Interview tip: “What is your biggest weakness?”
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Interview tip: “What is your biggest weakness?”

Hi everyone, I’m Amy Bateman
from Career Cake TV. I did a video a couple of months
ago with the guys at Firebrand Talent Search and we
had some fantastic feedback, so thank you. Now I’ve spoken to the team
and we’ve decided to do another video to help
you at interview. And this time I’m going to be
looking at the question, what’s your biggest weakness? So we’ve all heard those
textbook answers that tell you to pick a weakness that
is also a strength. So something like I’m a
complete workaholic. My family get really frustrated
because when I get a job I throw myself
into work. Or your weakness is I’m
a perfectionist. I want everything around me to
be perfect and I get slightly frustrated when other
people don’t want it to be as perfect. Now the problem is that nobody
is that incredible that their weakness makes them
more incredible. And if you pick a weakness
that is so obviously a strength in the working
environment, then people are going to see straight
through that. So what I would really like,
oh and remember, the interviewer has also been
a job seeker and been on interview, and has probably read
the exact same articles as you and the same
textbook answers. So pick something that you
genuinely struggle with. Nothing too horrendous,
however, that nobody would hire you. We all know what not
to say, I’m sure. I hope. No, I’m sure. So pick something genuine. Maybe it’s that you struggle
in conflict situations. Maybe you struggle with
your confidence levels amongst your peers. So my weakness used to be public
speaking, speaking to large groups of people. And in my job, that is
a massive weakness. However, obviously with what I
do now, I’ve overcome that completely. But it is something I’ve
really struggled with. So I want to focus
on four steps. The first step being setting the
tone by saying in the past I’ve struggled slightly with. So what you’re saying to the
interviewer is that in the past, this weakness is already
kind of behind us. I’ve struggled slightly with,
so this is not a big deal. With da, ta, da, however, I’m
really strong at da, ta, da. So whatever it is, you’re
obviously counteracting the weakness with a fabulous
strength. Then give an example of what
you’ve been doing to overcome that weakness. Give exact examples if you can
and try and use the past tense as much as possible. Because again, we want to make
the interviewer feel like we’re dealing with this, we’ve
got this under control. And then you finish with that
really happy story. So give an example, tell a
story of something really positive where you overcame
that weakness. And you can say you’re still
working on it if you want to, that’s cool. So if you were going to pick the
public speaking weakness, you could say, in the past I’ve
struggled slightly with speaking to large groups
of people. However, I’m really strong
at speaking to smaller groups of people. I’m really good at building
rapport with people one on one. What I’ve done to overcome that
is, you might say that you spent time with colleagues
that were really good at it, you practiced it, you took
some coaching, you took a course, and then give an
example, a happy story. Recently, in fact I did a
presentation to a team that worked in another office
of ours, to a large group of people. The messages were clear. I felt confident, feedback from
management was that they were really, really pleased. So yes, I’ve come a long way. I’m still working on it, but
I’ve come a long way. So that’s how you answer that. In the past I’ve struggled
slightly with, however I’m really good at, this is what I’m
doing to overcome it, and here’s my happy story. Alright? Now honesty will get you
so far in an interview. We don’t want to say anything,
obviously, too horrendous. We’ve covered that, but
yes, honesty will get you a long way. So if you want to catch up
with me, you want to see anymore of my videos,
this is my website. I’ve got a careers blog. If you want to catch up with the
amazing team at Firebrand Talent Search, this
is their website. And until next time, take care
and good luck with those interviews.

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “Interview tip: “What is your biggest weakness?”

  1. The question does not specify if the weakness is something that only affects the job and your ability to be an employee, and doesn't matter at all outside the work environment in any way shape or form…

  2. Can I say that " My weakness is that I like perfect in my works. I used much of time for doing works, reviewing my works and checking what I did. I seldom delegated the important works to my subordinates to do. I did the works after the office hours. I learnt time management and writing working schedules in order to do work more efficiency and efficiently."

  3. In your video, you asked us to use past tense. If the interviewer asks what is your weakness now not past, how can I answer it?

  4. Hello Aimee, I am a marketer. is it wise to tell the interviewer my weakness while I am trying to selling him the brand "me in this case". In my mined I will refuse to give him/her the answer but I would assure you that I know my weakness and I always keen to improve my skills and development. 

    is this fine?

  5. My biggest weakness is I cant stand bullshit and stupid interview questions. I once heard when I went to school, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why"? I find these questions stupid.

  6. Let me share best material all of you: Top 41 interview questions and answers. To watch it, please search Youtube.

  7. My previous employer was going thru some financial hardships(big corp. & its all over news & I'm sure everyone knows it) and had reduced my hours from FT to PT/on call. Can I say this to the world famous "why you've left your previous employer question? Thx.

