February 9, 2023

How to answer the question “What’s your biggest weakness?” How to answer “what’s your biggest weakness?” in a job interview.

  • A top employer revealed that the worst answers to a common question in an interview was given by them
  • Jane McNeill is the Hays Director. She often asks interviewees what their ‘greatest weakness is’.
  • She It shows how honest and self-aware prospective employees are
  • The worst answers include denial of a weakness and being an ‘workaholic. 



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A top employer revealed the ‘best and worst’ answers to one the most hated interview questions. 

Jane McNeillDirector of Hays Recruitment shared his insight on one of the most frequently asked questions in interviews after more than 30 years in the industry: “What’s your biggest weakness?”

McNeill stated that interviewers ask McNeill this question to determine how self-aware they are. Seek. “Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to identify areas that can be improved and build upon them.”

A top employer revealed the ‘best and worst’ answers to one the most hated interview questions

While many potential employees fear it is a trick question that only aims to bewilder them, answering it well can significantly increase your chances of landing a new job.  

The secret is simple: There is no perfect solution.

Safe answer: Choose a trait that you are working to improve, even if it is not essential to the role.

For example, people who are interested in a career in marketing shouldn’t say they don’t have a creative side.

It is important to present yourself in relation the job posting. 

The best way to think about weaknesses is to find a skill that an employer doesn’t need – or have someone else do it.  

Best and worst answers to “What’s your biggest weakness?” 

 BEST ANSWERS

  1. I’m too competitive
  2. Public speaking is terrifying for me
  3. I’m quite self-critical
  4. I don’t delegate often enough
  5. I take on too many things at once 

 WORST ANSWERS

  1. I am a perfectionist
  2. I work too much
  3. I don’t have any weaknesses
  4. I’m too passionate
  5. I care too much 

McNeil gave a list of strong examples that can be applied to most people.

  1. “I’m afraid to speak in public.”
  2. ‘I’m quite self-critical.’
  3. “I don’t delegate enough.”

 McNeill said that self-awareness is a hallmark of all three. ‘These answers are even better if you can explain what you’ve done to overcome your weaknesses.’

‘It’s critical to show that you have emotional intelligence and that you are working on your weakness,’ revealed McNeill.

She It was also shown that the worst answers disguise weaknesses as strengths. 

‘At best this looks disingenuous or deliberately insincere – at worst your interviewer will think you’re lying.’ 

The way you present yourself in relation to the job posting is important - you cannot reveal that your 'greatest weakness' is something listed on the key selection criteria

It is important to present yourself in relation the job posting.

Common interview questions 

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why should I hire your services?
  • Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
  • How do you prioritise tasks 
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What can you bring to this job
  • Why did you quit your job?
  • What is your greatest achievement? 

Interviewees shouldn’t say that they are a “workaholic” or a “perfectionist”. Modern employers want people who are able to maintain a healthy balance between professional and personal life.

Additionally, claiming to perfectionist can lead to the perception that you spend too much time on tasks. This is a negative trait in a world that values efficiency. 

Everybody has weaknesses and strengths. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and think of the best answer for the interview question.

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