- On February 22, 2019
Although interviewers rarely ask you for your greatest weakness, the question still comes up enough that you should prepare an answer. Here’s an excellent article on how to answer that awful question. The biggest take-aways:
- Do not literally answer with your worst flaw. This is not a deposition, and the interviewer is not expecting you to divulge some horrible deficiency, so don’t come up with something that will knock you out of the running. As the article puts it, “Certain weaknesses can’t be overcome. That includes a history of your recent criminal activity or something else that would neuter even my finest recommendations. An accountant that is weak at math, for example, or a project manager that doesn’t enjoy diving into the details.” Instead, “[a]lways reinforce your ability to perform your job.”
- Think of the question as really asking you “What is a characteristic you’re working on?” Give a story on how your weakness turned into a lesson, and led to new results. Come up with this story by thinking about areas you are actively working to improve. Examples could cover areas like delegating vs. dealing, public speaking, communicating up the chain of command, etc. Keep your story short, but be specific (e.g., you took classes to address X). End by showing you responded well to bad circumstances.
- Do not answer that you work too hard or care too much. You will come across as lazy and insincere.