Being asked to comment on your biggest weakness is an interview tactic that is as old as time. Interviewers are really just asking you to promptly switch gears –from showcasing your abilities to offering up one of your failings for discussion. How you choose to respond to this question may be more memorable than how well you present your competencies. Conventional wisdom has taught us that the candidate should spin one of their weaknesses into their strength. That type of response,has, however,worn out its welcome with interviewers. Indirectly alluding to your strength doesn’t do anything to build your character. It simply proves to the interviewer that you can successfully evade a question. Remember,you have the bulk of the interview to demonstrate your potential for the role so don’t be afraid to give interviewers what they’ve asked for.
“My spelling is horrible. I have to spell check any document I send out.”
Let’s pretend that this answer was used by someone interviewing for the position of Sales Manager. The point is that the individual has done little to diminish his or her suitability for the role. In fact,they have done little to speak to the role at all. Regardless of the question,you should never stray from the overarching purpose of the interview,which is to utilize every opportunity to refer back to the position up for grabs. Interviewers will become disinterested if your responses move away from the main topic.
“I don’t believe I have any weaknesses that would preclude me from fulfilling the duties of the role.”
Ruling out any possibility of your personal and professional limitations will undoubtedly arouse suspicion in the interviewer. After all,everyone makes mistakes. Sticking steadfast to your claim of infallibility diminishes your credibility. There is always room for improvement and you are not a perfect worker. Deeming yourself exempt from what is inherently human may give off an air of arrogance and land you with a big,immovable chip on your shoulder.
“I tend to be a perfectionist who has had trouble delegating tasks to others,but I’ve come to see that teamwork and capitalizing on everyone’s strengths is (much more effective in getting) the job done than trying to do it all by myself.”
Rather than conveniently framing your answer to point to a strength,answer with an example illustrating your professional growth. It should be honest,revealing of your character and a great predictor of future behaviour. Although the question does not ask for how you’ve improved upon the weakness,it is wise to discuss ways in which you’ve progressed. Showing marked improvements bolsters the employer’s confidence and also lets the employer know that you have enough self-awareness to identify professional sore spots. When it comes to our career aspirations,we are all a work in progress. Employers simply want to see that you are proactive about achieving your professional best self.