“What is your greatest weakness?”

Pic of an Awkward Question
“No, I didn’t download you off the Internet,
I gave birth to you. End of discussion!”
I have been asked this question in just about every interview I’ve been to. If I answered truthfully I’d be committing interview suicide (e.g. can you imagine saying something like “I have a bad web surfing habit”) and if I make something up like “I work too long hours” I seem like a suck-up. I think, rather than asking me to self-incriminate the question is actually designed to evaluate my ability to deal with awkward questions.

These are the choice of answers:

  1. Evade the question
  2. Answer with a lie using a weakness that is actually a strength
  3. Answer truthfully (because I have low self confidence this would expose a huge set of weaknesses: I’m bad at communicating at a very technical level, I’m a slow learner, I have a bad memory, I can’t think fast on the spot, I don’t like public speaking, I’m lacking in written skills, I have zero general knowledge, etc, etc)
  4. Answer with a true but mild weakness (e.g. I like to focus on a small area and dig a niche for myself, therefore I can lack the global picture).

I think the best solution is to start with choice 1 and actually talk about how this question is a trick and then finish off with choice 4 to show a bit of sincerity.

One response to ““What is your greatest weakness?””

  1. Steve Olson

    I’ve answered by saying my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness, my unconventional thinking. It helps me solve problems ways no one has thought about, but it also can make me sound like a crackpot. I miss more than i hit, but when I do hit it seems to be worth looking stupid so many times.

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