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What Is Your Greatest Weakness? Here’s How to Smartly Answer This!

Do not scare recruiters away from you while answering: ‘What is your greatest weakness?’

Be tricky in answering this tricky question like this!!

An interview is a time when you can make or break your impression.

Most candidates feel nervous when the panel sitting across the table asks questions.

If you are unable to fetch a decent job for yourself, here is a must-read for you. We have come up with one of the most important interview tips on how to answer a tricky question during the interview: “What is your greatest weakness?”

The question is deceitful, and the candidates do not know how to answer this question smartly. Some people deny they have any weaknesses, others do not know what to say, and others answer it incorrectly; hence they lose their job. 

So, let us check out what would be the correct answer to “what is your greatest weakness?” 

Do not give scripted answers like “I work too hard” or “I do not have any weaknesses. 

Since the question is deceitful, the answer has to be equally deceitful and well-thought.

These answers can make interviewers think that you are not self-aware or not truthful to them.

Also, this is not the time for confessions because if you apply for the post of “salesperson”, you cannot say I am poor at sales or convincing people. 

Get to Know Why This Question is Asked

When an interviewer asks this question, he wants to find out: 

  • Whether you are self-aware of your traits.
  • Whether you have been sincere and honest throughout the interview, especially about your shortcomings.
  • Whether you will be able to combat weakness issues or let weakness holds you back. 

Interviewers are well-experienced people, and it is difficult to fool them.

Hence you should choose a weakness that does not have any direct adverse influence on the position applied.

For instance, if you want a job in the sales manager position, you can say that I am weak in Mathematics and calculations.

Also, to overcome this weakness, I am taking an online training course, using an app etc.

I Focus Too Much On Details

Though it is good to be detail-oriented, focusing too much on the details of any project tends to become a weakness.

This can be tricky because the interviewer would not know whether to consider it a weakness or a strength.

By presenting your focus even on minute details, you can help employers avoid minor mistakes. The best answer would be: “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes focus too much on the details and spend a good amount of time analyzing finer points.” 

Adding on to this answer, you can say I am working on myself and trying to focus on the bigger picture so that my productivity does not get affected. I can feel that I have been able to improve to a great extent. 

It’s Difficult For Me to Say “No”

Helping colleagues and co-operating with them to manage the workload is a trait, and the employee who can keep a balance between managing their work and helping others are an asset.

However, this can harm an employee’s productivity, and the worse happens when they cannot meet the deadlines.

 If an employee cannot organize tasks, it can lead to the company’s loss, so you should answer something like this:

“My greatest weakness is that I cannot say no to helping others. But, now, I have started using a project management app so that I can evaluate how much work I have and whether I can manage it within the given time. Now, I help others only when I have enough availability.”

Concede to the Lack of Experience

Admit the fact that you have little or no experience.

Nobody expects you to have experience if you are a fresh graduate.

So, if you are applying for the post of graphic designer, you lack experience in using “Adobe Illustrator” or any other similar software. You can say that my weakness is that I cannot use the latest version of Adobe illustrator. But, you need to add things since I have used “CorelDraw” for a long time.

I can learn Illustrator in no time because both software is the same. Also, say that you are confident in learning things fast.

Present Impatience As Your Weakness

It happens to everyone, so you will not be a new person with impatience as a weakness.

It is almost impossible not to lose patience at some point for anyone.

There can be a number of instances when a too detailed or difficult task can make anyone lose patience. So, you can admit that you have this weakness. The point you need to bring out is how you can manage with impatience to make your answer smarter.  

However, you have to remember that you do not have quote impatience when applying for jobs like that of a teacher.  

Your answer should be as follows:

“Though impatience is my greatest weakness, it can bring the best out of me. However, I get annoyed when the project seems challenging to complete within the deadline. This affects my relations with co-workers. So, now I have enrolled in an online training that trains people on how to cultivate patience. I can see gradual improvements in me now.”

Lack of Organization

There is nothing new about seeing a lot of messy desks at workplaces.

The answer works as it is a fixable and relatable weakness. But, you have to be manipulative and figure out this answer well. 

