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Tips to Answer the ‘Biggest Weakness Question’

Job Interview
Izabela Habur /Getty Images

I spent some time at the “Big Job Fair” here in Sioux Falls recently and had an opportunity to speak with some great folks out there looking for work.

Being out there, reminded me of when I was out looking for work myself. We all have been in those job interviews where the perspective employer tosses out the “so what’s your biggest weakness” question.

Ever wonder why they do that to a person? According to Forbes.com, it’s because if you know what your weaknesses are, chances are you have a pretty good handle on your strengths too.

With that said, next time this happens to you, here are a few suggestions on how you should respond according to the experts:

  • Don’t Prepare an Exact Response. Think about your answer ahead of time. Just don’t REHEARSE it, because it won’t seem authentic.
  • Talk About How You’ve Conquered the Weakness. Pick something that you used to struggle with and are now much better at. Cite an example if possible.
  • Don’t Say Your Biggest Weakness Is That You “Work Too Hard.” Employers hear that  stock answer all the time. It’s basically admitting that you don’t know what your biggest weakness is.
  • Be Honest, But Don’t Mention Any Essential Skills. If you are applying for a desk job, and you say you’re a lousy typist, guess what, you’re not going to get the job. The experts say you’re better off listing a skill that is not relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Finally, be careful not to divulge anything too personal. For instance, never say you’re terrible with money. That answer will probably not get you a gig anytime soon.

The next time you find yourself in a job interview, don’t panic or let the interviewer mess with your head. Keep those suggestions in mind and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

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