Job Interview Questions and Answers
Question 22: What is your greatest weakness (or weaknesses)?
Don't answer this question by claiming that you have no weaknesses. Confess a real weakness that you have, but choose one that isn't particularly relevant to the job you're seeking if you can. Do not answer with phony weaknesses such as "I'm a slave to my job." Just state the weakness, tell the interview how it has harmed you in your work life, and what steps you have taken to improve it. A good step one can take to improve a weakness is to read self-help books on the subject. You might offer the title of a book you've read that helped you improve your weakness.
Sample answer 1: "A major weakness I had in the past was delegating work to others and trusting them to do it correctly. In my early career, this caused some problems for me in that my subordinates were unhappy because they felt I lacked confidence in them. I would try to do the work myself or look over their shoulders while they were doing the work. This problem was brought to my attention by my supervisor in a performance review. I agreed with her on this point and admitted I needed to change so I read a few self-help books that helped me change my thinking and let go of the idea that I needed to micromanage my work environment in order to get the job done. Now, I have no problem delegating work to subordinates."
Sample answer 2: "I'm a very shy person until I get to know a person. Being shy has cost me a great deal in my career as it has prevented me from getting promotions and jobs I've wanted. A few years ago, I realized I would have to change or I wasn't going to achieve my career goals. I read several self-help books on the subject, "Getting Over Your Shyness" was one, and I summoned up the courage to take a speech class at night. The teacher was excellent and was able to convince me how shyness is just an irrational fear. Although I'll always be shy, I'm not nearly as shy as I used to be and I've greatly improved my ability to communicate with others by taking several more speech classes. Now, I can get up in front of a large group of people and give a lengthy presentation without a problem."
Bad answer: "I have a major weakness for chocolate." Although this is a weakness, to offer this as an answer is to sidestep the question and will turn off the interviewer.