Recruiting Blog

Interview Tips: Revealing Weaknesses

Interview Tips: Revealing Weaknesses

Finding out a candidate’s weaknesses is not an easy task when interviewing. Many candidates expect that typical question of What are your weaknesses? That question lacks merit nowadays and frankly, if asked, hiring managers will most likely get the boring answer of, “I’m an overachiever.” In order to get the candor you need—without making the candidate uncomfortable—we recommend these tactics.


• Flow & Potential Warning Signs: When getting candid about an applicant’s weaknesses be prepared for warning signs. First, and foremost, make sure a candidate is comfortable to have open and honest dialogue. This will set the tone for a productive and revealing interview.  While you’re interviewing, take a moment to note an applicant’s eye contact (or lack thereof) and body language.  If the question isn’t netting the information, you’re seeking, try to rephrase it politely.  If that doesn’t work, move to the next one.  Keep the flow of the interview to achieve the best possible results.

• What type of research did you do about ABC company? This question is known as a stump question but it certainly lends itself to understand how long a candidate spent understanding your business and where they got their information.  

• What were some of the obstacles you faced when you (mention their last or current position.) A candidate that’s prepared will handle this question with ease, being able to describe openly how they adapted or overcame an obstacle.

• What about failures? We’ve mentioned before the importance of asking a candidate to highlight their highest accomplishment as well as some other important probing questions in this post.  We think it’s equally important to ask about one’s failures. Why? It’s not a negative inquiry. The truth is in business every has success and failures and once again this question, when poignantly asked can lead to some great dialogue and reveal some excellent intel from your candidate.

Remember the goal is to find the right person for your business and when you use the these tactics and more, you can achieve the best results.  Looking for more information on how you can maximize your interviews? Comment or send us an email at

Ingrid Moore

Corporate Resources of Illinois

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