You might find yourself in a interview situation where you are presented with the question of what is your greatest weakness. When asked this question, the typical answer received in interviews is "I'm a perfectionist." Many people believe picking something that is actually a strength and wording it as a weakness is a good way to answer this question but it is not! All this is saying to the interviewer is that you are arrogant and don't feel you have any weaknesses. This question is meant to gauge whether or not you are humble and it is an excellent opportunity to explain how you identify your weaknesses and work on them. Here are a few tips on answering this question:
1. Pick a weakness that is not a critical element in your job duties. For example, it would be bad to be interviewing for an accounting position and reply that your greatest weakness is not being detail oriented.
2. Pick a weakness that you are currently working to improve. Perhaps you are terrified of public speaking but you recently joined the toastmasters organization to work on it. That looks great to the interviewer!
3. Look at the positive side of things. Use your weakness as a confidence builder and don't be too hard on yourself. We all have weaknesses but as long as you are working on them it is nothing to be ashamed of.
4. Be humble, be humble, be humble.
Having you been asked this question during an interview? Please add any useful tips you think would be helpful in answering this question.
Thanks for sharing and it's useful.
Awesome post. This will definitely come in handy in the near future, hopefully.
I feel as if my greatest weakness if the fact that I get overwhelmed when I am faced with a difficult task. I often feel as if I won't' have enough time to finish my project and do a good job on it as well. But the more this happens, the more I realize I need to take everything step by step. So now I set goals on how I will go about finishing the task, but most importantly reassure myself that I am going to finish my task and do a great job.
I believe that one of my weaknesses is that I have very high expectations of other people, and am often let down because they do not stand up to my expectations. So I perfer to do things that I feel are important myself so that it gets done.
I feel that my greates weakness is when I have trouble delegating duties to others because I felt I could do things better myself. This has sometimes backfired because I'd end up with more than I could handle and the quality of my work would suffer. But I've taken courses in time management and learned effective delegation techniques, and I feel I've overcome this weakness
I am also very interested in this subject, but the reference is very limited. You can share documents as well as experience? Thanks!
I can relate to this post. I used to have expectations of other people, but I've come to realize that we are all human beings and to be human is to err. Takes a huge load off the other person. And if things are not done, it's okay.
Let me add some tips I found. To have best answer you should:
-Prepare and Keep It Short
-Turn It In Your Favor
Some sample answers:
-When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
-Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.
-I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
-I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.
This question has been asked many times to me in interviews. I have learned that any answer is better than a blank facial expression, as if I don't know myself. This post is very helpful and it is something that I have always had difficulty with. Thank you.
As a representative of the US Naval Academy Dept of Admissions, I have the privilege of interviewing some of our nation's best and brightest high school grads. I frequently ask this question during my interviews. I'm most impressed by honesty. It's very noticeable when someone is giving me a canned answer and it discounts their responses to other questions I ask during the interview. Granted, I'm not making decisions for hiring in an accounting practice, but I do get to comment on character and the future leadership potential of these aspiring students....and also play a role in handing out a $350,000 scholarship.
It's important to always be thinking about this question in your life. It's also important to be doing something about it. We've all been given strengths and we all have weaknesses. Recognize your weaknesses and find a way to minimize them and don't be afraid to get help when forced to work through them.
If I get asked that question, I am turned off by the interview - it's a silly question which gets silly made up answers in response. How about we talk to each other like two adults, and really get to know each other?
Unfortunately, time is short in an interview, and it's not possible to really get to know each other in 90 minutes....and the interviewer won't care if you are turned off by their question. They are the ones assessing you.
When I ask this question, it almost doesn't matter what the answer is, I'm assessing honesty. I have several questions that I use to try to get at the quality of "honesty". I pay attention to physiological responses, eye contact, voice intonation, etc. I might ask a follow on/related question, later in the interview, to see if I get a logically related answer.
This has always been a "challenging question", but my most favorite response has always been . . . "I am a workaholic!"
Prospective employers usually like this response because they know you'll be a valued asset to their management Team!
The "flip side" of this question is . . . "what are your strengths" . . . . to which my favorite reponse has always been . . . "my communication skills!" To expand on this response . . . "my former employers and fellow colleagues have said I have impeccable oral and written communication skills!"
Dale R. Machalleck
I can definitely relate here. I can be somewhat of a control freak when it comes to group work. It really comes down to the fact that I don't trust someone else's work over my own. In a work situation, however, I feel like I can share the load a bit more if our work is being supervised. I've had to do this throughout my summer internships, so I've been working on this too!
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