How to Answer “What is your Greatest Weakness?…
One of the more predictable interview questions that is often asked at interview is also one of the most dreaded by every interviewee. Yes, that old chestnut “ So can you tell me / us what is your greatest weakness? ” As a question it is asked primarily to see exactly how self aware you are and also to see if you can be honest about yourself to other people.
No matter what answer you give, the interviewer will more than likely have heard it before. This question does tend to bring out answers that can be quite cliché ridden. But that can’t really be helped. After all, the question itself is hardly original!
As “what is your greatest weakness” is still a question that you should consider preparing an answer for, we thought we would put together some basic tips to help you when doing just that.
Pick a weakness that you had in the past
With this type of response, you are not only showing self awareness, but also showing how you can recognise weaknesses and do something about them. You could for example state that in the past you had not been particularly good at something and had discussed this with your manager and had sought to improve, perhaps by doing a course, some additional training or work shadowing. Ultimately you are saying that whilst this is something that you don’t particularly excel at, you have recognised your shortcomings and sought to remedy them.
Choose a weakness that can be overcome
Following on from the previous example, if you can identify a weakness that you are currently trying to overcome through self development or training, as long as the weakness in question is not something that is absolutely essential to the job you have applied for, this can be a good option. For example, you may have a lot of experience in different spreadsheet packages but are not as competent in one in particular and consequently have started a course to improve your knowledge and skills. This shows the interviewer that you are attempting to overcome a weakness and that you are on a mission to improve.
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