How to Answer the Question “What is Your Biggest Weakness” 

Gianna DiVergilio 
Edited by Sophia Patane
Published on
June 17, 2023

Chances are, you have or will be slammed with the difficult question: “What is your weakness?” Typically, when being asked this question, you want to present yourself as perfect. Your initial response is directed towards “I have none”—at least none that you can think of on the spot—because you worry if you say a potential weakness, you’ve bombed your interview. It's hard to not self-destruct when asked this question. 

Although the question as a whole and the word “weakness” are frequently interpreted as bad, we can look at it a different way. The first step is to choose an honest weakness that will not block you from succeeding in this specific opportunity. Steer towards traits that portray you as hardworking and determined but could have a small negative effect. That’s a good start, but don't leave it at that. The key is to provide an example of what you have done to overcome or better that weakness. For example, if I say my weakness is overworking, it would highlight the fact that I am a hard worker and I won't quit on myself or others. On the other hand, it shows that I could do a better job of allowing myself to relax and be less stressed so it does answer the question. 

When choosing your weakness, make sure to rule out any weaknesses that target what the application or interview is looking for as a strong trait. For example, if you were interviewing for a babysitting job, you wouldn’t want to say you have bad time management as time management is a significant part of babysitting. Instead, say you are a bit of a clean freak and would constantly pick up after their kids and make sure their house is tidy; parents love that. 

Highlight your learning mindset: Emphasize that you view weaknesses as opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks. Discuss how you actively seek feedback and constantly strive to improve. By demonstrating a willingness to learn and adapt, you convey to the interviewer that you are open to constructive criticism and motivated to excel. Then, relate it to the job. Connect your weakness to the job requirements and explain how you have been working to improve in that specific area. This shows your commitment to the role and your determination to develop the necessary skills to succeed. Be confident and positive; while discussing a weakness, maintain a positive and confident demeanor. Present your weakness as a challenge you have tackled and highlight the positive outcomes you have achieved through your efforts. This conveys resilience and a proactive attitude toward personal and professional growth. Remember, the key to answering this question is to present yourself as a candidate who is self-aware, open to growth, and actively takes steps to overcome challenges. By framing your weakness as an opportunity for improvement, you can leave a lasting impression on the interviewer and showcase your dedication to personal growth.

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