“Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge?” “What are your professional goals?” “Tell me a little bit about your work experience.” The interviewer keeps throwing the questions at you, and you feel like you’re batting a thousand. Then, out of nowhere, the curve ball…. the dreaded “What’s your biggest weakness?” question. Quite the conundrum this question has posed for many unsuspecting interviewees. It feels so much like a trick question. Do you really reveal to them your biggest weakness? Will they want to hire you still? What if you say you have no weakness? Then are you running the risk of not sounding genuine?
Now your perfect batting has got you in quite the pickle. How will you get out of it? Thankfully, there are interviewing experts out there that are poised to help you out with this difficult question. Below is Jennifer Burn’s advice on how to tackle the question “What is your greatest weakness?”
Answer With a Strength
Offer a Former Weakness
Consider a Less Important Weakness
Working With What You Have
- Provide an answer that is only a strength
Your interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and how you are working to improve yourself; so you should probably avoid the word “perfectionist.” Employers can see this response coming a mile away. (And might assume that you are exaggerating to get the job.) Then you will be stuck scrambling for another answer at the last minute, and chances are, you won’t be happy with what you blurt out.
- Say you don’t have any weaknesses
An attempt to be funny or glib will likely backfire. Nobody is perfect, especially current students or recent college graduates going on job interviews! Employers would not ask this question if they didn’t expect you to come up with an answer.
- Offer an answer that shows lack of motivation or ambition
If you answer by saying you are a procrastinator or lazy, these are definite red flags to someone who is looking to hire you. This shows employers that you are not ready to make the transition from student to professional. The job interview isn’t the time to present your biggest character flaws or air your dirty laundry.