How to choose 'your biggest weakness' for that interview question
Tips for making the best impression when answering the question
You know it's coming, sitting in the hiring manager's back pocket: "What is your biggest weakness?"
Resist the urge to joke (I care too much! I work too hard!) because your answer to this age-old question can either make or break your job chances, notes Dice TV's Cat Miller.
"It's these questions that can separate you from the other qualified candidates in a positive way and land you the job," she says.
Miller notes your answer will uncover three things to an interviewer:
- Your values.
- How you will fit into the corporate culture.
- How you will react to tough situations.
So, given the importance of this answer, how do you choose the right weakness?
First, choose a real one, don't make up a weakness or tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear, Miller says.
"[Choose] something that’s actually challenging for you because if you're truthful, it will show," she notes. "You want to come across as genuine because the hiring manager is looking for someone that he or she can rely on."
Next, choose a skill that relates to the job you’re interviewing for - but is not the most critical one.
"That way you can show that you're aware of the things that are challenging for you at work and aren't avoiding the question, but you also don't look like you won't be able to handle your responsibilities," she adds. "Obviously if you tell them you struggle with the main skill they're looking for they're not going to hire you."
Click below for two additional tips on explaining your weakness and finishing your answer strongly.