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Welcome back to our blog series surrounding the topic of how to answer the most common interview questions! This week I have decided to focus on the question ‘what is your greatest weakness?’ I will give you tips and pinpoint the best answers for this question to help you in future interviews.

To many, this seems like a very nerve wracking and confusing question, don’t you want to be highlighting why you’d be a great candidate, not your weaknesses? There is a reason this is asked of you. Answering this question correctly highlights your self-awareness to potential employers. An interviewer wants to know that you understand you are flawed, because none of us are perfect – as much as we’d like to think we are – and to demonstrate that you are willing to improve on your personal weaknesses to be an effective employee. Take a look at the top tips according to The Balance. They may provide you with some guidance for future interviews:

  1. Discuss non-essential skills: You want to be discussing essential skills when discussing your strengths. For example, if you were applying for a receptionist position, the worst response would be stating you have bad communication skills and that you aren’t IT literate – these are essential to be successful in such a role. This will suggest to the employer that you aren’t the right candidate for that position, making you less likely to be employed. So, remember, keep those weaknesses non-essential to the job!
  2. Turn a negative into a positive: Another way to answer this question is to turn something that could be perceived as a negative, into a positive. For instance, suggesting you are too much of a perfectionist can imply a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will always complete your work to the highest standard possible. In an employer’s eyes, this could be perceived as a vital skill.
  3. Mention ways you have improved: The final tip I have for you is to discuss weaknesses you have improved on in previous job roles. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you strive to improve upon your skills, subsequently making you the perfect candidate for that position.

So, now that I have given you the tips, let’s review the best answers which you can tailor to fit the job you have applied for:

  • “I find it difficult to switch off, I find myself thinking about work and ways that I can improve at work. Reflecting upon this, I am considering ways to relax my mind when I come home from work through the means of phone apps such as ‘headspace’ – a meditating app.”
  • “When I’m working on a project, I don’t want just to meet deadlines I would much prefer to complete projects ahead of schedule.”
  • “I had difficulty with maths during high school, however, I persevered with additional tutoring and achieved a B overall. I never give up when I am struggling, I strive to achieve.”
  • “I’ve learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage. I have become proficient at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know my work is accurate.”

If ever you are preparing for a job interview, keep these tips in mind. Also, remember to plan some answers beforehand so you feel ready for the whole interview process.

Do you have any additional tips that could help people answer this question? If so, leave a suggestion in the comments section below!

Finally, don’t forget to keep up to date next week when I shall be offering tips for another interview question!

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