How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
The first thing to recognise is why interviewers ask this question. Ultimately, they want to know how aware you are of your development areas, how you feel about you "weaknesses", and whether those "weaknesses" are red flags :)
I advise my clients to:
- Answer honestly & directly... but not too honestly (this is not a confessional :)). Interviewers can tell if you're being ingenuine and know when you're trying to cover up your weaknesses. For example, "I work too hard" is not a weakness so don't say that. And don't say something that will obviously be a complete deal-breaker.
- Pick a "weakness" that is important for consultants to have. i.e. it should be relevant to the role. Saying you want to be a better investor is not relevant to the role. However, saying you could be better at managing your time is something that is relevant to being a consultant
- Show that you have already worked on this "weakness" and have a plan to improve it even more. Interviewers want just want to see that you have "weaknesses" (they already know you do because we ALL have weaknesses). They want to see that you're the sort of person who is doing something about it to improve yourself because as a consultant, you have to be open to feedback and take steps to address that feedback.
Here's an example of what this might sound like (remember, this is just an example that demonstrates an example that is direct, honest, relevant, and improvement-focused. You will need to cater this to yourself:
- "A weakness of mine is my ability to present confidently in situations where I'm less familiar with the topic. This stems from a complete fear of presenting just a few years ago, which I worked on through the support of my colleagues and by putting myself in situations where I had no choice but to present, get feedback, and then refine and try again. So I feel like I've already come a long way. The work I'd done preparing myself for these interviews have helped me gain additional communication skills to improve how I feel presenting less familiar topics, but it is still an ongoing effort, which I continue to work on."
Hope this helps! Get in touch directly to get some specific practice in.
With this question, the interviewers will try to understand whether you are someone who is overselling him/herself or is honest who can talk about his weaknesses honestly.
In this question, focusing on hard skills, instead of soft skills would be preferred more. In other words, instead of telling the interviewers that you have weaknesses in team management, teamwork, client management, etc. which are soft skills, you can focus on hard skills such as analytical tools (e.g., Alteryx, Tableau) which are easier to learn compared to soft skills. While saying these, you can also mention that you are looking forward to addressing those weaknesses at the company you are applying to.
coming from an academic research background and into my consulting experience, one of my greatest weaknesses has been knowing how much background research is enough to move on to solving a problem. there is always more papers and more studies to be read, more people to be interviewed, and more data to crunch. in my consulting experience, both budget and time allocations have helped me by constraining this research portion necessarily. in the process, i've learned rules-of-thumb, research methods, analyzation techniques, and most importantly -- the confidence -- to feel comfortable that i've gathered enough evidence/info to move to the next step. this is a skill i seek to continually hone as a consultant
I tend to have a very structured approach with work, which could be seen as being too rigid for others. I have been working on that through including others in terms of planning methods to solve a problem.
My toughest weakness is my difficulty with maintaining deadlines. In the past, I often had the difficult task of organizing deadlines and would often miss class assignments. To counter the problem I started keeping a strict calendar with all my deadlines so to improve keeping track of them and I soon ran into another problem. While I was aware of my deadlines often reminders would warn me some moments before and when I handed in work all my work would be rushed. to further improve upon my system I decided to break up tasks based on priority and size of tasks. I would also set early due dates for my work to ensure that I had plenty of time for warning and to make sure that I wouldn't be rushing any important work. As a result, I have seen my time management improve along with my work quality. While I still face issues with time management and keeping track of deadlines I am much better managed and I feel now better equipped to deal with any situation I may face.
I take time to understand the problem from grassroot level, in depth analysis, it is quite difficult to respond quick. I have been working with seniors and experienced collegues to understand the similarties in repetitive problems and respond quick without much in depth analysis.
I lose interest in a career where no managerial vision is apparent or clearly communicated to employees. Repetitive routine work over years will be a strong reason for me to leave.
First of all, I cannot work effectively on a day-to-day routine tasks. I need a challenge and I seek for satisfaction of my ambitions. I also like to lead, but not to be leaded.
Sometimes I am too stubborn, but growing as a person and in my career experience, I understood the importance of taking a step back and listen to others when comparing ideas
Effective time management
I can sometimes be over-optimistic and lose interest once the first enthusiasm is gone.
I have a hard time conveying information in a structured manner. I have been working on that by trying to give more concise and to-the-point answers to questions, among other things.
don't be able to do something, be afraid
I was told that I can tend to get defensive when given "constructive critisim" (which is really negative feedback). Maybe that is due to my high sense of competitveness that I've had since I was a child and so always aimed to make no mistake.
I understand that in an industry like consulting, my growth and development will come from receiving constant feedback and using it to improve my performance and especially in these areas. I work on this weakness by constantly asking my performance and engagement managers for feedback, noting it down, coming up with ways to improve in this area, and making a goal to not have the same point noted twice.
ich bin manchmal etwas gutgläubig, wenn man im Team arbeitet ist das nicht sehr einschränkend aber bei Projekten in Eigenverantwortung muss ich daran arbeiten
take on added on additional responsibility faster than i can cope with it.
I don't have much patience, I like things to go fast
i dont tend to be a friendly user with my laptop
My greatest weakness is creativity. There are too many ideas on the mind, you cannot finish them all in once
I struggle to work with un motivated colleagues
I have trouble saying no sometimes