How to handle the “What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses?” Question
The answer to this one is to stay positive without rolling out the old chestnuts of “my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist” or “I tend to stay late in the office working”. This will simply be viewed as avoiding the question. You have to say something, after all no one’s perfect, so think carefully beforehand about how you are going to answer this question.
Never say “My biggest weakness is…” It makes it sound as if you have a whole shopping list of faults so don’t start to reel off all your insecurities. Instead say “If I had to think of one it may be that…”
In this answer you are not saying that you have weaknesses let alone a “biggest” weakness. You are simply indicating that as an answer is required and that answer “may” be a weakness.
A good answer would be “I always strive to be my best and want the team to achieve the best possible results for the business and I do expect others to do the same. I know that not everyone has the same skills and approach but I do expect them to do their utmost and perhaps I can become a little impatient with those who I feel don’t give their best effort.”
Follow this up with “Where I identify an area that I could improve upon then I address it” and then give an example, “For instance, I felt that I could improve my web marketing skills further so I went on a Google SEO course and as a result business through our website has increased by 8%”.
This way you are saying that any weaknesses you may have can be turned around and become strengths.
This question is normally preceded or followed by “What are your greatest strengths?” Although easier to answer you should give careful thought to it and try and match your answers to, yes you guessed it, the Job Description and give examples.
Corinne Stuart is the founder of The Confidence Hub at http://www.theconfidencehub.co.uk a UK based website dedicated to helping you return to work in today’s tough job market.