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How to Answer Three Negative Things on an Interview

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Employers know you aren't perfect. That's why they sometimes ask you to state negative things about yourself during an interview. The first trick to acing this question is to answer with something other than, "I don't have any flaws or weaknesses." Such an answer tells the employer that you aren't in touch with reality and therefore not the candidate he's looking for. The second trick is to acknowledge true faults while demonstrating that you're willing to improve. This kind of answer shows honesty and initiative, two things employers want in an employee.

Make a list of negative things about yourself before the interview. Write down as many things as you can think of, as long as they directly relate to your job performance. For instance, include items such as "Lose track of time" and "Don't work well in groups."

Write down steps you have taken to fix each item on the list. For instance, beside "Don't work well in groups," write that you began suggesting group projects at your last job to get used to collaborating. Cross an item off the list if you haven't taken steps to change it.

Circle the remaining items that are most relevant to the job for which you're applying. For instance, circle items such as "Take on too much work at once" and "Have difficulty disciplining employees" if you're applying for a management position.

Cross off circled items that are major flaws. For instance, saying that you're bad at math isn't the best thing to say when applying for an accounting position, even if you're taking steps to become better. Saying that you often work slowly because you're detail-oriented is more acceptable.

Choose three of the remaining items to include in your answer during the interview. State the flaw along with steps you've taken to fix it.