How to Answer the Question “What is Your Biggest Weakness?”
Explaining Potential Weaknesses During a Job Interview
After getting an interview for a job, professionals will now have to speak with a manager or other company representative. During the interview, this individual may ask a candidate some questions including “What is Your Biggest Weakness?” According to Helen Schifter, this can put prospective employees in a difficult situation. Whenever a candidate is going on a job interview, they don’t want to say anything that can disqualify you from consideration or prevent you from getting the job. When they are asked about their biggest weakness, this can potentially expose something that can convince an employer to turn them down. However, Schifter says that there are ways in which jobseekers can explain a weakness and convince an employer that these weaknesses will not prevent them from performing well at the position they are interviewing for.
Choose a Weakness That Won’t Prevent Success
One of the best ways to answer any questions about your weaknesses is to talk about a weakness that will not be detrimental to your success. Jobseekers will benefit by talking about things that they might not be familiar with but aren’t related to the position itself. For example, if someone is interviewing for a financial analyst position, it is important to not discuss anything like unfamiliarity with certain software or that they struggle with a particular job function. Instead a jobseeker will want to talk about a weakness that is more of a positive. For instance, they can benefit by saying that they expect too much out of themselves at times. This will sound better to potential employers.
Be Honest and Choose an Actual Weakness
Another way to address this question is to be honest and choose a weakness that is legitimate. Jobseekers will want to talk about some personality traits such as being very demanding of oneself. Helen Schifter believes that, at times, it is important to talk about a weakness but discuss it in a way that is more positive than negative. Jobseekers can discuss a lack of familiarity with a certain software package or task but that they have addressed the weakness and it no longer exists. However, the best thing to do is to discuss an actual weakness that is unrelated to the job position itself.
Explain How You Improved the Weakness
While a candidate may have a legitimate weakness and decides to discuss it, they will need to explain that they have improved the weakness. They will want to say that they expect too much out of themselves at times but they have worked on making realistic expectations. As a result, they don’t expect too much out of themselves nearly as much as they did in the past. Whenever they talk about a lack of familiarity with software or the tendency to struggle with a task, they can say that they have improved their knowledge of the software and a better aptitude for this task.
Indicate Self Awareness
Any candidate who has legitimate weaknesses for a particular job, they are better off acknowledging that they have a weakness. However, they have made significant efforts to improve and make sure that it is no longer a weakness. When going to a job interview, it is okay to acknowledge the weakness but attempt to convince the employer that this weakness is not nearly as significant as it was in the past. It is also important to convince the employer that this weakness will not prevent you from performing the job today.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself or be Arrogant
Whenever a person is interviewing for a job, they will need to remain humble but not underestimate themselves. Jobseekers who interview for a job and are asked the question should think positively and admit weaknesses in a constructive manner. At the same time, a candidate should never boast about their qualifications or blame others for their weaknesses. By remaining humble and confident, jobseekers will have a better chance of getting a job despite having some weaknesses.