Job Interview Questions and Answers: “What Positive Traits Are You Lacking?”
Why Managers Ask This Question
Employers usually want to know about the things you are good at. However, hiring managers may sometimes ask you to describe your shortcomings. These questions allow them to see how you perceive and address your flaws. A successful response will prove that you understand what traits you still need to work on and give you a chance to explain how you’ll develop those skills.
How to Answer Questions about Your Character
Positivity is key when responding to this question. Briefly mention the trait you are lacking then explain what you are doing to develop that attribute. Answering in this way demonstrates your self-awareness as well as your commitment to self-improvement.
What Not to Say
When interviewers ask, “What positive traits do you wish you had?” avoid bringing up weaknesses that might make you seem unfit for the job. For instance, refrain from talking about your lack of communication skills if you are applying for a customer service position. Also, try to steer clear of vague and boastful statements like:
- “I can’t think of any positive traits that I don’t have.”
- “I am always working toward being a better person.”
These types of answers could make employers think you are dodging the question or that you are unable to acknowledge your shortcomings.
Example Responses for “What Qualities Do You Still Need to Develop?”
Keeping a positive attitude while disclosing your flaws can be tricky. Use these sample answers to understand what an honest and balanced response sounds like, then develop and practice your own answer based on your personality and experience.
Sample Answer 1 – Fitness Instructor
“I have great verbal communication skills, but I wish I were better at picking up on nonverbal cues. Understanding subtle hints and facial expressions would help me form stronger connections with my clients and students. To get better at it, I’ve taken a few public speaking classes that focus on recognizing and interpreting body language.”
Sample Answer 2 – Grocery Store Cashier
“I am working on improving my leadership skills. I am a great team player, but I get nervous when it’s time for me to take the lead. To get some practice, I started volunteering to work on different school committees and even started a club with some of my friends. I am getting much better at taking charge and inspiring others to work toward common goals.”
Sample Answer 3 – Ice Cream Shop Team Member
“Lately, I have been trying to build up my conflict management skills. I used to shut down when arguments happened around me, so I started babysitting my cousins to get better at handling disagreements. They bicker quite a bit, but I’ve gotten good at de-escalating those situations and helping them resolve their differences.”
Things to Remember
It may seem like interviewers who ask, “What positive traits do you still need to work on?” are trying to trick you into revealing your worst qualities. However, they are more interested in your plans to improve those attributes. Be sure to emphasize your ideas for improvement and your commitment to personal growth when discussing your weaknesses with potential employers.