  8. Love it..excellent tips and very helpful. I am going for an interview in a weeks time. Btw, you look like Keira Knightley.

  9. Lol the first time I heard this question while in an interview I thought I had to be honest too so I said "well, I would say my biggest weakness is being too polite.. I oftentimes don't judge a person well enough and so when a person hurts my feelings, I just brush it off to avoid conflict rather than confronting them head on." I didn't get the job lol so maybe that was wrong.. I would rather go with the textbook answer than go on a limb and say something like that because at least then they would know you've researched how to do well in an interview and tried lol

  10. What happened to just telling the truth instead of trying to misrepresent oneself?

    And do employers asking such questions really expect to hear the truth? If not, why ask the question?

    I have usually struggle to get to interview; but once there, I'm usually offered the job. I find that what works best (for me) is just to try and relax, be myself, be honest, and treat it as if it were a friendly conversation.

  11. I always struggle with this question because I can't determine if punctuality or motivation is my biggest weakness, so I guess by default that makes indecision my biggest weakness… Be sure to maintain eye contact, the reaction is priceless!

  12. Wow I though right threw your lies!!!, you do not seem to be afraid of public speaking at all!!
    however, I have enjoyed this video very much, it is very helpful, and really cool 🙂
    great job answering that Q!!

  13. **My greatest weakness is that I am blatantly honest, so why ask such a stupid question I said to the interviewer that asked me that question for example.**

  14. **Now to be honest I never said that.  The reason for this question is to see if your have some humility, and can be vulnerable.  The best answer I gave on this question is the following, " I would say that my greatest weakness is that I sometimes worry. I worry about everything going well at work,  I worry about my childrens future, I worry that I will not live up to all expectations from everyone in my life that depends on me… I am very conscientious of all that I do and truly care about others, and that is why I worry….**

  15. So, you are saying that when you would like to hire new talent, they could never confirm that people have weaknesses? Recently I had an application, they asked me: 'What is your biggest weakness'? Honestly I told them my weakness… Because of this they trust me because I am confident eneough to say that I do have a weakness… Everyone is perfect people? My advice: to be honest. Good luck!

  16. Love this and the other videos you presented great information. Please, share some advice on how to KILL it on the interview, over 50 years old? I do not want to ramble on with the situational interviews. I was beat out on 5-6 interviews by a younger person, with no experience, and missed out on two amazing jobs. PLEASE HELP ME OUT! I am 6 months on my search and really frustrated. Thanks!

  17. Hi Aimee, I used your techniques to deal with this interview question the other day on my assessed interview and passed with great feedback! So thank you very much for this! Lewis

  18. I'm 39 years old and I'm dyslexic. My learning curve is, in general, longer than the average person. With time I learned to overcome some difficulties and compensate this problem with a great deal of effort. Should I mention it on a job interview? Could the interviewer think that I have cognitive problems, although that's not the case? How to explain that I'm pretty able to perform complex tasks to someone who may not know this kind of disturb?

  19. We should try to be honest and tell the fact but you should be true to yourself be yourself and you should know there is probation period as well so how you can hide the secret will be revealed soon and your career will have negative impact than positive. So try to be proactive and try to overcome your weaknesses be prepared and than apply

  20. This is what I've come up with, when asked this question this is a real weakness that I've overcome, and I hope it works, for the position I'm looking to get as a cashier at a grocery store.

    – My biggest weakness was trying to step out of my comfort zone when talking to new people. This was something that I was determined to over come in my first job as a Courtesy Clerk, because I struggled with it at first, but with the proper training I learned ways to improve this. My last job as a sales associate helped with this too, because there was more customer interaction, and now I consider myself a people person, and I can now strike up a conversation with ease, without getting extremely nervous.

  21. So, you think the interviewers are stupid!!! you sell your strength as weakness and they don't understand!!! So you think, they have been on the interview board with zero experience and no particular knowledge!!! these are the poorest strategy to follow the question ( "What is your biggest weakness?")
    Think yourself as an interviewer, what would you feel if someone answer like the way you showed people.
    in my case, i definitely think the candidate is copying from online video tips or just lying , so, i'm not gonna hire him/her.

  22. lol 5 years ago when I was looking for work, eveyone was suggesting to take a strong attribute and turn it into a weakness.

  23. This is very helpful! More than once watching this is an absolute​ must for me. I've got an interview for a dream job on Thursday and I couldn't be more nervous.

  24. I get nervous in interviews which is just sad because I know I could really contribute my skills to the companies I've applied for. But I feel as though the interviewers sense my nervousness and just pick other candidates.

