Your weaknesses could help you achieve better success if you know how to talk about them.

There are two common mistakes people make when asked this question about “What’s your weakness?”.

1. Replacing a weakness with a strength

People go outright and highlight a strength as a weakness. Eg. “My biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist”. Although you may think that you sounded smart, it increases the likelihood of appearing weaker than who you are to the other person.

2. Being too honest about it

On the contrary if you say, “I’m really disorganised. And it’s really the thing that holds me back sometimes.”. This ultimately gives a wrong impression because literally, you are saying, don’t hire me.

A better and efficient way to put it is to put the weakness in the context of the balancing strength.

Here’s how:

“I do my best work in a team. There is nothing I love more than working with others, the back and forth of ideas. I love it. In contrast, you won’t get the best work out of me if I’m always on projects that require me to work alone.”

Broken down, it’s to highlight a strength (working in a team) first then saying the weakness (can’t work alone), you have virtually covered up your weakness.

Everything in the world is balanced. For every weakness we have, we have a strength that explains or provides context for that weakness.

Knowing how to talk about our weaknesses, it turns out, can be one of our greatest strengths.