Congratulations on being selected for an interview! Now comes the tough part…. Answering those interview questions. Interview questions trip everyone up because you don’t want to say the wrong thing and not get the job. When it comes to answering interview questions you want to be honest but you also want to present yourself in the best light possible. Coming up with good answers to some of the most common interview questions, like what your biggest weakeness is, is a very good idea. That way you won’t be nervous and can feel confident in your answers.
What is Your Biggest Weakness
Many employers love to ask candidates in an interview what their biggest weakness is. This is tough and honestly can be a bit of a trap. You don’t want to say anything that will be a big red flag to the interviewer and not want to hire you. Some employers have switched and now ask “What is one thing about yourself that you would like to improve.” This question is better because it is not specifically asking what is something bad about yourself but instead what is something you want to make better. Still, plenty of employers ask the former question so you should be prepared to answer it. Here is what you need to know.
Not just One way to answer
When you are asked what your biggest weakness is, you should be honest but not say something that is going to make you look too bad. Be very aware of the requirements for the job so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot and say your biggest weakness is Microsoft Excel when that is a big requirement for the position. When you respond, say that “One of my biggest weaknesses is…”. That way your answer doesn’t have to be dishonest when you give a weakness that is likely not your BIGGEST weakness.
Here are some possible answers to give you an idea of how you can answer. Make sure you are being truthful because you never want to start a new position with a lie.
- Microsoft Excel
- Needing to organize everything
- Not being able to leave things unfinished
- Being a bit of a perfectionist
- Taking on too much at one time
- Not being able to delegate
Ask for help
As you are preparing your interview answers, ask for help. Ask some people close to you what they would say about you. What would they say is your biggest strength or weakness. Make sure it is in the context of work and not your personal life. Sometimes you will be surprised at what others will say but it will help you to be more self-aware. It is always good for us to be aware of the areas we need to improve and work on those.
Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you so that you can practice your answers. Make sure they come out sounding natural and not like you have rehearsed your answers. Answering with a canned response will not do you any favors.
Be ready to answer this tough question because chances are very good that you will get asked it at some point while you are looking for a job. Good luck!
You got this! Stay calm, be yourself, and remember that you are interviewing them just as they are interviewing you. During the interview, you should also be deciding whether this is somewhere you want to work.
If you are wanting some more help, check out my 1 on 1 coaching sessions or my E-book that will walk you through this job hunt process.