help you to take stock of things and make some changes for the better.

What Steps Have You Taken to Improve?

The most important part of the formula is answering the (sometimes unspoken) question “What have you done to overcome these weaknesses?” Again, you’ll want to include specific examples.

What’s a Former Weakness?

A great way to spin this question is to think of something that used to be a weakness but is now a strength. This works better than talking about a current weakness, but only if what you’re saying is 100% true. And don’t forget to mention that you’re still working on it—always trying to improve.

Here’s an example of how you could put this into action:

“In the past, I had a problem with delegating to others. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes have  trouble letting go of my projects. Eventually I realized that my fear that no one else could do the work up to my standards was holding not only me, but my team, back. I knew that we could get more accomplished by working together. So I started delegating small tasks to others at first, and then bigger ones. I had to work my way up and get comfortable with the idea of letting go, but I’m glad I did. Now I feel very comfortable in a management position and am looking forward to taking the next step in my career.”

When talking about your weaknesses, be honest, clear and positive. Most importantly, be sure to show how you’ve learned from your shortcomings and how you’re still the best candidate for the job. And if you’re job hunting or have questions about how you can accelerate your career, reach out to the experts at TalentBridge today!