How to Combat the Interview Question: What is your Greatest Weakness?

Landing the perfect dream job is a goal many have today. In order to achieve that career goal, there is one question that can make you stand out among your competitors or place you in the no pile. This question is, “What is your greatest weakness?” I’m sure everyone has faced this same question whether they were interviewing for a paying job or an internship. The sad part is that this question will never cease to exist in an interview. Your answer to this question helps reveal to the interviewer your key qualities such as managing shortcomings, mistakes, self-awareness, and humility. It gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself from the group and show why you are the best person for the job.

In college, many students learn to answer interview questions the same way and in the same context. I hate to break it to you college students, but interviewers are tired of the same old answer “I’m a perfectionist” or “I’m a workaholic.” We need to be more original and answer honestly because most likely the ten other applicants that came before you gave a similar response. Also, refrain from replying, “I don’t have any weaknesses” or “I don’t know what my weaknesses are.” This is definitely not going to land you that dream job position.

Everyone has weaknesses, and no one is perfect. What interviewers are interested in knowing is what steps you took or are taking to overcome those weaknesses. It shows that you’re aware of your flaws and are determined to fix them. You can conquer this question by packaging your strengths within weaknesses. For example, if your weakness is that you have a tendency to rush through projects and end up having mistakes, you can then follow up with, “This is why I always double check my work to make sure there aren’t any errors.” Make your weakness into a positive, and showcase how it made you into a better worker. This reveals that you took the initiative to fix the problem and that completing assignments accurately is important to you.

Have you ever been asked “what is your greatest weakness”? How did you answer? Let us know!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Irizarry.

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