Tough Interview Questions: What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

Keep Calm Interview

As if interviews aren’t nerve-wracking enough, there are a number of dreaded interview questions that seem to rear their ugly heads more often than others. Perhaps the most perplexing is the question is:  “what is your greatest weakness?”…ugh. While there is no ‘right’ way to answer this question, here are a few tips to help you nail that tough query.

DO answer the question. Though it might be tempting to say “nothing”, no one is perfect and your potential employer knows that. Saying that you don’t have any weakness at all makes you seem unreflective or snobby.

DON’T disguise a strength as a weakness. Many online articles I’ve read debate this, but a safe bet is that employers will know what you’re doing, and it makes it seem like you’re skirting the question.  For an employer, someone who works “too much” isn’t going to necessarily be a weakness to the company, so it might be tempting to answer that way. However, it’s an old trick and most interviewers will see right through it.

DO discuss a learning experience. A great way to answer the question is to talk about a past experience where a weakness of yours was exposed, and through the experience you learned a new skill or strategy and helped you grow. Not only does it show that you understood your weakness, but that you were also able to learn from it and improve yourself.

DON’T express a weakness essential to the job. If you’re applying for a job in accounting, “bad at math” will likely bar you from getting the position. However, if you’re interested in editing then you’ll likely be safe. Make sure you don’t express a weakness or lack of a skill that is required of the position, especially if it’s listed in the job description. To approach this successfully, make sure that you’re fully aware of all the requirements of the positions ahead of the interview.

The wonderful thing about interviews is that they give you a chance to stand out to a potential employer and to make an impression. By answering this tough test thoughtfully and clearly, you just might be on your way to your dream job in no time!

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