Interview Tip: The Best Way to Answer “What’s your Greatest Weakness?”
At Key Corporate Services, we are firm believers in the value of preparation before taking that all-important interview. This includes knowing what questions you can expect and being prepared with the right answers.
You can certainly expect the “Why do you want to work for us?” question. But, just as often, you will be asked “What’s your greatest weakness?”
You have to be ready to answer this question with a sincere, but powerful response. Here are some suggested ways to respond:
Forget the “fake” weakness response!
Taking the approach of not responding with a true weakness but rather choosing something that is disguised as a strength is not what a recruiter wants to hear. For instance, saying your weakness is “being a perfectionist” is a positive weakness, but not what they want to hear. Instead, what they really want to hear is about an area you struggled with and how you worked to overcome that limitation.
Make it work-related
Make your answer something related to work, not personal. Perhaps it was the struggle you faced learning how to multi-task in a previous position. Explain how you mastered this challenge.
Don’t make your answer something related to an essential skill
You want to identify a shortcoming that you’ve already overcome. Know the critical requirements of the position you are interviewing for, but don’t make your weakness related one of these. Otherwise, the hiring manager might not consider you as well-suited for the position.
Answer the question using the STAR method
Most interviewers will conduct the interview using questions that are behavior-based. So, your answer should always be three-part. First, state the Situation or Task
that you struggled with. Then, identify the Actions you took to overcome the weakness. Finally, discuss the Results of your actions and how this enabled you to master the weakness.
The key to answering this all-important question is to show the interviewer your commitment to excellence and professional development. After all, we all have weaknesses. It’s how we overcome them that is the REAL story.
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