What is Your Biggest Weakness?(Ace this Interview Question)

Nope. It’s not okay to say a weakness. That’s really a strength in disguise. And yes, there are such things as acceptable weaknesses and unacceptable deal-breakers. In this blog, do my thesis for me first share three practical tips to help you with this tricky yet common interview question, then walk you through a sample answer I use to land roles in magic consulting and product marketing. 

Legitimate Tips and Stay For The Hilarious Interview Answers

Come for the legitimate tips and stay for the hilarious interview answers from Reddit. Dive in right into tip number one, and stay away from deal breakers. When it comes to answering what is your biggest weakness interview question, there are such things as wrong answers. And this is because hiring managers generally expect a basic level of competency from job applicants. 

These deal-breaker weaknesses include; not being able to manage multiple projects at once, not being detail-oriented, and not being a people person. You should avoid saying these because no matter how many students you have or how capable you are in all other areas if you can’t get the basics right, it’s gonna be very hard for your future manager to trust you to work independently. 

To Be A Bit More Blunt

Well good managers are always gonna be there to guide you and help you grow. They wanna cut down on the need to micromanage your schedules, double check your work and apologize to your colleagues you might have inadvertently offended. 

The good news is there’s a great way to be honest about your shortcomings when faced with what is your greatest weakness while avoiding those deal-breakers and that’s tip number two, highlight a skill expected of someone more senior. 

A Great Way to Answer The Question

You should show you have a growth mindset, is to mention a skill you currently lack, but you see in someone in a more senior position. This is a very safe option because at your current level, you’re not expected to have that particular skill anyways, to do your job effectively. So naturally it’s an acceptable weakness. For example, the main focus of a sales representative is selling to clients, right? 

So on a day-to-day basis, they might be thinking about what products would be a better fit for my clients? When should I visit my largest account? What should I buy on my next big fat sales bonus? Whereas the manager of the sales rep might need to think more strategically, which verticals are performing the best right now? What are some of our big bets for next year? 

How Can I Get More Resources To Better Support My Team? 

If you’re interviewing for a more junior position, mentioning strategic thinking as a weakness is a relatively safe choice because it’s not something you’re expected to be great at in your current capacity. If you’d like, let me know what weaknesses you plan on sharing in your next interview and I can give you some feedback in the comments below. 

Give A Concrete Example

You might think giving a specific example to the biggest weakness interview question is a bad thing. After all, you’re purposely shining a light on a mistake you’ve made in the past. But trust me, when I tell you the opposite is true. By giving a concrete example. 

Your number one, show the interviewer, you truly understand there is an area you need to work on thus showing you have strong self-awareness and number two, you get to sneak in an explanation on what steps you’re taking to improve. To structure your example, you should use the CARL answer format, which is star on steroids, and it stands for a context, action, results and learning. 

Also Read: How many types of life insurance there are?

If you’re not familiar with this, make sure to check out my blog on async behavioral interviews. Putting all this together, here’s a sample answer you can reference when preparing for your next interview. So Jeff, can you tell me about your biggest weakness? Sure. I would say my biggest weakness is that sometimes I lack the confidence to present my work, especially in a larger group setting. 

QBR Quarterly Business Review

I remember a few months ago I was helping out on this QBR, quarterly business review and I was responsible for the slides on market sizing and opportunity. We do this every quarter and usually it’s my manager who presents most of it and I add on a little bit about the projection numbers. At the last minute, my manager had to attend another meeting and entrusted me with presenting the entire section. I had maybe like two days to prepare and I was pretty nervous. 

So not only did I practice and memorize the entire thing, I also emailed my slides to the other teams beforehand as a pre-read, to see if they had any questions I could address offline. Luckily the cross-functional teams sent over their feedback in time for me to make changes in my slides, so I didn’t have to field too many questions during the presentation in real time, which would have been the hardest part. 

Received Positive Feedback Regarding My Performance

Thankfully, my manager received positive feedback regarding my performance and she even made a joke about skipping the next one as well. While I can’t say I’m suddenly a confident speaker, I think aligning with team members ahead of a meeting like that is a great way to avoid surprises and therefore make me less nervous. And I think in the long term presenting to a large group would be less and less of a problem for me. All right. So that’s a pretty strong answer. Even if I do say so myself. It shows that you are aware of a relevant weakness. You haven’t magically addressed it overnight, but you are taking concrete steps to improve. If you’re interviewing right now, make sure to check out my playlist on the most common interview questions and answers. 

Also read about: Sergio Basteri

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