When you apply for a job, it goes without saying that the employer will look for clues of both your strengths and weaknesses.
How you answer the job interview questions will largely determine whether you will be invited for another interview round and whether you eventually hired for that job.
You may find that one of the interviewer’s goals is somewhat negative – S/he looks for reasons not to hire you. One of the common direct questions is “What are your weaknesses?” Or “what is your greatest/major weakness? ”
Why do employers ask about weaknesses?
Remember, employers are interested in hiring you and your key strengths – those things you do well and are important for the job in consideration.
You will express many of these qualities when answering questions posed by the interviewer.
However, in order to know more abut you, they will be looking for indicators of your weaknesses in the way you answer questions. Some interviewers even ask frankly: “can you please list your three greatest weaknesses”.
How to answer question about weakness?
Always keep answering questions in a positive manner. Avoid directing the interviewer into negative thinking. In any question, including this one, you want to communicate optimistic approach and enthusiasm – two important qualities to demonstrate in interviews.
Never list a key element of the job as your weakness!
An interview is not the time to confess your weaknesses.
Under no circumstance should you volunteer your weaknesses or negatives. The fact that you want to be honest in everything you say in an interview doesn’t mean you should be naive by confessing key weakness to the interviewer. There are good ways to handle questions like this – see below.
Best answers to – what is your greatest weakness
As discussed above, be prepared to give positive responses and express that you are aware about your weakness and you’re working on it:
- Weakness which is not related to the job: I find accounting (or mathematics) as my major/biggest weakness. Even at home my wife is in charge of our books. Though it bores me, recently, I managed to learn some functions for having an idea of key accounting basics.
- Weakness the interviewer already knows: I lack general work experience because I spent many years in advancing my education. However, my education has prepared me for the job – I learned some skills that couldn’t be gained as extensively in any regular job, such as: research experience that helped me analyzing and developing A, B, C.
- Weakness that can be considered as a positive attitude: I don’t know to balance work and personal life. I love my work, but my family is neglected sometimes because of this. I often put in 12-hour working day. I am now learning to better manage my time as well as my personal life.