Preparing for an interview is a task filled with anxiety for most-if not all-people. One of the most difficult questions that an employer may ask is the infamous “weakness” question. It is too often hard to keep a straight face while a future employee asks you “What would you consider your biggest weakness?” We are too often tempted to respond with “Well, If I told you that, you wouldn’t offer me the position!” Even more often, it is difficult for us to admit our to our biggest drawbacks. Here are some things to keep in mind.
The best way to answer this question is to play on your weakness as a strength.You might answer the question by admitting a [minor] fault, such as having messy handwriting, but talking about what you have done to improve your situation and learn new skills. Keep these answers short! The more you ramble, the more likely you are to dig your own grave.
Avoid listing major weaknesses. Even though the employer is asking about your drawbacks, they are ultimately determining the risk of hiring you, and comparing you with other great candidates. It would not be wise to walk into an interview for an accounting position claiming that one of your greatest weaknesses is mathematics. Keep it to a flaw that is irrelevant to the position you are applying for.
Never claim to be a perfectionist! HR managers hear this line all the time. This is almost the equivalent to talking yourself up on a dating site. If the reality doesn’t match the picture, it will ultimately lead to great failure in your professional career. The key is to be completely honest with the interviewer while playing your strengths ever so slightly. Confidence and integrity will paint a realistic picture for a great future employee.