While ‘what’s your greatest weakness’ is one of the most common interview questions- it is also one of the most difficult to answer. As a job applicant- you would probably rather focus on your strengths- but- believe it or not- sharing your biggest weakness is an opportunity to display your strong character and come across as a humble person who is willing to overcome weakness in order to shine. What employers really want to know when they ask this question- is if you are willing to show your flaws and if you are working hard to improve your skills.
Your interviewer may have different ways of asking this question- so be prepared to decipher the meaning if he or she asks you to share what you feel are your professional areas that need the most development- what part of your previous positions you were the least skilled at- what your least favorite task is or what your biggest professional flaw is. By preparing an answer to the question ahead of time- you’ll be able to respond in a manner that sets you apart from other job applicants.Build My Resume
How to Answer the ‘What’s Your Greatest Weakness’ Interview Question
Take This Opportunity to Sell Yourself: Every job interview is basically an opportunity to sell the product you know best- which is yourself. Just as manufacturers put the best spin possible on their products- you can present yourself in the best way by being honest about your skills. Interviewers really do want to know what your biggest weakness is- but they are more interested in how you are overcoming the flaw and what skills you have that compensate for it. So- if you are struggling with a commonly used spreadsheet application- share this information- but also highlight what steps you are taking to overcome this weakness- such as subscribing to a daily online tutorial.
Share a Flaw That Isn’t a Listed Job Requirement: All job applicants have a weakness- but it can be daunting to choose which one of yours would be considered the greatest in regard to the job you are applying for. Instead- answer with a flaw that isn’t directly related to the job. For instance- if you are applying for a job as a pipe fitter- and you are uncomfortable working with the public- this would be a good weakness to share. Just be sure to tell the interviewer how you are working to overcome this weakness- such as volunteering at your child’s school fundraising events.
Let Your Weakness Be Weak: Disguising your weakness as a strength may be a tempting strategy- but interviewers will see right through it. Instead- be honest and admit that your greatness weakness is truly a professional flaw. Remember that employers ask these types of interview questions as a way to gauge your honesty and your willingness to improve yourself professionally. For instance- if you’ve just graduated from college but have very little work experience- share that forthrightly. While you’re at it- mention that you are a quick learner and you don’t anticipate any problems catching on to the job once you are hired. Tell how your education prepared you for the job- and how your strong work ethic will help you handle your tasks and responsibilities. By showing the interviewer how driven you are to succeed- he or she will have a better idea of how you might perform on the job.Build My Resume
Sample ‘What’s Your Greatest Weakness’ Interview Answers
1. My greatest weakness is my tendency to keep ideas to myself until I have figured out the details in their entirety and created a spreadsheet to track them. This has led to teammates feeling left out or left behind- which has caused some stress at times. Because my previous supervisor was able to point this flaw out to me in a professional manner- I have devised strategies to overcome this tendency. In fact- my last three projects were a collaboration from the start- and because of the overwhelming success of each project- I am now committed to sharing ideas and setting goals with my coworkers from the first stages of a project until completion.
2. Being fresh out of school- I haven’t had a chance to gain work experience in my field yet. However- my GPA in college was a 3.8- and I have a firm grasp of the material that I learned. Coupled with my experience gained by working jobs on campus to put myself through school- I know that I have the work ethic- education and ability to learn new things necessary to succeed in this position. I enjoy a challenge- and I believe that I will be up to speed in no time once hired.
With these great ideas in mind- you are sure to be able to answer this interview question like a seasoned pro. Just remember to speak from your heart- and watch your interviewer be amazed.