How To Master The Dreaded Weakness Interview Question
Ah, the inevitable weakness interview question. It comes in many forms- “What’s your greatest weakness?” “What’s something you struggle with?” “What do you need to improve upon?”
Hopefully your weakness isn’t answering interview questions! It shouldn’t be as long as you are prepared for the weakness interview question that most employers are going to ask you.
The number one thing to remember about the weakness interview question is that you don’t actually want to say that you’re bad at anything. You have to answer the question, of course, but the trick is to make it sound like you’re basically good at everything or that you turn the negative into positive.
You don’t want to sound conceited or overly confident (you are after all, either out of a job or looking for a change, so you shouldn’t be cocky!) but you do want to basically tell your interviewer that you’re a strong competitor and you don’t really have a lot of flaws when it comes to your work.
But how do you do this? There are a few things you can do to answer the weakness interview question wisely. One is to turn something that you are actually good at into a weakness. For instance, “I’m a perfectionist,” or “Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself,” just basically says that you have motivation and drive to keep moving forward and produce the best work possible. Great weakness interview question answers!
Another great weakness interview question maneuver is to talk about a weakness that you used to have and talk about how you overcame it. This kind of weakness interview question answer shows that you know how to recognize your flaws and then work to improve them. So use this to your advantage and tell the interviewer a short story about how you identified an issue within yourself at work and struggled with it, but then found a way to overcome it.
Don’t launch into a 15 minute speech or get too descriptive- this isn’t kindergarten story time. Just give a specific example such as how you were living under a pile of clutter on your desk but you came up with an awesome filing system to prevent that in the future. Just make sure your claim is fairly honest because you don’t want to say something used to be your weakness and then later on have it shown that it still is!
You can also use a personal weakness or something that’s not relevant to the job you’re after to answer the weakness interview question, but tread carefully if you go this route. Saying you’re a night owl is a good example. This says that you wish you could go to sleep at a reasonable hour so you can wake up simply chipper but it could say to the employer that you may oversleep sometimes too- it really depends on the interviewer and the way they think. Since you can’t see inside their heads, use your better judgment and only go this route if you think they’re laid back and can handle it.
The most important thing to remember about the weakness interview question is to be believable. Something like “I just work too darn hard,” is going to get an eye roll for sure. Anyone will see right through a BS line like that, so just be as honest and real as possible… without pointing out any major flaws, and you’ll wow them with your answer to the weakness interview question for sure!