How to Answer the Weakness Question

While thankfully, the “What’s your greatest weakness?” question is being posed less frequently these days, it’s still a go-to for interviewers who are unfamiliar with more telling behavior and experience based inquires. If you find yourself on the receiving end of this old favorite, avoid the trite by offering both substance and a solution.

Let’s face it; if you answer the question with, “Sometimes I work too hard.” even a senior level recruiter may be unable to resist the eye roll. Instead of offering a self-serving, clichéd, humble brag, opt for thoughtful honesty.

For example, if you’re applying for an accounting position and you cite “math” as your primary weakness, you probably won’t get the job. Instead, cite an actual weakness (ideally one that is used infrequently in the role e.g. public speaking) and then follow up with what exactly you are doing to improve that competency. This demonstrates that you are honest, self-aware, and willing to develop – great traits for any employee.

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