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View Full Version : Just what is the right answer for "What is your greatest weakness" in interviews?



CeliVega
02-22-2014, 07:38 AM
Interviewers have high regards on those who excels during interviews, and I think this is one of the most common questions during interview. What should you say to impress the interviewers? Stereotypical answer like "I seek perfectness in everything" didn't work anymore as experienced interviewers can see that you are lying through you teeth.

For me, I think a good answer should be something like this,"My greatest weakness is my honesty. My honesty often get me into trouble because I don't blame the others and make excuses when I mess things up".

What about you guys? Feel free to share your experiences!

delusional
02-24-2014, 12:55 PM
Mine are "Whenever I feel like someone is struggling with something, I tend to take over the job because I know how to solve the problem.". And also "I need to have something to do all the time because I get bored fast."

We had a training about this in business school and this was a question that always came up on the training interviews.

owesem75
02-24-2014, 03:53 PM
You cannot invent a generic answer to this question.. just be honest. Every one has a weakness at some point, don't impress. The more marketing-like answer you give in an interview the more it become obvious that you are just making it up. The more relax, comfortable and true you are during the interview, the more it is convincing to the interviewer what kind of personality you will bring with you in the work place.

What's my weakness? I always feel hungry at work and I think it is not bad to say it. LOL

Ryand88
02-24-2014, 04:26 PM
Being honest is a good idea but I think another good one might be "I am a bit of a perfectionist, everything needs to be perfect" because it shows that you care about your work and take the time and effort to do things properly but it also depends on the interviewer and they might not want a perfectionist on their team so being honest is your best plan, think of your true weakness and tell them in a way that doesn't make it seem too bad.

mameeker@cuse
02-24-2014, 04:29 PM
Always be honest and try to turn your weakness into something you can improve. then lay out your plan on how your going to improve your weakness.

M.K
02-24-2014, 04:30 PM
Whatever you do, stay away from the "perfectionist" or "work too hard" answer. Interviewers will see right through it, and it gives an impression that you've rehearsed for the interview. Just be honest, without deterring them from hiring you. I've said things like "I sometimes have trouble finding ways to stay motivated." which is a somewhat unexpected answer.

angelicagapit
02-24-2014, 08:54 PM
Be honest. State your true weaknesses, but try to not make yourself sound like you don't deserve the job. Sometimes there are employers who are willing to help you improve your weaknesses. Try not to act so obvious by saying "I am a perfectionist." Interviewers always expect people to say those kind of things.

Try to be as honest as you can, but don't speak as if you aren't experienced, knowledgeable, or lazy to do the job you're applying for.

I hope I helped! Good luck!

samm1973
02-24-2014, 09:55 PM
My honest answer usually involves some version of me saying "I am so driven to solve the problem that sometimes I seem detached from the team". I explain that I'm not, I'm just a puzzle solver, and that grabs my focus if something is amiss.

I don't know how many of you have heard of the DFT personality courses offered by some businesses, but D = doer, T = Thinker and F = Feeler. I'm definitely a D first a T second and my F hardly exists when it comes to work issues.

pr0xx1d
02-24-2014, 09:59 PM
Mine are "Whenever I feel like someone is struggling with something, I tend to take over the job because I know how to solve the problem.". And also "I need to have something to do all the time because I get bored fast."

We had a training about this in business school and this was a question that always came up on the training interviews.

Honestly this is the proper answer and one of the best that I have ever heard. Always try to make it something positive or that could at least be interpreted as being positive and beneficial to your employer. Make it sound like they absolutely MUST have you.

Taru
02-24-2014, 10:56 PM
It's about the only type of answer you can give to such a question, really. I think it's more about seeing how you could spin such a negative question or answer more than anything, really. I know it would be what I would look for if I were to be the one asking that question. I think answering this question "correctly" just shows how someone would react when backed into a corner, and it's more about what you are able to do with the situation rather than the quality of the answer itself. Of course, like I said, that's just my opinion on it.

angelicagapit
02-24-2014, 11:54 PM
Be honest. State your true weaknesses, but try to not make yourself sound like you don't deserve the job. Sometimes there are employers who are willing to help you improve your weaknesses. Try not to act so obvious by saying "I am a perfectionist." Interviewers always expect people to say those kind of things.

Try to be as honest as you can, but don't speak as if you aren't experienced, knowledgeable, or lazy to do the job you're applying for.

I hope I helped! Good luck!

jubvman
02-25-2014, 07:07 AM
I've never actually been employed. But have you ever thought about just telling the truth? Sure, some employers might not hire you because of this but others may provide you with a more suited work environment. As an above poster said, they always get hungry at work. A good employer would give you a mini fridge :D

Gmac9100
02-25-2014, 07:37 AM
I hate questions like those, because your response is going to sound pretentious regardless of what you say. I usually say "I don't have a weakness because i feel as though i can adjust to any situation". I don't know how my interviewers felt about that answer, but i have never had any trouble being hired. So i guess it's alright.

robotx
02-25-2014, 07:42 AM
Man, do I hate this question. It is very hard not to give a cliched response that the interviewer hasn't heard a million times, but if you can think of something unique it could put you over the top as a potential job candidate. What people usually do is flip the question around and make it so that their stated weakness is actually a strength.

