How to Answer Common Interview Questions: What is Your Greatest Weakness

Part 2: What is your greatest weakness?

This question is by far one of the hardest questions to answer in a job interview. Think deeply about your answer so that it demonstrates self-awareness and willingness to learn.

  • Do not try to state a strength as a weakness. This has become a cliché in recruitment when prospective candidates say:

My greatest weakness is that I’m such a perfectionist that every project I do has to be 100% perfect.


I’m so focused on my job that I sometimes forget to leave at the end of the day.

  • Be honest about a weakness – tell the truth and then provide examples of what you are doing to overcome the weakness. For example:

In the past, I have missed a couple of deadlines that were important to me. Since then I have begun to use a written planner and an electronic calendar to remind me of important deadlines. I haven’t missed a deadline since I started using this system.

  • Demonstrate self-awareness of your own abilities and areas needing improvement. Show that you can accept constructive criticism and use it for self-improvement. Explain how you have used past criticism to analyze needs and implement corrective actions to make yourself a valuable contributor to your employer.

The weakness question is not meant to illicit a confession of wrongdoing. It is used as a prompt for the candidate to demonstrate self-knowledge and self-awareness.

It is necessary in every facet of your career to learn from mistakes and utilize that knowledge to move forward.

Vowing never to make mistakes is a weakness no employer wants in their employees because it means no decision and no forward progress is ever made!

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