Part 2: What is your greatest weakness?
This question is by far one of the hardest questions to answer in a job interview. Think deeply about your answer so that it demonstrates self-awareness and willingness to learn.
- Do not try to state a strength as a weakness. This has become a cliché in recruitment when prospective candidates say:
My greatest weakness is that I’m such a perfectionist that every project I do has to be 100% perfect.
I’m so focused on my job that I sometimes forget to leave at the end of the day.
- Be honest about a weakness – tell the truth and then provide examples of what you are doing to overcome the weakness. For example:
In the past, I have missed a couple of deadlines that were important to me. Since then I have begun to use a written planner and an electronic calendar to remind me of important deadlines. I haven’t missed a deadline since I started using this system.
- Demonstrate self-awareness of your own abilities and areas needing improvement. Show that you can accept constructive criticism and use it for self-improvement. Explain how you have used past criticism to analyze needs and implement corrective actions to make yourself a valuable contributor to your employer.
The weakness question is not meant to illicit a confession of wrongdoing. It is used as a prompt for the candidate to demonstrate self-knowledge and self-awareness.
It is necessary in every facet of your career to learn from mistakes and utilize that knowledge to move forward.
Vowing never to make mistakes is a weakness no employer wants in their employees because it means no decision and no forward progress is ever made!