Difficult Interview Question: What Would You Most Like to Improve About Yourself?

MAY 23, 2011 | BY MICAH
What You would Most Like To Improve About Yourself

Questions about self-improvement or areas of weakness are extremely common in job interviews. They are so common that you really need to be prepared to answer in a way that does not harm your chances of getting the job.

The question can be asked a number of different ways. They may ask ‘what would you most like to improve about yourself’, or they may ask:

How would you improve your job performance?

What skills would you like to improve?

What is your biggest weakness?


Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions.


How Would You Improve Your Job Performance?

This question focuses on what you would most like to improve about your job performance. Avoid the standard clichés like perfectionism, never mention elements of the job description and obviously avoid major personality flaws like being a control freak or being anti social.

Instead consider the following options:

Senior Managers – Improve Presentation skills

Middle Manager – Improve Networking Skills

Junior Level Employees – Develop Delegation Skills

See the full post How would you improve your job performance? for more information.


What Skills Would You Like To Improve?

This question requires you to mention which skill you would most like to improve about yourself. There are 5 key skills that are acceptable to mention as areas you would most like to improve. They are:

Networking skills

Mediation Skills

Technical Skills

Presentation Skills

Coaching/Mentoring skills

Which one you chose will depend on the industry you are in. For example, a sales person should never choose networking since that is a key requirement for any sales role. See the full post – what skills would you like to improve? , for more information on which one is best for you.


What Is your Biggest Weakness?

This question actually offers you the most scope when you develop an answer. You can choose what you would most like to improve about yourself in a more general sense rather than having to name a specific skill or job responsibility.

Consider the following:

I tend to be quiet during meetings as I think about the implications of what we are discussing, but I would like to work on becoming a more active participant.

I often talk to myself when I’m thinking through issues and it is disruptive to others so I am working on internalising my thinking.

Sometimes I write emails that are longer than they need to be when I’m worried the person might not understand the email. I’d like to work on more concise written communication.

These are good answers and don’t flag any problems that cannot be resolved quite easily. See the full post What is your biggest weakness? for more information.


How to Answer What Would You Most Like to Improve About Yourself

Once you have chosen an area to focus on from the ideas above, then you need to develop this idea into an intelligent and sincere answer.

To do that you must consider the following:

Deliver the answer with honesty.

Don’t avoid the question, answer it directly.

Immediately after stating the area you would most like to improve, follow up by explaining clearly what you are already doing to address it.

Make sure your answer is work focussed, but not a shortcoming versus the job description.

Keep it short, the more you make of it the greater an issue it appears to be.

Never, ever blame others. Own it and show that you are solving it.

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8 Responses to Difficult Interview Question: What Would You Most Like to Improve About Yourself?

  1. Ashish Sonawane March 19, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    my job is warehouse incharge

    my question are

    What are the areas you think you need to improve?

    please give me answer

    • Lia
      Lia April 7, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi Ashish, as a general rule the role of a warehouse manager includes:

      * Maintains receiving, warehousing, and distribution operations
      * Comply with all federal, state, and local regulations
      * Maintain a safe environment
      * Monitor security procedures
      * Control inventory
      * Achieve financial objectives
      * Schedule and assign employees
      * Maintain warehouse staff

      Choose one of these basic functions which is not critical to the role such as Employee Scheduling and talk about how you would like to improve the efficiency of the scheduling and your communication of the program to staff. This does not in any way imply you cannot execute the core elements of the role but shows you would like to improve your communication and people skills which are generally considered soft skills.

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  6. IRA March 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    I am preparing for NIFT MFM entrance Interview so what could be good answer for the question

    Why you want to do Masters in fashion management and not conventional MBA.

    • Lia
      Lia March 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      I think the best way to approach any question like this is to focus on your short term and long term goals. You must explain that the fashion industry is where you see yourself in the medium to long term and that a general MBA is too broad for the goals you have set yourself. From there, you must go on and explain what those goals are, and how the qualification helps you meet them.