It's true that this question sounds like a trap. How are you supposed to talk about your greatest weakness and still get the job?
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common job interview questions. Whether the employer is asking because everyone else asks, or they're actually interested in your answer, you need to have something in mind before the interview starts.
Don't stress. We're here to help. Keep reading to learn how to develop good answers to the greatest weakness interview question.
Don't Give a "Fake Weakness"
This is one of the most annoying things that an interviewee can do when someone asks the greatest weakness question. We've all heard it. When the employer asks about the interviewee's greatest weakness, what do they say?
"I work too hard and I don't know when to stop."
The employer rolls their eyes because they've heard this before. They know that you aren't being sincere and that you're trying to impress them. This is a red flag for several reasons.
The first is that it seems like you're hiding an actual weakness. The second is that, if it's true, no one wants someone who doesn't know when a project is finished, how to avoid burnout
, or who micromanages others.
Talk About Solutions
One of the best things that you can do when answering this question is to talk about how you're overcoming the weakness.
Talk about how the weakness has come up in past experiences. What did you do to "make it work" so you could finish the job? How do you intend on improving in the future?
When you talk about micromanaging
, for example, also talk about how you've learned to loosen the reins.
Be Honest, But Not Too Honest
This all goes into the concept of honesty. Your future employer is asking because they want an answer, not because they want you to make something up.
That said, this isn't the time to list off your weaknesses. Choose one and stick to it. An interview is still for selling yourself, so try not to make yourself look like a liability.
Aside from the first "bad answer," this is the worst thing that you can do during an interview. Instead of answering the question, you choose to brag. You tell the interviewer that you don't have any weaknesses. You've overcome every challenge with ease and excelled at every position without fail.
They know that this isn't true. While selling yourself is important, it's a red flag when someone makes themselves out to be too good to be true.
Even if you can't think of a specific weakness, consider challenges that you've faced in the past. What caused them?
So, What's Your Greatest Weakness?
The best thing that you can do when it comes to answering the greatest weakness question is to prepare ahead of time. Write down a list of potential answers and tailor them to your position with these tips in mind.
Your future employer knows that this is a tricky question and they don't expect perfection. Relax, be honest, and speak with confidence.
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