When preparing for a job interview, you must have thought of everything you want to tell the hiring manager regarding your skills and knowledge. Given the interview opportunity, you cannot wait to highlight your key strengths to prove that you are the best fit talent for the available position. You believe that emphasising your positive qualities will boost your chances of getting hired. Only when you think that you can win the recruiter’s heart by following that strategy, suddenly the interviewer pops up an unanticipated question, “What is your greatest weakness?”
The truth is, it is quite common for hiring manager to ask about candidate’s weakness or negative points during an interview. By throwing such questions, they do not only want to assess the area that you are bad at, but also gauge your self-awareness. The recruiter expects to hear answer that represents the candidate’s self-evaluation of how they see themselves.
Meanwhile, some applicants believe that revealing their weakness is just another way of telling the recruiter to not hire them. They might be worried that their flaws will ruin all the good points they have. While this is not necessarily true, there is no way to avoid this question. Pretending to be perfect might make sound like a narcissist who denies your own defects.
Here are the best ways to tackle this question:
Don’t deliver an answer that is not related to work
If you think that revealing your weakness which has no relation with your job will keep you in the safe zone, you might be wrong. There are many recruiters who dislike to bring up and assess a candidate’s private life in a job interview. For example, stating that you have a phobia towards certain animal, height, darkness, or other similar symptoms is not necessarily an important information that will help your candidacy. Instead, you should elaborate your weakness when dealing with certain tasks, while pointing out how you can cope with it.
Find weakness which will not influence your performance in the job
It is also a big mistake to state your weakness which will instantly kill your opportunity of getting hired. Telling that you are bad at working in team while the job clearly requires such ability is the same like telling that you do not qualify the job at the same time. You can reveal your weakness at areas which will not really affect your quality. For example, if the job title is IT staff who works behind the desk, you can say that you are not really confident in public speaking or other similar answers which will not influence your performance in the job.
Tell that you are improving yourself
While revealing your weakness could level down your image, you should make it sound better by saying that you are making real efforts to improve yourself. For example, if you lack of communication skills, you can say “I’m bad in communication as sometimes people hardly understand what I deliver, but now I’m learning to improve it”. You can also say that you expect the job will help you fix the weakness. It is important to note that you should emphasis your intention to develop yourself.
Next read: Should You Let Your Employees Work Outdoors?