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28th Sep 2016

This is how to answer the one question that everyone dreads in a job interview

It's such a tough one.

Cathy Donohue

Sweaty palms, butterflies in your stomach, dry mouth.

The nerves can become excruciating when you’re trying to convince someone that you’re the perfect candidate for a job and you may have experienced one or all of the above.

You can do your best to prepare for the interview by researching the position, company etc but sometimes, there’s a curveball which can completely throw you off.

One questions that crops up regularly is “what’s your biggest weakness?” and there’s no doubt that this is an absolute pain in the a** to answer.

You don’t want to go overboard and blabber on about how bad you are at something which is easy to do when you’re under pressure but equally you don’t want to say you’re perfect in every way.

It’s definitely one of the toughest interview questions going but thankfully, this Reddit thread includes some gems on how to get around it.

One person advised:

“Treating this question as a game that seeks to minimize your actual weaknesses while appearing to give an answer are missing the point of the question. The reason this is asked is not really to find out your weaknesses, but to screen candidates capable of introspection and self-improvement”.

Another recommended:

“My wife gave me a good one that kind of compiles all of this (imo). I take failure a bit too hard sometimes. Expanding on that, you can elaborate as to how that pushes you to work harder so that you won’t make the same mistake twice. Seemed to work well for my last interview”.

Waiting for interview

This person likes to take a humourous approach:

“Remain silent, and pull an index card out of your pocket that says “I over-prepare.”

We like this approach:

Saying something behavioral based like “I don’t work well with people” or “I’m soft spoken” is like shooting yourself.

“Give a skills based ‘weakness’ that you can take action to improve upon in the near future. Something like “I’m not too familiar with excel at the moment, but I’m planning on taking classes this coming month.” Make sure you provide a remedy to the weakness”.