Learn how to answer the greatest weakness job interview question!
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It’s a winner…not.
Sure. It wins the dumbest question ever. This question is probably the absolute worst job interview question an employer can ask.
The problem is, for some unknown reason, employers keep asking it. I don’t know why. It does nothing to help them predict whether you’ll be a good employee.
I have more than a decade’s worth of statistical and predictive models that confirm your cultural fit, achievements, capabilities, skillsets, and strengths are what matters. (See my gold-award-winning book The Hiring Prophecies: Psychology behind Recruiting Successful Employees.)
Do Not as in never…
I can’t control what the employers ask you. You can’t control them either. But, I can help you prepare the best answers to this ludicrous question and you can control your response.
Do not—I repeat—DO NOT under any circumstance actually provide them a with a weakness. Never cite something you’re actually bad at. As in N-E-V-E-R.
If they’re going to ask you this silly question, you don’t need to justify it with an actual weakness.
Do not, and this might be contrary to what you’ve heard from other so-called experts, trainers, columnists or whoever, never provide them with a “strength!”
It’s insulting enough they’ve asked you this question. Don’t compound the problem by insulting them back with, oh I don’t know, something like you’re too detail-oriented, too conscientious, work too much, work too hard, or do everything yourself because you don’t know how to delegate.
How idiotic do you think these people are? Oh. Wait. They asked this question in the first place. Well, be above that.
Do not use negative words such as “I’m bad at this” or “I’m not good at that” and so on.
Do this instead…
The best way to handle this question, so that you’re actually answering it and they view you as giving it the college try, is to cite something you’ve yet to have the opportunity to do.
Say something such as, “One of my areas for improvement is [insert whatever here]. I’ve yet to have the opportunity to perform this function, work in this industry, study these things., etc.”
They likely won’t penalize you for not having this experience, especially if it’s not germane to the job function.
Then make sure to…
At the end of your statement, make sure to add what you’ve done and are doing to gain experience in that area.
“…Even though I don’t have practical experience in that area, I’ve read [these] books, watched [these] videos, taken [these] training classes, and so on.”
Andrew LaCivita is an internationally recognized executive recruiter, award-winning author, trainer, and founder and chief executive officer of milewalk and the milewalk Academy. He’s dedicated his career to helping people and companies realize their potential, consulting to more than two hundred organizations and counseling more than eleven thousand individuals. He often serves as a trusted media resource and is the award-winning author of Interview Intervention, Out of Reach but in Sight, and The Hiring Prophecies.
ABOUT TIPS FOR WORK AND LIFE®
Tips for Work and Life® is a weekly careers, hiring, and motivational show full of helpful job search strategies, career management and acceleration tactics, recruitment techniques, and self-help aids with the award-winning author, career coach, and trainer Andrew LaCivita. Tips for Work and Life® has been cited by several sources as a Top 5 Careers and HR Blog. Andrew includes these 7-20 minute multicast shows as part of his blog and podcast.
OTHER SOURCES IN THE WORLD
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