You are asked several questions when you appear for a job interview, and most of them are related to your educational qualifications and professional background.
In other words, these questions refer to what you have accomplished previously, and therefore, your achievements are already in the past. Recruiters today are more interested in knowing what you can accomplish further down the road, which will help them decide whether you are a good fit for the company or not.
One such question in this aspect is, “Which of your skills would you like to improve on and why?“
This does not mean that your hiring manager is unaware of your current set of skills or does not trust your capacity to do well. It simply means that they are trying to ascertain whether you are a learner and whether you would like to improve your skills even more for better opportunities that would end up benefiting the organization as well.
Hence, it is vital that you take some time to prepare yourself for this question. Providing a satisfactory answer would mean that you are a team player who is confident of his or her capabilities but is also eager to learn more and upgrade themselves.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to learn new things and improving upon your existing set of skills requires a certain degree of courage and humility at the same time, and your prospective recruiter is sure to appreciate those qualities.
Why Do Employers Ask What Skills You Would Like to Improve?
There are several reasons why your employer would ask this question.
- Firstly, this would reveal your capacity for self-evaluation. To become an asset to an organization, you first need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging that some of your skills need work and you have to improve on them shows you are an excellent judge of your capabilities.
- Secondly, your employer would come to know which of your skills further need work upfront. It is better for your employer to find out about it when they hire you rather than seeing your fumble at work because some of your skills need to be enhanced further
- Most importantly, your employer comes to know about your potential for growth and whether you are willing to learn on the job. It also gives an insight into your character as it means that you are willing to accept that you are not perfect. Employers always look for qualities that will help them do better in the future, and willingness to learn and improve should come intrinsically.
Variations of the Question About Which Skills You Would Like to Improve
Recruiters might sometimes phrase the question differently, but you would still need to remember that their purpose of asking the question remains unchanged. Some of the variations of the question which you can expect are as follows:
- How can you improve your present level of performance?
- Is there any skill that you would like to develop further?
- If there is one area you could improve on, which one would it be and why?
- What are some of your weaknesses, and how can you work on them?
- Which aspects and skills can you upgrade?
How to Best Answer, “Which Skills Would You Like to Improve On?”
While answering this question, the first thing you would have to remember is your employer does not expect you to be a perfect candidate. Hence, there is no need to feel insecure about revealing your weaknesses or your weaker skills.
Rather, you should use this opportunity to show which areas you can excel in the future that would help you perform better. Here is how you can do that.
Also Read: List Of Weaknesses For Job Interviews
1. Being Sure About Your Skills
To be able to answer which skills you need to improve on, you should first have a clear idea about your own skills. What would you consider to be your strongest skills? Communication? Time Management? Organization? In comparison, is there anything you feel you are not very good at?
Maybe you are good at communicating with your colleagues and superiors but not so much when meeting new clients. Or, perhaps you have excellent time management skills and can complete one task at a time, and yet are not very good at multitasking. Understanding your shortcomings will help you prepare a better answer.
2. Choosing the Skill
Once you have figured out which skills need improvement, you should try to stick to one or two of them, especially the ones directly related to the position you are applying for and which will directly impact your growth within the company.
There can be several skills you might have to improve on, but mentioning that you have to improve on your public speaking skills will not be relevant if you are applying for a job related to accounts and financing. It is also a good idea to choose a professional skill rather than selecting a personal quality.
3. Explaining the Reason to Improve
Simply mentioning that you would like to improve on a skill is not enough, and it would be best if you also thought about why you would like to improve on it. For example, if you are applying for a leadership role, you could say you think you are excellent at mentoring younger colleagues. You need to work more on your mediation skills so that you can keep workplace unrest in check, which can often result in unhealthy workplace competition between novices.
This will provide a very clear picture of where you think you stand as a leader and will definitely impress your recruiters. Explaining how building on a specific skill can also help the organization will be an added bonus.
4. Your Present Level of Competency
Trying to improve on skills does not imply that you are not good at it at all at present, and it just means there is scope for further improvement. Hence, while talking about your skills, be sure to mention where you stand now and what level of competency you are in.
Are you fairly good at the skills and need to update yourself about the latest trends, or do you feel you are not very good and still have a long way to go? Transparency is the key here, and your employers will like you more for it.
5. How You Intend to Improve Your Skills?
Once you have identified which skills need improvement, spare some time to explain how you intend to improve on those skills? Do you have plans of approaching a mentor, or would you like to join some course that can teach you those skills?
While you can always upgrade your technical skills by joining a refresher course, it is more fulfilling to seek a mentor while trying to improve your soft skills. At this point, you can also ask how the company might help you. Is there any mentorship or professional development program that the company has that might help you in the long run?
Useful Tips for Answering What Skills You Would Like to Improve on
While answering the question, you need all the help you can get, and here are some valuable tips for you.
1. Be Confident
While this might seem like a cliché, it is crucial that you answer this question with confidence. Just because you are not good with a particular skill, it does not mean that it should undermine your confidence. Instead, you should take the question in your stride and explain with professionalism and humility the areas you think still need improvement and how you are looking forward to doing that.
2. Being Eager to Learn
Your response should reflect your eagerness to learn. And that you are also open to receiving feedback and embracing new challenges along the way. Learning or improving on a skill can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive experience, depending on your level of current efficiency. Further, you should express to your recruiters that you are willing to devote the required time and effort to it.
3. Talk About What You Already Know
While talking about what you need to improve on, tell the interviewer some of the related skills you are already good at and relate them to those that need improvements.
Learning about some of the associated skills makes it easier to learn new things about the skills you are trying to improve on. Rehearsing your answer in advance will help you relate both these aspects in a better way. You will be able to talk about what you need to learn further in relation to what you already know.
When your recruiters ask you which of your skills you would like to improve on, you have to remember that honesty and confidence are the keys to the question. Try to be upfront and earnest without seeming that you are not sure of yourself. It would be best if you remembered that not everyone could be good at everything, and every new opportunity will teach you something. Try to recall what you have learned from the past and ascertain how much you still have to go, and you will be able to win your employer’s appreciation for sure.