Here’s The Best Way To Handle The Worst Interview Question

How to deal this worst interview question?

Before we start let’s get on the record that this question is probably the absolute worst job interview question out there.
 I don’t know why it gets asked so much, we all have weaknesses, I do, you do and so does the interviewer, but this question does nothing to tell whether or not someone is going to be a good employee. 
I want to give you some tips about how to answer the “greatest weakness” question.

You can’t control if you are going to get asked this question or not but you can control your response.

So let’s start with the basics first,

1. Don’t ever, under any circumstance actually give them a weakness. There’s no reason for you to as you get to control what comes out of your mouth, so  DO NOT TELL THEM SOMETHING YOU’RE ACTUALLY BAD AT. If they’re going to ask this question you don’t need to justify it by giving them an actual weakness.

2. This may be contrary to what you’ve heard but under no circumstances should you give them an actual strength either.
It is a little insulting to be asked this question in the first place, so don’t compound the problem by insulting them back and telling them that you’re too “conscientious” or you “work too hard”  or “you want do everything yourself” because you are “so diligent”, none of this type of thing works, they get it all the time, they just eye roll and you’ve both just wasted a load of time with their question and your answer, so stay away from those types of answers.

3.  I don’t want you to use negative words as you’re talking about this “weakness”. Don’t say “I’m bad at this” or “I’m not good at that”.  Don’t use any of those ways in describing anything that’s about to come out of your mouth.

What I would prefer that you do, and the best way to deal with this question so that you’re actually answering it and they view you as having given it a good attempt is to talk about something that you have yet to have an opportunity to do, something you don’t have any experience in, and something you would like to do.

What you might say is something like “one of the areas for improvement is, I am yet to have an opportunity to perform ( X ) function at work (or in this industry)”, or “to study (X subject)”, whatever it might be that interests you that is related to your job.

They’re not going to penalise you for not having had an experience and you’ve just offered up a so called “weakness”, in addition you’ve shown them that you have a desire to grow your skill set and have a plan for moving forwards in your career.

NEXT you always want to make sure that you follow this up with what you’ve done in order to gain that experience so far. So first you have said something like “I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do ( X )” and then follow that up with, “what I’ve done so far to gain that experience is, “I’ve read ( X ) books”, “I’ve watched ( X ) videos”, “I take ( X ) training classes”, whatever it might be to show them that you’ve got a great attitude to learning. So that’s how I would answer it.

If you like this type of information. I’ve got a training course coming up, it’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration. Everything careers related. I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email. 

And if you want a reminder of how not to do it, here’s a clip from Spud from the movie Trainspotting ; )

Until next time, happy job hunting,