Tips to having a perfect answer to “what is your greatest weakness”
What is your greatest weakness is a question that throws a large number of candidates off-balance if not well prepared for. You may think you have no weakness while in fact, you do; at least one. The worst thing you could do is answer the question by saying “I do not have any weaknesses.”
The best way to answer this is to state your weakness and then explain how you manage to minimize the effects of your weakness or any plans you have of improving your weakness.
Another approach to answering this question is to analyze the key skills and strengths required for the position you are interviewing for and then come up with an honest shortcoming which is not essential for success in that job.
Sample answer to “what is your greatest weakness”
“My greatest weakness is that I am a perfectionist who expects results as fast as possible. This has always been a problem, especially when I have set targets to achieve. Being aware of this has given me a chance to set realistic and attainable targets and have a set time frame for them.”
Recent graduates or entry level candidates without any experience can use the following example as a weakness and show how their lack of experience is an advantage.
“Having not worked for more than 4 months, this could be a disqualification. On the bright side this is a plus because I have an open mind that is eager to learn new things. Being young and energetic makes me a trainable candidate. Without experience, I only have a critical mind to bring to the table and make this position a success.”
However, weaknesses should be carefully chosen. An employer wants to hear a weakness that does not damage your potential, is realistic and makes you more interesting to work with.
Be careful not to choose a weakness related to any of the required skills or qualities for the job at hand. This raises credibility concerns for you as a candidate. For example, if you are an accountant do not say how much you hate math or how numbers scare you when they are too many. As a sales person, do not say that you hate people and have little patience. In both careers those are the must have skills and without them no employer would be interested in hiring you.
Demonstrating that you are working on your weakness proofs to the employer that you are a great candidate looking for ways to learn and grow and that you always take initiative to improve.
Your answer to what is your greatest weakness should simply demonstrate your motivation to be the best at what you do.
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