Mafdet
03-03-2014, 02:03 PM
There is no correct answer to this question. You can try to be as honest as possible when revealing your weaknesses. If you feel there is something that you'd like to change about yourself, you can present your "weakness" together with your commitment to have that trait of your character changed or improved. I believe it's important to be yourself during an interview. Don't try to present yourself as someone that you're not just to impress your interviewer. If you happen to get the job and you prove to be something different than what you gave the impression during the interview, it's not gonna be worth your trouble.

AlecD
03-04-2014, 12:24 AM
My response is usually something like:

INTERVIEWER: So what would you say is your greatest weakness?

MYSELF: I'd have to say that I'm almost too helpful at times; Dependant upon situational priorities, I will often go out of my way, suffering in my own productivity, to help a coworker complete a task they have a difficulty in completing in accordance with time goals. The problem therein lies in my ability to prioritize, and whether or not that will match up with your company's prioritization.

A little complex, I know, but I really do LOVE to be thorough in interviews. ;3

sdsnook
03-04-2014, 12:32 AM
Actually, I remember someone looking at me with surprise when I said "My biggest weakness is being too much of a perfectionist." I went on to explain that I am very detailed oriented and hate to pass on or give something that might be given back to me because of a simple error, whether it is an administrative error or a major decision that I am making. I want to make sure it is to the best of my ability before handing off. I softened the blow with "However, I am usually very confident with my own skill set and do not have to take too much time to check myself and/or my work!" Score! Never, ever admit actual flaws like not being detailed oriented or having time management issues.... everyone has a quirk. Even if you know yours, you might actually save yourself from not having it by not admitting it in a new position!

Mafdet
03-04-2014, 11:52 AM
I've heard during many interviews the answer: "i'm a perfectionist" when it came to weaknesses. It's the most used answer but if you properly explain it and not just stick to the simple word, then you can convince your interviewer that you haven't just learned the answer by heart. I myself am a perfectionist person and this trait may become a weakness when you can't find the right moment to stop and admit defeat. We cant always win and sometimes admitting defeat will save you expenses.

cpefley
03-04-2014, 12:37 PM
I hate that question. No one gives a real answer. I have no real social life, that is a weakness! I think that I do better when I have specific tasks and it isn't left up to me what to do and what not to do, because I'm too afraid of doing that wrong thing. I ask a lot of questions to make sure that I don't screw things up. Sometimes bosses think that is annoying, but I don't like to leave things to chance.

firelily99
03-04-2014, 05:09 PM
It really is a loaded question and a difficult one to answer. I have never felt that I answered it to the interviewers satisfaction although its not easy to read interviewers at time. I usually say that I am too honest but in retrospect that seems a bit self serving as an answer.

gadgetised
03-04-2014, 09:45 PM
I agree, there is no generic answer to that question. Be honest, and if you can, frame your weakness in a positive light.

alec
03-05-2014, 07:21 AM
Like most here wrote, be honest.

Most interviews and the questions used are a way of seeing your personality. If you try too hard they'll notice and then they'll ask more question or fail your interview. Don't worry about giving answers to impress, you can give answers like "I'm hungry all the time!" (someone wrote this here already) and do very good. Because let's face it, lot's of employees get hungry when on the job.

erikao1o
03-08-2014, 04:50 PM
There are definitely some great answers on here on how to answer that question! A lot of times I answer that I am a bit of a perfectionist, and that I like to do all the work that I am given perfectly. Sometimes I also mention how I am the type of person that likes to keep busy, and that I am always looking for work to do. I honestly do not think that this is a good interview question, you are basically asking people to lie. Who is going to tell you their true biggest weakness which could be tardiness or laziness?

StarFox64
03-08-2014, 06:29 PM
Whatever you do, stay away from the "perfectionist" or "work too hard" answer. Interviewers will see right through it, and it gives an impression that you've rehearsed for the interview. Just be honest, without deterring them from hiring you. I've said things like "I sometimes have trouble finding ways to stay motivated." which is a somewhat unexpected answer.

This hits the nail on the head. From my experience, answering truthfully but acknowledging that your weakness is not really a big deal will be much better than using a generic answer that the interviewer has already probably heard countless times. Honestly answering a question will be like a breath of fresh air to the redundancy of most interviews. I have heard from previous employers that if someone answers the question in such a way to relay that their "biggest weakness is a strength", the employer then truly finds a weakness, and that is lying.

