The Right (and Wrong) Way to Answer "What's Your Biggest Weakness?"
If you’ve ever interviewed in your life, you’ve probably learned to expect this common interview question—and you probably dread it.
After all, it’s hard to talk about your flaws in an interview without making yourself sound like a horrible candidate. You don’t want to raise any major red flags with your interviewer, but you also don’t want to talk about how you’re “too perfect.” (Trust us.)
But there is a way to strike a balance, showing your interviewer that you’re aware of your flaws and—better yet—working to improve them.
Watch the video below to learn a few responses to avoid at all costs—and how to ultimately answer this tricky interview question like a champ.
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Interviewer: Thanks for coming in Jimmy. Why don’t you take a seat. Let’s just jump right in. What is your biggest weakness?
Jimmy: Dude, I can’t hit a deadline to save my life.
Interviewer: Let’s try that again. What is your biggest weakness?
Jimmy: Besides the fact that I’m a serial killer? [Laughs nervously]
Jimmy: Talking about my weaknesses just gives me a really negative vibe. I prefer not to talk about them. Can we go on to the next question?
Jimmy: [Laughs] Why would I tell you that in an interview?
Jimmy: I am just too perfect.
Interviewer: Too perfect? Nobody’s buying it, but you do have to answer the question. See we all have weaknesses, and employers look to hire people who know their flaws and are working to improve them. Try this: Talk about a real weakness that you have (not one that not raises any red flags). Talk about this weakness and what you’re doing to improve upon it. Let’s try that again.
Jimmy: Well, when I first started managing people I had a really hard time delegating. I would just think that it takes too much time to teach someone how to do something and just do it by myself. I realized I can’t do everything alone. So, each time I get a new task I make sure to see if there is someone more suitable on my team to do it than I. I've noticed that’s made me a much better manager.
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Photo of worried woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
Erin believes in the power of content to spread ideas, build communities, and engage and delight people—which is why she spends her days helping employers and brands do just that. During her time at The Muse, Erin has also worn the hats of personal website expert, video producer, Shutterstock wrangler, master lunch-packer, and company librarian. Erin is always looking for new places to explore on the weekends, and she almost never says no to tea and a croissant. Invite Erin to tea at eringreenawald.com or on Twitter @erinaceously.More from this Author