An interview can feel like it’s going wonderfully until you get asked, “What’s your biggest weakness?” No matter how prepared you may be, this question will always feel like one you just can’t get right! Now, there are all sorts of creative ways to answer this question like, “I’m a perfectionist” or “I care too much about my work” which only sound like weaknesses but actually are not. But let’s backtrack… why do employers ask this question?
Employers are not asking you this question for the apparent reason. Managers ask you this specific question to see how well you respond to uneasy and uncomfortable questions. They are also looking to see if you’re self-aware, honest and self-improvement. Your response, which is not limited to your verbal answer but also your body language, tells your potential employer if you really are the perfect candidate for the job. This question is a charged question to make you think twice.
The best policy when answering this question is to be honest (but not too honest!). Even though it’s not a very good idea to disguise your weaknesses as strengths, you can mention your strengths as you go along. For example, you can say, “Being organized wasn’t my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that helped my organization skills” or “I used to like to work on one project to its completion before starting on another, but I’ve learned to work on many projects at the same time, and I think it allows me to be more creative and effective in each one.”
Answering this question involves a deeper thought process about what your weaknesses are and how you have previously dealt with them. Keeping these points in mind will help you turn this question into highlighting your strength in character and attitude towards tackling problems and personal development. Approaching this question tactfully will help you stand out and create a positive impression in a potential employer’s eye.