What is Your Greatest Weakness - How to Answer This Classic Job Interview Question

What is Your Greatest Weakness

Answering the question 'What is your greatest weakness?" is often the make or break job interview question asked by a potential employer. What is your greatest weakness? is a catch 22 question as you want to appear in touch with what your weakness is without exposing major floors in your in personality.

With that in mind we have created a list of what to include, and what not to include, when your answering the question "What is you greatest weakness?"

1. Know what your weaknesses are

The first step to correcting a weakness is knowing it's here. So, by explaining what your weakness is you are showing a potential employer that you are a reflective person.

2. Keep the answer work related

You potential boss doesn't want to know whether you have a weakness for blondes, guys with bulging biceps or that your home life is a disaster waiting to happen; they want to know what your weakness is in a work capacity. So keep all answers professional and to the point.

3. Discuss only one weakness

The interviewer will asked for your greatest weakness, so stick to answering the question by discussing only one weakness. Starting your answer with "Gosh, where do I start. I have so many!", or something similar, is not the ideal answer, even if it is meant as a joke. It is a serious question, so answer it in a serious manner.

4. Be honest and stay away from essential skills

If the job spec says 'it is essential to be a team player' and you say your greatest weakness is not being a great communicator or that you prefer to work alone, your interview is dead and buried. So, make sure you read the job description carefully and use the essential skills to answer questions about your strengths rather than your weakness.

5. Demonstrate that you have conquered your weakness

Potential employers what to hear that you identified weakness and you worked hard to turn this into a strength. So explain the steps you used to conquer your weakness.

6. Don't prepare an exact response

Of course you should think about how to answer to a question about your greatest weakness, but in an interview don't just answer robotically when the question comes up. You want to appear reflective and authentic in the interview rather than staged and rehearsed.

7. Don't say you're a perfectionist or you work too hard

These are classic answers that interviewers hear all the time. Answering this way will not separate you from other candiates. Also, the interviewer want to know you work hard, after all they will be paying you to do a job, so why would that be a weakness at all? So when answering the question about your greatest weakness try and think about a honest answer that tells the interviewer about you in a meaningful way rather than using an answer that doesn't.

We hope this hints and tips about how to answer the question "What is your greatest weakness?" are useful and are ideas you can use in your next job interview.