  25. but why the company must ask this kind of interview like what is your weaknesses and what is make you strenght it seems really weird.

  26. This 60+ year old interview question tells me the interviewer is either lazy and/or unprepared. Come up with better questions please.

  27. I think employers/hiring managers should give a hands on experience rather than deciding whether to hire someone or not by just the interview. They should give them the opportunity to actually work behind the register, etc so they can see how well they interact with customers,etc.

  28. I truly appreciate your support to me, to tackle my interview on Friday next week pray for me to pass my interview i was having weakness in talking to public but i have overcome it by trusting what i will say, interaction with colleagues and giving presentation in public,
    many thanks to you.

  29. I hate this question. If I answer it truthfully I always get my answer used against me. I learned to just play dumb and say I'm not sure but, I know I have one somewhere. The amateur interviewers are the ones to ask this question and it shows me they have no clue how to interview for the position I'm applying for.

  30. The problem is that it is utter bullshit. They want to see how much we will grovel and jump through hoops. It has NOTHING to do with actually getting to know a potential employee. And it is a humiliating way to go through life.

    When we go for an interview or apply for a job, we are offering our services to a company. We are not crawling on hands and knees looking for a handout–we are free agents who wish to help out a business in exchange for being able to eat and have a roof over our heads.

    I have created my own business after going through this meaningless, embarrassing charade time and time again. Once I was interviewing at a Whole Foods job fair and was asked this question. I responded: "My biggest weakness is that I am too idealistic. I believe other people and always get let down." The two interviewers smirked at each other knowiingly. This is the humiliation that I no longer am exposed to, thank God!

  31. What if i say it's hard for me to work in a very negative environment? Like boss who's angry all the time, and sly employees, etc.

  32. The problem with this answer is that it is also textbook fake one especially when you are saying: ‘in the past…’ it again gives the impression that you are perfect.
    I am a big procrastinator and when I have to do things I hate I just delay them until the very last minute. This is the truth and probably 99% of the people are the same.
    Asking about weaknesses is a stupid question anyway, I used to pick my people based upon their strength as I know that nobody will tell an interviewer what their real weakness is as people would then never pass these stupid interview questions. When someone asks this question I know that the interviewer is just not senior enough to conduct a proper interview!

  33. But they didn't ask what is your weakness plus what's something you do fabulously well with. That just seems random and unnatural to throw that in when it's not asked for.

  34. To that question, I answered well I'm slightly dyslexic and caffeine exacerbates the effects so I have to avoid caffeine when there is any critical data entry work. I think I shocked the interviewer. He said, "Wow, Someone why doesn't think they are prefect? OMG!!" He honestly said I was the first interviewee who actually was aware of my own faults.

  35. There’s one proper way to handle this question: be honest. You don’t have to start highlighting all your weaknesses and present yourself as the worst possible candidate for them to hire. However, the hiring managers will see right through the lies, so it’s important to be honest.

    Anyways, read the below. This might help.

    Sourav Basak
    Namaste UI

  36. For anyone worrying about an interview right now, these are the modern day questions that I was asked recently and i hope it helps! Remember it is more than normal to feel terrified XD

    1. tell me about yourself – personality, future, e.g where you're studying
    2. biggest strength and weakness?
    3. why do you want this job?
    4. How did you find out about this job?
    5. For this specific role, I was asked what makes good customer service
    6. where do you see yourself in the next five years?
    7. any fears or health issues?

    I would also recommend researching where you want to work and having some questions prepared so you feel that little bit more confident! good luck

  37. Is this a bad weakness to mention: "Something I've struggled with is being more outgoing and easily network with other people. I've become aware of this and have realized how important it is to network and not be afraid to approach people because great things can happen when you work with other." What do you think?

  38. there is nine competencies that are general in all jobs most people dont have all of them but to be successful an any job you need them therefore its best to pick one of these and tell them you want to improve on this

  39. My biggest weaknesses are: I believed that going to college would increase my skill set for the real world. I believed that you should do a good job make the company money, but more often than not the slacker is kept when layoffs have to be done. I believed that what they told me in the interview was true about the company. Only to find out many times there was NO training, NO help, and you would get blamed for not knowing about stuff never revealed to you. I believed the YT videos that said it would help if you used their tips. When in fact it made HR mad.

    Those that know aren't ON YT, those that think they know are ALL over YT trying to fool others.

  40. Half of these questions sound way too formal for most roles you've also gotta base it on what type of job you're going for.

  41. what if i say i want everything around me to ''Look'' perfect, does that sound selfish or somewhat not right?? :/

  42. No one asked me that question, and I am a neurologist. Guess the level of BS questions and who you speak to depends on the job.

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