Candidate Guide

Talking about your faults and qualities in an interview

"What are your qualities and flaws?" Aaaah that famous job interview question!

Putting down the rough apple like that is a bit old-fashioned, just like the expression I just wrote, but deep down, recruiters will still want to know what your qualities and flaws are. In an interview or with your future employer, you won't escape ;)

Some of your qualities will touch them personally, others may not. As for your faults, it is possible that some of them will be understood, accepted, as well as rejected. And yes, if you are lazy, aggressive or you don't like people, better keep that to yourself!

Well, that's all well and good, but how do you answer the question about qualities and defects during the interview? What are the flaws that you can talk about to put all the chances on your side? Here are some tips!

How to talk about your qualities in a job interview?

Learn about the company's values. Logically, to make a good impression, you can express to recruiters during an interview, qualities that echo the values of the organization!

The sense of teamwork, ambition, responsibility and fairness are the values of the company and it speaks to you? Then look for what in your personality can echo these values;

Here are 4 qualities to echo each of these 4 values: 

  • Fairness: open-minded - trusting of others - respectful - humanistic
  • A sense of community: sociable - attentive - empathetic - supportive
  • Responsibility: proactive - involved - honest 
  • Ambition : passionate - persevering - visionary - dreamer

Of course, there is no need to try to match their values at all costs! Maybe your qualities will interest recruiters even if they are not directly related to their values;

💡 Relating this to the qualifications required in the job posting of an open position will also show your interest in the position you are seeking.

Illustrates each quality with an example

To give credibility to the qualities you express in an interview, the recruiter will expect at least one example per quality. What do you put behind your qualities? Without an example, saying that you are honest, cheerful, bold, means everything and nothing.

Here is an example

"I'm funny. I like to make other people laugh and I do it without meaning to. And I like to provide that emotion. It serves me well in my communication, both written and verbal. And it's very helpful in defusing conflicts with colleagues or in meetings."

20 acceptable flaws in a motivation interview

There are more than 20 flaws, as you can imagine! The idea of this list is to help you make the difference between acceptable and socially unacceptable flaws. Do you recognize yourself in some of these defects?



















Examples of unacceptable defects

Slackness may one day be a sexy flaw, but today slackness is still a flaw in organizations. Here are 10 flaws, which, like laziness, are not to be communicated on the day of the interview.

In bad moods





Lack of punctuality

Have little resistance to change

Be unable to work in a team

How to talk calmly about your defects in an interview?

Questions about your flaws are far from being trick questions. Taken in a positive light, they can even be a selling point! Here are our tips for talking about them...

Turning weaknesses into strengths

You may have heard the phrase "he.she has the faults of her qualities." Our strengths can indeed fail us sometimes, just as what we consider our worst flaws are also character traits, which in certain situations, make us the superheroes of our lives! So how to transform your faults into qualities?

Here are some examples: 

You are very sensitive 

If you are often touched by things to the point where you can't help but cry or get angry and it can be a little embarrassing for you in the workplace, you can also approach this sensitivity in another way. What does it allow you to realize that others can't? You may find it easier to put yourself in other people's shoes and understand them, you understand their real intentions and motivations, you are less judgmental, you detect weak signals.

You are impatient

Perhaps you've been accused of being impatient? When things don't happen quickly, it makes you angry. When people are slow in a project, you find it hard to collaborate with them. In short, this impatience is sometimes a thorn in your side in certain situations, but isn't it positive in others? Maybe it helps you to work hard to carry out projects because you want to see the end of the tunnel? Does it give you the energy to seek out others and boost them to get what you need? It helps you to project yourself in the future ?

You are demanding;

With others and especially with yourself, you don't let anything go by, you're hard. At the same time, this may make you a very rigorous person, conscientious, with an eye for detail? That's not bad either!

You are a Pessimist

This flaw, which is often linked to negativity and can dampen the mood during coffee breaks, is not so negative! Perhaps you have the ability to anticipate future problems? You take the time to think, to ask yourself before making a decision? Do you act with an awareness of all the possible problems?

You are slow

Yes, but your work is super quality, because you prefer quality to quantity. You like to concentrate for a long time on a project, on a task and to put your attention to it. You are slow in your decision making because you prefer to act with knowledge rather than to rush headlong? Well, this method can be highly appreciated in a company depending on your job or the field in which you work!

The tone to use when talking about your defects

Feeling guilty for having this or that flaw, devaluing yourself, giving examples of situations where they have greatly hindered you will not help you much in an interview. Remember that nobody is perfect and that having flaws is a universal thing!

In a telephone interview or face to face with a recruiter, feel comfortable talking about your flaws during the interview. Assumed and argued flaws will always pass better. :) 

Argue but don't justify yourself!

During job interviews, argumentation is cool, justification, a little less...

What is the difference?

"I'm very individualistic because I was brought up that way and taught to have a competitive attitude. I was once told that this was an asset in business. Anyway, companies need competitive profiles, so I don't think it's really a flaw."Justify yourself.

"I am very individualistic: I like to work alone, to stand out, I have a strong sense of competition. This can work against me in some situations, especially with colleagues who don't like competition, but it also makes it easy for me to achieve my goals, be productive and feel satisfied with my work." : Argument.

Once again, tell yourself that the question of defects is not asked to trap you and that you have no reason to answer by defending yourself. :) 

To go further

👉How to make my resume? 

👉What soft skills to put on my resume?

👉Article on qualities in the resume

👉The Candidate Guide

To take action

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