Thursday, March 29, 2012

A "Weak" Job Interview Question

If you polled job seekers regarding their least favorite interview questions, they would probably all mention "What's your biggest weakness?"

There are a lot of things about this question that make applicants uncomfortable. For one, it seems like a trick question; should you answer sincerely or do the old turn-a-negative-into-a-positive routine? A lot of job seekers are hesitant to mention what they aren't good at for fear that one wrong answer could disqualify them.

The weakness question is still pretty popular among employers, so applicants must be prepared to answer it despite their hesitations. Here are three suggestions on how to successfully ace this difficult question:

  • Be Truthful But Positive: Don't mistake this for trying to make you biggest weakness your biggest strength (i.e., "I'm too much of a perfectionist"). Be truthful about what you're not good at and outline the steps you are taking to improve.
  • Ask Your References: If you're having a hard time thinking of an answer, check in with the people you are using as job references. They will have a more honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. This will also guarantee that employers will get the same answer when they ask the same question to them.
  • Look to the Job Description: Make sure you truly understand the job for which you are applying. If you see that it requires skills that you aren't good at, don't apply. This is the best way to be confident you won't be revealing a weakness for a skill that is necessary for the job.


  1. You need to take a negative word like weakness and turn it around. If not the conversation can quickly freefall to negative. When talking about weakness refer to it as "development need".
    It's topic #3 of my suggestions for "3 questions you should ask at a job interview:

  2. Job Interview

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!