Public speaking can be a weakness, but it’s not a good idea to cite it as your weakness in a job interview. It might imply low confidence and poor communication skills. If the job you’re interviewing for requires good communication skills, it’s best to avoid mentioning public speaking as your weakness.
Public speaking is one of the most praised skills in our society. We are told that being able to speak in front of an audience is a sign of confidence, charisma, and leadership. For many people, public speaking is a strength. But for some, it can be a source of anxiety.
In a job interview, you want to present yourself in the best light possible. You want to show the interviewer that you are confident, capable, and qualified for the job. So, if public speaking is a weakness for you, it’s best to avoid mentioning it.
In the below part of the article, we will discuss when it’s okay to mention public speaking as your weakness and when it’s not. We will also let you know what other weaknesses you can mention in a job interview instead of public speaking.
When It’s Okay to Mention Public Speaking as Your Weakness
If the job you’re interviewing for really doesn’t require good communication skills, you can potentially mention public speaking as your weakness, but it still might not be a great idea.
For example, if you’re applying for a position that involves mostly solo work, such as a writer or programmer, then mentioning that public speaking is a weakness might be ok, depending on the context.
Some other domains where public speaking are not even required include Data Analysis
When It’s Not Okay to Mention Public Speaking as Your Weakness
If the job you’re interviewing for requires good communication skills, it’s best to avoid mentioning public speaking as your weakness.
For example, if you’re applying for a position that involves customer service or giving presentations, your interviewer is likely to be concerned if you say that public speaking is your weakness. In these cases, it’s best to focus on another deficiency that isn’t essential for the job.
Some of the fields where public speaking is a must include sales, marketing, teaching, training, legal industry, etc. Moreover, most senior, lead, and management positions require some sort of communication and public speaking skills.
Mentioning public speaking as your weakness in a job interview for such positions can ruin your chances of getting the job. Instead, focus on another weakness that isn’t essential for the job.
If you still want to mention public speaking as your weakness, there are some other ways to do it without sounding like you’re not confident in your abilities. For instance, you can say something like, “I get a bit nervous when I have to speak in front of a large group of people, but I’m working on it, and I’m getting better at it.”
Or you can say, “I used to have a lot of trouble with public speaking, but I’ve taken some courses and done a lot of practice, and now I’m much more confident.”
Weaknesses You can Mention Instead of Public Speaking
There are plenty of other weaknesses you could bring up during a job interview that wouldn’t reflect poorly on your public speaking skills.
- I’m a perfectionist, so I sometimes have trouble finishing projects because I want them to be perfect. (Though this is a bit cliched at this point, and some interviewers might see this as a genuine negative, as they may think you’ll take too long to get things done or get too hung up on the details)
- I have trouble saying no, so I sometimes end up taking on more work than I can handle.
- I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I sometimes have trouble balancing my work and personal life.
These are all valid weaknesses that mostly won’t hurt your chances of getting the job, but keep in mind that some interviewers might see through them!
If the below type of answers won’t work for your scenario, try to mention a weakness that you’re already working on, and where you’re making some progress through it. Though, keep in mind that If you mention a weakness that you’ve already completely overcome, then the interviewer might think that you’re trying to dodge the question!
When it comes to job interviews, you want to make sure that you showcase your strengths and downplay any weaknesses. So, if public speaking is a weakness of yours, it’s best to avoid mentioning it unless the job you’re applying for doesn’t require good communication skills.
Or, you can still mention it as a weakness but make sure to confidently emphasize that you’re working on improving it. Remember, the goal is to make the best impression possible!