Tell Me About Your Biggest Weakness (You Loser)

Recently I was helping someone prepare for an important interview by asking her all kinds of questions. One that caught her flatfooted was, “Tell me about one of your weaknesses.” Arghhh. Who’s prepared to answer that stupid question? You could try:

– “I’m a know-it-all perfectionist and I need to be in charge.”

– “People drive me crazy and I’m not a team player.”

– So why not say… “I don’ t have any weaknesses.”

Hmmm, that just screams — I have NO self awareness. Not a good answer.  Are you a grown up who understands his/her shortcomings and what to do about them? Or are you a shallow so and so who will just make everyone nuts?

We all have strengths (by the way, can you answer that important question?) and we all have little places that could use improving. The goal is to reply with something that you are really working on but not admit that you are a loser.

For example, I like to say something like…”I’m always working on my listening skills. I try to make sure that I am hearing the other person well enough to repeat back what they just said to me.”  I say this because I really believe that listening is one of the most important skills in any person’s toolkit.

I also like the, “I’m very dedicated to the job and am working on seeking balance….” Yeah, don’t hire me because I work too hard.

Check out the article, “How to Answer the, ‘What’s Your Biggest Weakness’ Question”.  Be honest but not too honest. The interviewer is listening and watching to see how you handle yourself in a difficult situation. Be prepared and then relax.


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3 Comments

  • By Clark Finnical, December 15, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Two suggestions I’ve heard –

    1. “I pay close attention to details which does result in a higher quality of
    work and saves additional time down the road, though it does take more
    time up front and sometimes overtime.”

    2. “I am a person who likes to meet deadlines and deliver what I promise and
    sometimes I can get a little frustrated with my fellow co-workers if I’m
    waiting on them in the last hour before something is due.”

  • By Deborah, December 15, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    I like both of these ideas. Not much anyone can say back to them. Excellent advice. thanks!

  • By Judy Field, January 18, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    My strategy to deal with this question is to take one of your strengths and cleverly frame it as a “weakness.” My answer to this frequent interview questions is:

    “My ‘weakness’ to some people may be that I set high standards for myself. I am attentive to details and I always want to deliver a quality solution to my client or customer. The quality solution sometimes rquires more time, but in the long run, it will save time and headaches in the future, which makes for a happier client. If you are looking for someone who can come up with the “quick and dirty” solution, I am not the person you want to hire. However, if you want someone who places a valaue on quality and sees the bigger and longer picture, I am confident I am the person for the job.

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