So, frame your answer like this:

“I lack organizational skills, which is my greatest weakness. But, this weakness does not interfere with my performance or efficiency anyway. However, I am learning how to organize my digital and physical space and have improved to a great extent.”

The answer works because this can be fixable. Besides, lack of organization does not interfere with performance or can make anyone lesser efficient. You need to mention all steps you are taking to improve this weakness. 

Answering Timidity As a Weakness is Okay

Timidity can be quoted as a weakness.

You should be able to focus on how you have turned this weakness into strength.

However, timidity is seen as a flaw in the workplace, especially if you have a profile of managing a team or providing feedback, but this will not scare the recruiters away from hiring you. 

So, frame your answer like this:

“Often, I can be timid, especially when I provide constructive feedback to my colleagues. Now, I have dealt with a way to handle this problem. Instead of hurting their feelings, I just let them know where they need to improve.”

Quote Lack of Tactfulness

Again you have to be wise in quoting this trait as your weakness.

So, begin with demonstrating how this lack of tactfulness and blunt nature has helped you in several situations. However, also point out that this weakness is harming your relations at the workplace and how you are working to improve it. 

So, I am taking online leadership training to improve myself or have been using an app with a good rating.

I have seen a gradual improvement in myself and have confidence that this problem with me will go away in some time.

Present Weakness in Data Analytical Skills

Say something like you are weak in “data analytical skills” if your job profile is not directly related to it.

There are tactics behind your doing so.

When you present something like this as your weakness, it will give an impression to the interviewer that you are dedicated and willing to do something that is not your forte. Interviewers think you are dedicated and can be a valuable asset to the company.

The interview panel will assume you wish to provide additional information to the company. 

Frame your answer properly and say something like this:

“Though I am not great at analyzing data or numbers, I acknowledge this flaw. I tried coordinating with the SEO managers in my previous company to learn the same. However, I could not do so correctly. I am willing to learn and perform the related tasks as I am fond of them.”

Say I am Talkative

There is no harm in presenting your talkative nature as your weakness.

But, again, you have to talk with tact.

So, say something like this: Building relationships with my colleagues and engaging in healthy conversation with them is my area of interest.

I believe in team-building and have a habit of conversation and discussion before getting back to work. I know that this disturbs and distracts them. I am working on being brief and precise. 

“This answer works because it shows you are aware that a talkative nature distracts and disturbs others. Also, it shows that you believe in teamwork and want to develop healthy relations with your colleagues. However, you should focus on how you are trying to improve so that productivity does not get hampered anyway.” 

Important Things to be Taken Care of:

The question is a craft, and hence you need to be wise. You should try to make interviewers see your weakness in a positive light.

Here are a few suggestions to do that:

  • Do not use negative words like “Inept”, “failure”, etc. Make use of a positive tone. 
  • Always talk about what you are doing to improve it or how you have transformed your weakness. 
  • Also, show the interview panel how you recognize where you need to improve and the things you are doing for it. 
  • What are you doing to improve on your weakness? 
  • Taking a class or getting trained.
  • Working with a mentor.
  • Have joined an association or a professional group.
  • Using an app or software etc., for the same.

Do Not Choose These Weaknesses

As mentioned, certain things should be avoided while answering this question.

For instance, you should never say:

“I am a perfectionist, and I do not have any weakness.” Your answer should not be an enthusiastic denial.

Apart from that, do not choose these answers:

  • Tendency to take too many together and as a responsibility.
  • Nervousness or shyness in public speaking.
  • Difficulty in delegating tasks
  • Discomfort in taking risks.

Bottom Line

Many interviewees face difficulty answering: “What is your greatest weakness?”

Though it can be an easier question to answer!

You can list the shortcomings or challenges you keep coming up with at your workplace.

You can also take note of the supervisors on the areas of improvement. 

Before taking on the interview, you should research well about the employers and types of candidates he is looking for.

You need to review the job posting thoroughly and should not quote any such weakness during the interview, which can cost your job.

It is good to read and re-read the job description to be comfortable with the most uncomfortable question of the interview:

“What is your greatest weakness?” Multitasking, procrastination, and impatience are some of the best choices that you can quote. 

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