What is Your Biggest Weakness?
Have you ever been completely blindsided by the question, what is your biggest weakness? You’re not alone. But don’t worry because next time you’ll be ready. There is a right way to reply to this question and I’m here to give you some pointers.
As a hiring manager, I ask this question a lot. Most of the time, candidates represent themselves in the wrong light by answering the question in one of these three ways:
The “I’m Perfect” Response: “I have no weaknesses”
The “Pity Party” Response:“I’m too ambitious” or “I’m too hard on myself” or “I expect too much from myself”
The “Don’t Give Me This Job” Response: Worst of all, is when people are brutally honest and portray genuine flaws in a negative manner such as, “I am always late for everything” or “I am very disorganized and cannot multitask”
Answering a question about your biggest weakness is a great opportunity to turn the situation around and build trust with your potential employer. It helps if you prepare an answer ahead of time so you’ll be ready during your interview.
The Right Way to Answer this Question
Be honest about a real weakness, but then let the hiring manager know what you have done in order to overcome this weakness. The hiring manager will appreciate your honesty, because let’s face it, no one is perfect and if you say you are, it’s much harder to prove it than to admit you are human.
Example: “My biggest flaw would be public speaking. After realizing this, I signed up for a public speaking technique course in order to help improve this skill. I also chose to take classes in university that required a great deal of presentations so that I could get as much practice as I could public speaking.”
The key is to admit a true weakness, but then spin the weakness in a positive manner so that the hiring manager sees you have the drive and desire to overcome it.