Interview Tips To Discuss Your Biggest Weakness
Yes, it’s a cliché to be asked about your greatest weakness in a job interview, but hiring personnel continue to ask this question because it provides useful information.
Interviewers know you’re not going to give them a brutal self-assessment. They realize applicants expect this question, and therefore the responses they get can be a measure of how prepared a particular candidate is.
In the past, candidates have taken this question as an opportunity to humble-brag. For instance, they might say their greatest weakness is that they “work too hard” – a not-so-subtle way of saying they are a very hard worker. Applicants have been using this trick for so long, interviewers don’t see it as clever, they see it as dodging the question.
Another thing you don’t want to do is not be able to come up with a single weakness. Since this question is so common, not being able to respond to it is a sign that you’re not prepared – a big red flag.
Given that there’s no “silver bullet” response to this question, it’s important that you develop a good answer to it. Consider the following advice on how to do just that:
Pick an Authentic but “Good” Weakness
Start developing a response to this question by brainstorming your actual weaknesses. If you genuinely have a hard time coming up with one, ask a current or former colleague for suggestions.
Once you have a list of actual weaknesses, choose one that won’t sink your chances of landing the job. For instance, if the job heavily relies on precision, don’t admit to having poor attention to detail.
Also, pick a weakness that you can address with a bit of work. For instance, weaknesses like clumsiness can‘t be easily fixed, but below average time management skills could be solved with an organization app or new approach to staying organized.
Once you have settled on a specific weakness, develop a way of describing it in a neutral way. Don’t describe it as a crippling weakness and don’t overcompensate by going into a lot of detail. Simply say something like, “You know I could get better at…”
Show You are Working on It
The second part of your answer to this classic interview question should demonstrate that you are indeed working on addressing your weakness. If organization is a weak point, pull out your phone and show the new calendar app you started using. If networking is a weakness, be able talk about the networking events you’ve gone to recently.
The effectiveness of your answer depends heavily on the specific steps you are taking and results you are seeing as a consequence. Just saying, “I’m really working on it,” isn’t good enough for more interviewer worth their salt.
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At Labor Temps, we have years of experience helping job seekers prepare for interviews. If you are currently looking for any kind of job-search assistance or you are looking for new job possibilities, please contact us today.