The interview question, what’s your biggest weakness? can feel like a trap, leaving even the most prepare interviewees baffled. It’s a loaded question that many don’t know how to respond to even if you prepare before hand. This little question has a lot of power behind it and can determine whether you’re a possible new employee or a potential liability.
It’s one of those questions where hiring managers don’t expect you to bash yourself or say anything negative, but they do want to see how you react to difficult questions. It also tells hiring managers if you were prepared for the question and allows them to get some insight into you and your personality.
The way you answer this question tells a lot about you as a person and employee. Here are some ways to tackle this beast of a question so you can handle the “weakness” answer with grace.
First, you have to realize that we all have weaknesses. Don’t feed the interviewer a faux weakness, choose something that is a real weakness in your professional life and speak to how you plan to overcome it. It’s best to use an example of a specific situation so you can show that you’ve identified the weakness and ways to better yourself in those situations in the future. Interviewers are looking for a genuine answer of where you have struggled and more importantly what you have done to overcome it.
Using a weakness that you are able to manage is a good approach as well. Showing weaknesses that you’re able to identify and manage with tools or creative solutions show you are aware of your actions, proactive, and will to address any problem you might have.
Get familiar with the job duties and choose a weakness that is acceptable for the potential job. Don’t state a weakness that might hinder your chances of the landing the job, but choose something that is easy to improve with drive and motivation.
Nobody likes to talk weakness or negative areas about themselves but it’s a question that is commonly heard in interviews. The best way to approach this question is to minimize your professional weakness and emphasize how you have overcome it or plan to overcome it.