What’s Your Greatest Weakness? 5 Ways to Answer This Interview Question
What is your greatest weakness? This is one of the most common and most daunting interview questions. What do you say when an interviewer asks something along these lines? If you are not sure how to provide a good answer to this interview question, just keep reading! In this post, we’ll review 5 different ways you can respond when asked about your greatest weakness.
In this post:
- What’s your greatest weakness?
- 5 Tips for Discussing Your Weaknesses Positively
- 5 Examples Answers to This Interview Question
“What is Your Greatest Weakness?”
Have you ever been asked to name your greatest weaknesses in an interview? When asked this question, what do you typically say? Do you spend time talking about your time management skills or your challenges with delegating tasks? Do you talk about how you are actively working towards addressing your weaknesses positively and using them as motivation to produce higher quality work? What are you supposed to say?
This interview question can folks at a loss of words – even the most ideal candidate may struggle to come up with a list of weaknesses that they feel comfortable sharing at a job interview. The good news is that Authentic Jobs is here to help! So, keep scrolling. Below you’ll find five example answers to this pressing question. But first, here’s a bit of advice.
5 Tips for Discussing Your Greatest Weakness Positively
When an interviewer asks you to name your weaknesses, they want to get to know the following about their candidates:
- The interviewer wants to gauge the candidate’s level of self-awareness and if they take accountability.
- The interviewer wants to see how honest the candidate will be when presented with this difficult question.
- The interviewer wants to know if the candidate is trying to improve their skills and how they go about doing so.
So, Here’s a Bit of Advice to Keep in Mind…
- Avoid demeaning or underestimating oneself, even when discussing your shortcomings or areas where improvement is needed.
- Don’t be afraid to reveal real weaknesses – your prospective employer is looking for a great candidate who is honest.
- Provide an example of a genuine weakness but make sure your anecdotal example is appropriate for the work environment.
- Demonstrate a high level of self-awareness when discussing your downfalls – take accountability at all times.
- Be transparent when discussing your work performance and how you plan to transform your weaknesses into strengths.
5 Ways to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?”
I lack strong organizational skills.
Do you struggle with organization? It is a skill some candidates possess, however, it may be a weakness for others. If this is the case for you, demonstrate self-awareness, and mention your desire to improve your organizational skills in your next interview.
Example Answer: “As far as professional weaknesses are concerned, I have to admit that I struggle to stay organized sometimes. I am known for having a cluttered desk full of notes containing ideas for future projects. While I am a bit messy at times and my organization skills certainly need improvement, this weakness has never impeded my ability to get work done!”
I struggle to delegate tasks and often take on too much responsibility.
Do you hoard the responsibility when working on a team? Do you have great leadership skills but struggle to delegate responsibilities to your colleagues when necessary? It’s a common weakness! So, don’t be afraid to bring it up when asked to talk about areas that you need to improve.
Example Answer: “When it comes to delegation, I have a difficult time sharing responsibility with the entire team. However, in my most recent position as a manager, it became increasingly clear that I need to work on this so that I can show up as my best self and meet deadlines without experiencing burnout in the process. As I search for a new job, I am striving to hone my delegation skills even more and become an even better team player that uses their leadership skills to share responsibility efficiently.”
I need to hone my public speaking skills.
Can you name your greatest weakness? Sometimes a personal weakness can be the best answer to this interview question. If you go this route, be sure to mention a skill that isn’t directly applicable to the job you’re applying for. This is an interview, after all, and you want to always leave on a positive note. So, discuss your weaknesses positively and be sure to mention how you’d like to improve them.
Example Answer: “I’ve always struggled with public speaking, especially when participating in large group settings. While I’ve been fortunate to avoid public speaking throughout my career, I believe it is one of my greatest weaknesses. It is a very important skill and one that I’d like to hone. I am currently engaging in volunteer work to aid in my ability to communicate with others. I am hoping that efforts lead to more confidence when it comes to public speaking and that one day, I will be able to do so with ease.”
When it comes to completing work tasks, I am very self-critical.
When divulging your biggest weakness, it’s important to be transparent and connect with the interviewer. So, share your struggles and discuss ways that you want to get better. Remember, strengths and weaknesses are simply skills – you can always improve them!
Example Answer: “I have a harsh inner-critic. I struggle to be satisfied with the work I produce, even when praised by my supervisor and other higher-ups. I am working to combat my negative thoughts and perfectionist tendencies. I never produce low-quality work or miss deadlines, so I’m not sure where this criticism comes from. However, I am learning that my inner critic is not always right and that I need to continue to show up as my best self no matter what.”
I can be a bit indecisive when presented with too many options.
Being is something that many people struggle with. If you mention this in your job interview, your interviewer may need you to elaborate a bit. But, don’t be afraid to do so! Be honest and mention a scenario where making a decision was a challenge. Have more examples? Share more than one! Give your best answer but keep it brief.
Example Answer: “I am always trying to improve my skills. However, I struggle with making decisions on the job. For instance, if I have to perform a certain task that doesn’t have clear instructions, it may take me a bit of time to come up with a plan of action. This lack of confidence in my decision-making skills comes from my previous work experience. I am used to working environments where everything is dictated to you. Every day, I work towards overcoming my indecisiveness and trusting my gut. And while having the agency to make decisions is new for me, it is a challenge that I look forward to conquering!”
Most candidates will be reluctant to share real weaknesses with their prospective employer. However, we encourage you to do so! Your employer wants to see how self-aware you are. When you give an honest and succinct answer, you have the opportunity to share so much more about yourself and your work style.