It’s the most ridiculous of questions, and always the one that throws interview candidates through a hoop. Getting the question “What is your biggest weakness?” is the worst interview question by far. The reason it is so universally hated is that there is no real right answer, and it’s very difficult to actually prepare yourself for it. It’s often considered the pivotal question, and so many people aren’t sure how they should go about answering it.
Should you ever get this question in an interview, it’s liable to put you on the back foot, even if you’re expecting it. So, we’re going to work to try and give you some pointers and advice about how you should approach and answer this question. Give yourself the edge over your rivals when it comes to interviews, and ace all the jobs you go for by following our sage advice.
Be honest but not too honest
You have to make sure you are honest about your answer. The employer is looking for your story as much as your answer. They aren’t going to focus on a personal failure, but more a professional triumph in the face of adversity. So, make sure you are truthful when it comes to answering the question. But, you also have to make sure you aren’t too honest to the point where you wind up hurting your chances. Getting that balance between the two is crucial and will help you give a much better interview response.
There is a formula to follow
Try to make sure you use a formula when you’re answering these question because it will help you to answer more coherently and confidently. There’s no definitive blanket answer, but there is certainly a basic formula you should use. We recommend you identify a weakness and then talk about how you are working to overcome it. Make sure you tailor this to the company you’re interviewing for, so it is even more relevant. Show self-awareness and a will to change and adapt for the better, and this will set you in good stead as an interviewee.
Don’t dodge the question
It’s very easy to go into defensive mode and adopt crisis management by dodging the question when you’re asked it, but this is the wrong thing to do. Science informs us that this is negative because, by not answering, you appear insincere as a candidate, which is the worst thing you can do. The same goes for dressing your weakness up as a strength, like saying “Being a perfectionist.” Be honest and authentic, and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability, employers are looking for real people to join their team.
Different forms of the same question
Beware of the fact that this question can pop up in an array of different forms. It might be worded differently, but it’s the same question at heart. So, ensure you are being careful and looking out for questions like “What would previous employers say about you?” or, “What is an area in which you’d like to develop.” These are all forms of saying the same thing, and you need to be aware of them so you can answer as honestly and concisely as you possibly can.
Encountering this question in an interview is enough to send even the most experienced interviewee into a blind panic. So, you have to make sure you work on answering this question as effectively and honestly as you can. Shoe the company that you are an honest and genuine candidate, and just what they are looking for. This is something you have to ensure you work on as soon as possible so you can improve your chances of success.