How to answer everyone’s least favorite interview question
More often than not, interviews will follow a standard flow and line of questioning.
You’ll be asked about previous positions you’ve worked, highest level of education you’ve achieved, relevant skills for the position, and questions about why you’re leaving or left your previous job.
Along with the standard banter, there are always a few questions that no one likes to answer—but they come up all the time.
The most commonly cited least favorite interview question is: “What’s your greatest weakness?”
In today’s blog, we’ll help you think through how to answer that question so you can be better prepared the next time you hear it in an interview.
Option 1: Portray Your Weakness as a Possible Strength
One way to answer the question is by turning your weakness on its head and understanding how you can portray it as a strength at the same time.
This type of response requires careful self-examination before your interview. And it goes without saying you shouldn’t embellish a weakness simply so you can use it as an opportunity to showcase a positive trait.
If you believe you have a weakness of being too loyal, for instance, you can first speak to that perceived weakness before pivoting your answer to explain how it reflects your reliability and commitment.
Option 2: Speak to What’s Important About Who’s Interviewing You
As with our first response, you’ll need to do a little research before your meeting—but this time you’re researching you it is you’re speaking with, rather than doing some self analysis.
When you schedule your interview, ask who you can expect to interview you. Look them up online to identify their title and what they do at the company.
When you get your least favorite question, choose a response that speaks to the interviewer’s role and what they value.
For example, if you’re talking to a VP of Communications, their daily routine consists of making sure the details of the company’s image are consistent across multiple communication channels. Your greatest weakness might be perfection, but you can then speak to how that helps you spot the smallest details.
In this way, your answer speaks to a need directly related to who you’re talking to so you can resonate with their personal concerns.
Option 3: Be Honest
While we list this as a third option, it should be part of every answer you give during an interview. Above all else, be honest in your response.
We’ve broken honesty out into its own point so we can emphasize its importance. Never fabricate something simply so you can tell a better story or make yourself look better.
You may not need a single “greatest weakness” for your response. Instead, analyze your work history and find three or four possible answers to this questions so you can adapt your response as necessary, while still remaining truthful and authentic.
Resources for a Successful Job Search
Careerlink and AIM have multiple resources to help you prepare for your next interview. If you’re a student, you can find a career coach and get resume writing help at the Brain Exchange.
If you’re ready to find the right job now, update your resume on Careerlink to bring it to the top of the list. Our team actively looks for matches to employer positions—you may even get a surprise call from us to ask if you’d be interested in a position we found that matches your skill set.
Ready to apply? Find a career in Omaha or Lincoln with positions available on Careerlink right now.