How to Answer Areas That Need Improvement in an Interview
It may seem daunting to reveal personal areas of improvement in an interview, but think of it as an opportunity to showcase your self-awareness. Honesty and a commitment to professional development will make a lasting impression.
A job interview is an opportunity to sell your best attributes, but it is also a screening tool used by employers to weed out unqualified applicants. You can ward off your interview jitters by being prepared to answer difficult questions, such as identifying areas where you may need improvement. Be honest in acknowledging limitations, but quickly move into a discussion of your professional development goals and commitment to lifelong learning.
Turn a Negative into a Positive
Recruiting new employees is an expensive endeavor, and employers use interview questions to ensure a prospective employee will be an asset rather than a liability. An employer is looking for someone who will be dedicated and driven. When asked about areas needing improvement, use examples that demonstrate you are a conscientious worker whose weaknesses are also strengths in some respects.
I tend to be very detail-oriented. While that’s an asset when doing things like data entry, it can cause inefficiency. I have noticed that I get a lot more done when I let go of my perfectionism.
Being a recent college graduate, I don’t have professional work experience in marketing; however, I am proficient in technology and social networking, which would be an asset in reaching the company’s target audience.
Describe Commitment to Professional Development
Remember that no prospective employee is perfect, so don’t be embarrassed about shortcomings. Employees who cannot think of areas needing improvement come across as lacking insight or motivation. If you approach a question about improvement with earnest humility, a future employer will be impressed by your truthfulness. Demonstrate a keen sense of who you are and who you hope to become. When asked about your weaknesses, describe a time you took the initiative to turn a weakness into a strength.
I don’t consider myself a naturally gifted writer, but I understand why writing is important in any professional position. Two years ago, I enrolled in a creative writing class and took up fiction writing as a hobby. Now I consider writing one of my finest strengths.
Emphasize Strengths not Weaknesses
If you display a sincere interest in continued self-improvement in service to the company, a future employer will see you as a future star. Talk about how you like to set goals for yourself and exceed them. Employees who are ambitious and self-aware welcome a challenge. They want to be the best in their field and will do whatever it takes to grow professionally and advance. In the end, you want to leave a lasting impression. Reframe questions about areas needing improvement to showcase why hiring you would be transformative for the company.
When I look at the job description, I can really see how I can make a difference in your organization. I have many ideas for promoting the new product line based on demographic trends.
Tips for After You Get the Job
Follow through with all that you said in your job interview. Above all, if you identify a weakness, pursue every avenue for improvement. If you demonstrate excellence and show you are interested in professional development, you will be successful.