You arrived on time, wore your lucky shoes and hit it off well with the interviewer – and then she asks the dreaded “What is your greatest weakness?”
Blurting out the first thing that comes to mind could be an interview killer – but falling back on the cliché “I work too hard/am a perfectionist/care too much about my job” is just as bad. How can you get past this conversational landmine? These three tips will help:
- Give the weakness – and tell how you overcome it
Stating your true weakness is fine, provided you also tell how you overcame it. “I worry about pleasing everyone, but I realize I do this and have learned to come up with solutions that allow me to focus on the project or job duties first” allows you to reveal a common weakness, but also shows that you are self-aware and that you are likely pretty easy to work with, too. “My natural tendency is to run late – so I work hard to counteract this, and am usually the first one to arrive for a meeting or appointment” also works, particularly if you arrived early or beat the interviewer to your meeting site.
- Tell them something they already know
Are you a new grad or entering a new field? Then your interviewer already knows this, thanks to your resume. Stating this and then following up with your recent educational experience (and therefore knowledge of the latest trends in your industry), enthusiasm and other great qualities you bring to the table can help you craft a truthful and positive answer to this tough question.
- Choose a weakness unrelated to the job or career path
“I can’t pick up heavy objects” is a true weakness – but won’t matter if you are interviewing for an accounting job. Think of this question in advance and come up with a few honest weaknesses that would have little to no impact on the job at hand. “I’m not great with math” is fine if you are an illustrator or other creative type, but less feasible if you are hoping for a job that requires at least some comfort level with money, math or computing.
The weaknesses job interview question is a challenging one, but it can be used to your benefit if you offer the right response. Simply giving a response that is not a cliché will make you stand out from the crowd and help you make the right impression with the interview team. For more tips on securing the right job and making the most of your skills, contact us or follow our blog. We’re dedicated to equipping you with the skills and education you need for success in your chosen field.