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What Is Your Greatest Weakness

written by Kristin Sherry November 2, 2018
Interview weakness
Kristin Sherry

By Kristin Sherry

Founder of Virtus Career Consulting, speaker and author of the career empowerment book

Interviewers ask this question to:
  • Look for red flags, personality flaws, or traits that could lead them to not want to work with you.
  • Determine willingness to grow – Do you ignore your weaknesses and expect everyone else to? Hiring managers must see you’re willing to grow.
  • Gauge self-awareness – Knowing your weaknesses demonstrates you’re aware of and own your short-comings. No one wants to work with someone who thinks they’re perfect.
TIPS: 

Avoid answering with a humble brag: “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I work too much.”

Share a true weakness that’s NOT core to the role, but not completely unrelated, either.

Avoid interpersonal weaknesses unless you can demonstrate improvement. Personality issues are the #1 cause of termination.

Be VERY brief. Don’t elaborate or story-tell the weakness. It will stick in their mind through the story.

Shift immediately to share what you’ve learned or done to improve.

A great approach is to share feedback you received that you acted upon to improve. Show you’re coachable and take feedback.

“My manager gave me feedback in my review that my emails are too long and detailed. I’ve been taking a Succinct Writing course online and I’m improving daily.”

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