How to Answer that Inevitable Interview Question, "What's Your Greatest Weakness?"

I love this question! I love it because I have found an excellent answer to this interview question and I want to share it with you!


My Corporate Management and Human Resources background has allowed me to be a student of the interview process for more than a decade now.


I often say I am going to write a book one of these days called, Lessons Learned From 1001 Interviews! There are so many things I’ve seen and learned that could benefit, educate and definitely entertain the masses as it relates to that awkward exchange between two strangers, “the interview”!


More on that another time...


One of the most commonly asked interview questions, in fact it’s ranked the seventh most commonly asked interview question, is


“What’s your greatest Strength and Weakness?”.


For the purpose of today’s post, let’s talk about the Weakness part of this question.


I’ve heard many people address this question by using some variation of the humble brag! “I am a perfectionist”, “I care too much” or “I am a workaholic” to name a few. These are all gag worthy responses that the interviewee uses to try and position their weakness as an actual positive therefore not really answering the question honestly.


Don’t do this! It’s a waste of your time and the time of the person interviewing you and it never comes off well.


Another common mistake when answering this question is to be overly honest without explanation. Sometimes people go the complete opposite direction and say things that position them in an unflattering light. On top of that they don’t clearly articulate what they mean so the interviewer is left hearing, “I have a problem with getting too close to the people that work for me” or “I can be rude to people sometimes” or “I have a tendency to hand in sloppy work”.


Say what!?! Yes, these are all things I’ve actually heard!


Don’t drop a bomb and walk away. Being brutally honest is bad enough, but not explaining what you mean or giving examples is even worse!


So how do you answer this question, “What’s your greatest weakness?”, that you will most likely be asked in some form or another during your next interview?


Here is the best possible answer…


“Great question! We all have weaknesses, but to be honest with you it’s my belief that if a person continues to struggle with the same weakness year-over-year there’s a problem with how they’re learning and developing professionally. I’ve had many different areas of opportunity throughout my career but once I identify that there’s something to work on, I work on it. I make improvement and eventually it’s no longer a weakness. I can tell you what I’m currently working on, my greatest weakness right now is…”


There you go!


This is the BEST way to answer a question about your opportunities or weaknesses. Of course, you will put it in your own words and use your own flare but the bottom line is that you must:


  1. Acknowledge that all people have weaknesses (including you).

  2. Explain that you work hard at improving your weaknesses and you expect others to do the same.

  3. Honestly share one of the weaknesses you are working on right now and what you are doing to improve.


If you can master this concept and become fluid in how you articulate your answer I promise you will nail this interview question the next time you’re asked!


My only goal is helping you achieve yours! Good luck!


Thanks for reading!



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