Interviewers are asking this more and more:
“What do you need to improve?” or “What areas need improvement?”
It’s similar to “what’s your greatest weakness?” but a little more open-ended (which means you can really get into trouble if you don’t know how to answer it).
Fortunately, I’m going to walk you through exactly how to answer questions about what you need to improve, and mistakes to avoid when giving your answer.
Let’s get started…
Here’s how to answer “what areas need improvement?” when employers ask in your interview.
First… don’t give some cheesy answer like “well, I work too hard sometimes, so I need to learn how to take breaks and not work so much”.
No hiring manager will be impressed with that.
Also don’t name anything that’s vital to the job.
For example, if this is a supervisor position, don’t say you need to improve your communication skills or get better at delegating tasks…
That’s essential stuff for being a good supervisor and they’re less likely to hire you if you say you’re lacking in those areas!
So when you answer, “what skills do you need to improve?”, pick a real area you’d like to get better in, but make sure it’s not something essential to the job duties.
You can also choose something you’re already pretty good at, but still trying to improve even more.
Let’s look at some example answers and this will start to make more sense…
Now let’s look at some good word-for-word sample answers for describing what you would like to improve.
Studying real-world answers is one of the best ways to learn how to answer questions about what areas you need to improve.
So I’ve included two examples below…
Example answer 1:
“I’m working on improving my skills with some project management and organizational tools and technologies right now like ___ and ___. As I take on more and more management in my career, I’ve realized if I become an expert in project management software, it will make me and my team even more productive. So I’m trying to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in these areas.”
This is an example where you’re naming something you’re already pretty good at, but want to improve even more.
This next sample answer is an example of naming a real weakness or something you honestly feel needs improvement… which is another perfectly fine way to answer this interview question.
Example answer 2:
“Well in my last job I spoke with a lot of customers on the phone, and became quite good at it. However, a few other people on my team were responsible for most of the emailing when it came to customer service, so I’m a bit rusty in this area. I think email communication is really vital in customer service, because one or two wrong words can lead to the message being interpreted incorrectly. So I’ve been working on reviewing and brushing up on some of the best methods for making sure customers are satisfied with email communications.”
I can’t stress this enough. There’s such a big difference between saying you need to improve something in the future, and saying you’re doing it as you speak.
Never sound like you’re waiting for a company to hire you before you start addressing a weakness. They won’t want to hire you if you sound like this and it’s a mistake that’ll cost you many job offers.
To conclude, here are the steps we covered above in a brief review.
If you have interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I’ve created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.