What character flaws do you have?

  | James Innes

What character flaws do you have?

Alternative and related questions:

Do you have any personality defects?

The meaning behind the question:

This is an aggressively phrased – and potentially very leading – question. The interviewer is trying to force you to expose a major weakness. It’s not too dissimilar to their questioning you about your weaknesses except that it’s a much broader question – and a much more personal question. While they will obviously be interested in any personality defects you may have, their main purpose in asking you this question is to put you in a difficult situation and see how you handle it.

Your answer:

It would most likely be a fatal error to respond directly to this question and start talking about something which is inherently going to be very negative. While declaring that you have no weaknesses would be excessive, it is perfectly reasonable to state that you don’t feel you have any character flaws. You can instead sidestep the question so as to talk about a more minor weakness and, as always when discussing potentially negative points, make sure you put some spin on it so as to turn a negative into a positive.


Everybody’s character is different of course but I don’t believe I have any major character flaws. I suppose I can, on occasion, be overly demanding – both of myself and members of my team. I can be very critical of my own work and I expect those under me to work to the same standards. I am nevertheless a patient individual and am prepared to give members of my staff a reasonable chance. Everyone makes mistakes – the important thing is never to make the same mistake twice.

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