I hate this question. We all know it’s a trap, but it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to be asked this in your next interview. No matter how qualified you are for the job, your answer to this question can make or break your chances of getting a job offer.
When answering this question, you need to remember that the interviewer is not looking for a specific answer. Technically, there is no right or wrong answer to this annoying question. Employers are trying to take you out of your comfort zone and try and see your authenticity. Hiring managers are looking past stereotypical answers for who you really are. So, don’t be afraid to answer questions truthfully!
To nail this interview, you must find a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve not great with Microsoft Excel but you are currently taking a class online to improve your skills. This illustrates that although you have a shortcoming in this area, you are currently working on honing your skills. Ultimately, this demonstrates you can make improvements when necessary.
How not to answer
There are tons of ways to answer this question that leaves a lasting impression on your interviewer. There are also many ways to not answer this question if you’re serious about landing this job. Here are some things to avoid when asked this in an interview:
Don’t answer with a joke
Making a joke about your greatest weakness may be perceived that you are so uncomfortable with the question that you are trying to derail the conversation with humor. So, when asked this question, please don’t say a Starbuck’s caramel macchiato.
With a strength that you’re trying to pass as a weakness
This is the oldest trick in the book and interviewers will spot it a mile away. It’s cheesy everyone knows you’re going to say something cliché like “I’m a perfectionist.” When you give a real answer, you are being genuine. You are admitting you have some areas for improvement and are not perfect. But you can include that you already have a plan to overcome this weakness through training or practice.
A personal weakness
You’re in an interview, not a therapy session. Telling an interviewer about your personal weakness won’t help you get the job. They want to hear a professional weakness. Avoid answering with a weakness that is directly related to the job description. You don’t want the interviewer to think you are not capable of doing the job!