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Interviewing 101 - What's your biggest weakness?

A few weeks ago, I talked in a post about how to ensure “standing out” from the crowd during an interview. One point I mentioned was to make sure you “nail the layup questions”.

How many of you during an interview have been asked this question…” What do you feel is your greatest weakness”? I’m going to guess close to everyone has been asked this dreaded question at some point in their professional life. To many of us this question throws our interviewing rhythm out of whack. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to and in fact can sometimes propel your candidacy to the next level by how you respond.

If you take the appropriate steps and plan for this question beforehand you will not only “nail” the answer but also give the hiring manager an honest and thoughtful response which highlights the level of self-awareness you possess and how you can utilize this particular role to grow by bringing out the best in you as an employee.


Some of the most common weaknesses are: self-critical, perfectionist, too competitive, take on too much responsibility, not detail oriented or too detail oriented.



The formula to answer this question is as follows:

1. State your weakness

2. Give examples of how this trait has come up in your life

3. Explain specifically how you’ve overcome this weakness and improved


An example, “Oftentimes, I can be timid when providing constructive feedback to coworkers or managers, out of fear of hurting someone's feelings. However, in my last role, my co-worker asked me to edit some of their work and provide feedback for areas of improvement. Through this experience, I realized feedback can be helpful. Since then I've become better at offering feedback, and I've realized that my empathy can be used to my advantage to provide thoughtful, productive feedback.”

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