How do you answer to “What are your weaknesses?” Do you pass a blank stare at the interviewer? I bet you do.
Well, let’s assume a scenario: You are interviewing for a great position, everything is going well, you have a well-drafted resume, cover letter, and are already preparing a list of things that you would buy as soon as you get the paycheck from this new job. But then the interviewer drops the question: “What are your weaknesses?” or “What is your greatest weakness?” And the list disappears and you stare at the interviewer in disgust, obviously masking it with a poker face!
Ugh, why do hiring managers ask such annoying interview questions? Right?
Job seekers often do the following mistakes when answering “What are your weaknesses?”, so here is what not to say and what to say instead:
Turing a strength into a weakness
“My weakness? Well, you could say I am a perfectionist and I work too hard to get my ducks in a row. I cannot take on a project without making sure that it is 100% accurate and mentions all the required information. Due to such a habit, I sometimes have to sacrifice my personal life, as I work overtime to get the things done.”
Well done! But the hiring manager is aware of all the interview tips and tricks that you have gone through and that have suggested you with such a clever idea. Displaying your strengths as your weakness will only make the hiring manager think that you are being untruthful and unauthentic. Please stop turning those strengths into weaknesses, it is the oldest trick in the book, stop doing it already!
Denying the possibility of having a weakness
“Weakness? Is that even a word? I don’t have any weakness, I’m strong like a lion!”
Please stop roaring! Nothing in this world is perfect, so please don’t deny the possibility of having any weakness. The hiring manager will wonder if you are hiding something really bad that you need such a delusional answer to cover that. It will also display that you are really unrealistic and have no sensible answer to the asked question.
Making a joke about it (that's not even funny, not to the hiring manager)
“Can I tell you a little secret? But you have to swear that you won’t share it with anyone okay? It’s Kryptonite!”
First of all, you are already out of that Superheroes squad for letting that out. (You are not supposed to tell people that you are Superman! Remember?) And second, your funny answer to the question may not seem so funny to the interviewer. You may come up as someone who is not serious about the interview questions being asked or about the job that you’ve applied for. It will only damage your reputation, making you look like a 15-year-old, who doesn't have a clue about the corporate culture or how companies conduct.