“Your Greatest Weakness”: Answering One of the Toughest Interview Questions

The interview process can be terrifying and can easily lead to overthinking. You never know which questions you’ll be asked or how the interviewer expects you to respond. That said, there is one question I have been asked in every single interview I have ever been a part of, and it’s also one of the most difficult to answer: What would you say your greatest weakness is? You don’t want to come across as having a lack of confidence by describing things you aren’t good at, nor do you want to appear overconfident by not having an answer at all. So, how do you answer this?

Choose something that can be turned into a positive – but not in an insincere way.

Things like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard” are overused at this point and seem very forced and scripted. Think about something related to the position that you’re eager to learn more about, and mention that you’d like to gain more experience. This shows the interviewer that you’re not only self-aware but willing to learn.

Find a weakness that is not directly related.

For example, if you are interviewing for a social media management position, you wouldn’t want to say that you have never used a social media platform or that you aren’t familiar with certain content creation sites. You might want to say something pertaining to understanding the mathematical side of the analytics on social media instead. Then, you can add that you are taking courses or other measures that will help you to better understand these things. It’s important that the interviewer see the lengths you are willing to go to improve your skills, and there’s no better way to do that than being one step ahead.

Choose something that does not interfere with your ability to succeed at the position.

These weaknesses include organization skills, public speaking, patience, etc. Sure, it can be annoying, but having a messy desk is not going to make you the world’s worst architect. Not being able to deliver a perfect speech in front of a massive audience is not going to be detrimental to your chances of being a veterinarian technician. These are all things that can easily be improved upon. It also shows that you can be honest with the interviewer which is super important!

This can be one of the most intimidating interview questions you are ever asked. It’s vital to be honest with both yourself and the interviewer, without being so hard on yourself that you come across as not having the necessary skills to succeed in the position. Many students have been taught to use things like perfectionism or working too hard, but those responses have quickly become overused. Try not to overthink your response too much – find a skill you’d like to improve upon and run with it. Your interviewer will appreciate the honesty and self-awareness you display! Good luck!

Written by: Brynn Miller

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