Weaknesses are the areas where you feel less well served by your natural talents or skills. As a result, you might avoid them because you lack confidence or fear failure. Again, the following questions may help you to identify these:
- What do others say about you that might be interpreted as a weakness?
Again, as with strengths, sometimes the views of others are helpful, even if occasionally this might be painful. These might reflect areas considered during work appraisals, if you have had these.
- Are there tasks that you avoid because you are not confident about them?
Think about areas of your work that you always leave until last or prefer to hand over to someone else. Is this because you don’t like them or because you fear that you can’t do them properly?
- Do any of these relate to your lack of training or qualifications?
Perhaps you don’t like using spreadsheets because you’ve never been properly trained in how to use them, or maybe you leave anything requiring maths to someone else because you didn’t achieve your GCSE in that subject.
- Are there areas of your personality that you think might be holding you back?
This is a little like the tasks that you avoid, but insight might be more elusive because the question relates to your personality. Do you shy away from confronting others, for example, or talk too much in meetings to no great effect, or are you poorly organised?
Be as honest as possible about these and take into account the views of others; you may, of course, need to ask them.