Jane Hastings
03-19-2014, 09:01 PM
To be honest, sometimes I don't know how to answer this question because I'm not sure what to tell them because they might back off. But, I just go for it and be honest. But you should make sure that you are willing to improve and open to challenges. Interviewers expect possible answers to this question and they can read your mannerisms and they will know that you just made your answer up. Be honest to them and show them that you can improve and there's a positive side to your weakness.

nick87
03-19-2014, 09:45 PM
Say something that is really a strength but play it out as a weakness...do a humblebrag.
"I'd say my biggest weakness is that sometimes I commit myself to my work so much that I forget to give myself some time to relax."
Yeah, the people hiring you know this is bs, but they'd rather hear the bs than "My biggest weakness is that I'm lazy and I tend not to finish my work on time."

mikelouis
03-20-2014, 12:06 AM
I must say that such a question during an interview is what tests your limit. You really have to think in a split second and hope that the answer you are giving is convincing. I have seen how people struggle with the question until they mess up the whole interview.

bingaguilar
03-20-2014, 01:53 AM
I think what is important is that you stay true to yourself. Don't invent an answer just to impress the interviewer, he/she will definitely see right through you. Just don't be too honest and say something like: "My weakness is that I tend to get distracted easily by a beautiful girl" or something like that (even if it's true!). Don't be too personal and admit a weakness in your personality that will obviously be hard to overcome. The interviewer usually is not looking for an "actual" weakness in you, he/she usually just wants to see how you can turn a possibly negative situation into a positive one. The interviewer wants to see how fast you can think and how "honest" you can be about yourself. ;)

autograph
03-23-2014, 02:01 AM
The first rule is to never try to pass your strengths as one of your weakness. For example, "I always work too hard" or "I am a perfectionist that everything must be done perfectly". The interviewer knows that these are thinly veiled brag. What they want to hear is your actual weakness and how you have been working to fix it. That shows you are aware of your weakness and you are willing to improve yourself. That is the answer the interviewer looks for.

difrancprod
03-23-2014, 05:21 AM
It is indeed tricky to an asked this kind of question because as much as you want to be honest, you can't also show them weakness because it might cause you the job. But you have to remember that these people interviewing you know that everybody has their weakness. I suggest that you might as well be honest about it and in the end of your statement, tell them what you do on how to turn it into a strength.

fredkawig
03-23-2014, 10:26 AM
As much as I hate to answer that question and maybe say something like, "I don't have any weaknesses". I would probably go with I have a short temper and that I freak out once it's full.

lizzief79
03-23-2014, 12:56 PM
I always think this is a difficult question and it is one that I have had to ask when I have been on an interview panel. Honesty is a good answer. I also think that saying you need to learn how to delegate more is a good one because you are admitting a weakness that could be seen as a good thing, i.e. that you will work hard and undertake any tasks.

DomDom
03-23-2014, 02:56 PM
Turn your biggest weakness into a strength or make it seem like the silliest thing in the world that doesnt affect the business or your work.

tinyfang
03-23-2014, 03:06 PM
I always felt that this question tends to have a balancing factor. On one hand, you want to be honest to yourself and to others who will get to know you eventually, but then on another hand, you also want to show the potential employer that you can be a beneficial employee. Eg: "I believe my greatest weakness is my inability to be a mindless drone. I tend to pick things apart and see if there is room for improvement. This can be both bad and good because this may drive some people up the wall. Then again, it can also help find issues in things that can otherwise be resolved."

^_^

GottBiz
03-29-2014, 08:28 AM
I always had a tough time with this one when asked in interviews. My answer didn't seem to hurt me, at least not in any way that I was ever able to tell. I typically look at bit uncomfortable for a moment, looked up into my left and right as I seriously considered it. And then told the interviewer that I really had a hard time thinking about what my weaknesses were because if I ever did find a weakness about myself, that it didn't continue to be my weakness for long since I would find a way to improve myself.

So is the zealousness of youth I suppose. But now as an older man I understand that some weaknesses are actually valuable and they should not be changed. But this is a matter of perspective of course. What is a weakness for business is actually a strength for humanity. But then some might understand that certain benefits for humanity are only weaknesses when considering the short term goals of business and these seeming weaknesses actually benefit business in the long term.

Rosyrain
03-29-2014, 12:59 PM
Interviewers do not like generic answers to this question or spinning of it to try and make it a good quality for yourself. All employees have at least one weakness and the interviewer wants an honest answer from you. Tell them about a real weakness you have and then explain how you try to fix it. They want to see that you can admit your fault and learn from it.

seokaleem
05-13-2014, 02:41 AM
hi celivega
i think that in interview,if interviewer asking about your weak point then always should be tell about your strength.
lets take an example : we can say that "when i read any thing then i go in deep and we do not think our surrounding"
this is show your concentration about any work ,This types of answers shows your positive attitudes.

Saman
05-15-2014, 06:09 AM
My biggest weakness is that i always feel that interviewers are less capable than me, and in all cases i found myself right after i see them in my job