“What Is Your Weakness?” 3 Ways to Answer This Common Accounting Interview Question

“What is your weakness?” is one of the most frequently asked questions in accounting interviews, as well as in general interviews. It serves several purposes:

  • It tests how well you’ve prepared, since this question is commonly expected.
  • It gauges your self-awareness regarding your own weaknesses or areas where you can improve.
  • It explores your methods for self-improvement.

In this post, I will share three examples for answering ‘What is your weakness?’ in a way that stays true to yourself while also showcasing your dedication to personal growth. Remember, nobody is perfect.

“What Is Your Weakness” Answer #1 — Efficiency, Accuracy & Impact

I’ve put a lot of effort over the last year into balancing efficiency, accuracy, and impact. As I’ve advanced in my career, I realized that my mindset needed to evolve. During my time in a high-volume AP role, efficiency was crucial. I’m not suggesting that accuracy wasn’t important—it was vital as it related to cash flow. However, I found that in my focus on meeting deadlines, I sometimes relied too heavily on the
reviewers rather than ensuring the accuracy myself. Now, while I still strive to meet deadlines, I’m much more conscientious about ensuring the accuracy of my work and considering the impact it has. Essentially, I am learning to see the bigger picture, which is an ongoing area of improvement for me.

“What Is Your Weakness” Answer #2 — Learn to Delegate

I used to find it challenging to delegate tasks as I preferred to have full control over the quality and standards of the work. However, as I advanced in my career to more supervisory and management positions, I realized it was neither feasible nor efficient to try to do it all by myself. In fact, the quality of my work suffered briefly when I first stepped into my first role with a direct report. I wasn’t able to take care of the original tasks while taking on new tasks that came with the promotion. It wasn’t easy and is definitely a work in progress, however, I’ve gotten a lot better at trusting my team’s capabilities as long as I communicate my instructions and expectations clearly. I also made sure to provide training as needed.

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“What Is Your Weakness” Answer #3 — Public Speaking

As an introvert, I’ve always found public speaking particularly challenging. My current and previous roles have had a heavy focus on data entry, which meant I didn’t have a lot of experience in public speaking either. However, I understand how vital this skill is if I want to continue to advance in my accounting career. This is why I’ve been putting my hand up more when opportunities arise. A recent example would be the presentation I gave to the entire company on our new payroll software. My controller wanted to host a lunch and learn to show the staff how to use it, and I volunteered to host it. There was definitely room for improvement, but I was proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone.