By Rumaan 20 Jun 2022 7 min read

Answer "What is your greatest weakness?" - in a legal job interview

The typical "What are your strengths?" question is a softball regarding job interview questions. It is an invitation to highlight all of your qualifications and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the legal position. In a legal job interview, you will be asked about your weaknesses, which throws you for a loop.

Many interviewees struggle with the question "Tell me about your major weaknesses," which is understandable: how do you tell an employer about your weaknesses without sounding unsuitable for the job?

To answer that is challenging but not impossible.

It may seem paradoxical to admit weaknesses to someone you hope will hire you. But answering this question forcefully and honestly can elevate you from a good to a great candidate. If you give a poor answer, you risk sabotaging the entire interview. "What is your biggest weakness?" It is one of the most prevalent interview questions, and it has the potential to derail even the most qualified applicants.


How to answer what are your weaknesses? 

Finally, you want to disclose your shortcomings in a job interview in a way that helps you gain rather than lose ground. Keep in mind that hiring managers are most interested in how you deal with hardship on the job.

To answer what is your weakness, consider the limits that have presented themselves to you at work. Making a list of your recognised weaknesses is a valuable exercise, and one source of information is past performance assessments and notes from supervisors on areas for development.

It would help if you also researched the legal firm and the open position. Before the interview, thoroughly review the job posting to ensure you do not overlook something required for the position. Reread the job description to ensure you understand what skills and abilities are needed to accomplish the job. Those skills, whether hard or soft, should not be on your list of weaknesses. Everything else is a level playing field.

What are the best weaknesses to bring out during a job interview, and what are the weaknesses to say in a job interview? Continue reading to discover out.


Why is it crucial to disclose weaknesses in an interview?

Your credentials and experience speak for themselves, but they reveal very little about your personality. Admitting that you have weaknesses promotes self-awareness and honesty. It also shows that you want to evaluate and improve your performance, which aids the interviewer in determining whether you would be a suitable cultural fit.If you insist on having no weaknesses, you will come out as foolish at best, arrogant and deluded at worst.


How do you pick your "best" weaknesses?

To answer what is your weakness admitting your weakness is crucial, but keep in mind that you are still in an interview. This is not the time to open up about your aversion to authority figures.

Instead of inherent personality features, define positive weaknesses for a job interview as behaviors that can be modified with a little concentration and effort. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify your "best" weaknesses and to analyse weaknesses to say in an interview

• Could it jeopardise your capacity to accomplish your job? If that is the case, do not bring it up.

• Is it sending a positive message? Have you managed to conquer it?

• Can you give an example of how you have progressed?

• Is it a "false" weakness (i.e., a hidden strength)? If such is the case, do not expect your interviewer to believe you.

• Is it pertinent? If you have never been required to speak French in a professional capacity and will not be expected to in your new work, do not say, "I cannot speak French."


Portray your weaknesses positively.

Once you have identified your flaw, come up with a response that highlights it in the best possible light. How do you go about doing that? Here are three ideas to consider:

• Focus on the good, avoiding adjectives like failure and incompetence.

• Describe how you have turned your weakness into a strength.

• Demonstrate how you see areas where you can improve and take action.


Highlight ways to overcome your weakness.

• Enroll in a class or receive training.

• Use tools like apps to keep track of your time, schedule breaks, and cooperate more effectively.

• Collaborate with a mentor.

• Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills.

• Become a member of professional organisations or trade organisations.


How should you curate your response?

It can be difficult to express yourself clearly when faced with a subject that requires self-analysis. To exhibit your self-awareness and frame your weakness in a good perspective, follow this three-part structure:

1. Identify your weaknesses.

2. Describe how it has affected your work life.

3. Describe how you overcome the challenge.


An example of how to answer what are your weaknesses.

Prepare several sample answers to ensure the inquiry does not catch you off guard. If the interviewer asks you to describe additional weaknesses, you will need more than one. As a starting point, consider the following frequent examples, which have been split down into the structure described above.


What are some examples of how to answer what are your weaknesses

The question provides you with an opportunity to distinguish yourself. What do you mean by that? You can demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are aware of areas where you need to improve and are taking steps to do so. Here's an example of a response that uses this strategy:


• "Although I usually reached my deadlines, I used to have a procrastination problem, and as a deadline approached, I would wind up working incredibly long days." I realised I needed to address the problem, so I enrolled in project management and time management classes. I learnt how to plan my days and break down larger jobs into smaller portions. As soon as I acquire a new project, I make a strategy, and I frequently meet my deadlines."


Another example shows how to use the job requirements to guide your response. Let us imagine you are seeking a job as a graphic designer and you are not a great writer. The job description emphasises production design skills and particular software experience, but it does not mention content development. In this case, you could respond to the question regarding your weaknesses in an interview by saying:


• "I have always worked on the design side of things and do not have a lot of expertise with content production, so I would say it is a weakness." However, I am a quick study and believe I could improve my writing skills if necessary for my profession."

Suppose you are seeking a job as a financial analyst, and one of the job requirements is to provide frequent reports to upper management. In that case, you will not want to mention to the hiring manager that you have communication problems.


Why does this question hold importance?

"What are your weaknesses?" is a difficult question to answer, as it is with most frequent job interview questions. But it is not merely a stumbling block or a hazard to avoid. It is an opportunity to demonstrate to the employer that you can learn from constructive criticism, that you are willing to change when faced with obstacles, and that you can get back up and brush yourself off when you fall short. Those are qualities that any employer would value.


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