1. Why “What is your greatest weakness"?
  2. How to answer “What is your greatest weakness”?
    1. Compare your resume to the job description
    2. Make a list of all your weaknesses
    3. Choose a minor, fixable weakness
    4. Ask yourself these 5 crucial questions
    5. Answer honestly with a genuine weakness
    6. Discuss how you are working on your weakness
  3. “What is your greatest weakness” answer samples
    1. When you lack a required skill
    2. When you have a personality flaw that affects your work
    3. When you have a common flaw that doesn’t impact your work
    4. When being too involved with work is your weakness
    5. When you are trying to get your first job
  4. Top 10 answers for “What is your greatest weakness?”

Preparing to answer the job interview question “What is your greatest weakness?”

It may seem easy to answer this interview question about weakness.

But trust us, you don’t want to end up saying things like I’m too perfect, or I pay too much attention to detail.

In this blog, we reveal the best answer samples to "What is your greatest weakness?” with bonus top 10 answers for you.

Let’s get started!

Why do interviewers ask “What is your greatest weakness"?

Interviewers ask questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” to understand what you lack in your opinion.

Answering interview questions about weakness reflects self-awareness, honesty, and your ability to self-improve.

Plus, if you can explain how you plan to overcome your weaknesses, you can expect extra brownie points from the interviewers.

You can also use this opportunity to talk about the challenges faced in previous roles and how you dealt with them.

Doing this will show the interviewers that you are capable of dealing with your biggest weaknesses and take self improvement very seriously.

How to answer “What is your greatest weakness”?

Struggling with finding a good answer to what is your greatest weakness?

Here are some easy ways to help you prepare for this question.

1. Compare your resume to the job description

Do you ever come across a job description and find yourself lacking in certain aspects?

It happens to everyone unless you have the odd chance of finding a job tailor-made just for you.

This gap in the job description and resume could give you the perfect answer to interview questions about weakness.

While preparing to talk about your biggest weaknesses, compare your resume with the JD, and identify what you are missing.

This will show your preparation for the said interview and the through research will reflect your attitude towards the job.

2. Make a list of all your weaknesses

Nobody likes to talk about the things they are not good at. Sometimes, you may not even know about a weakness of yours.

But it is this self-awareness that interviewers wish to gauge with questions like “What is your greatest weakness?”.

To answer effectively, make a list of all the weaknesses you can think of in your professional life.

You can take help from your colleagues and superiors (in case you share that kind of rapport with them) to identify the areas of improvement.

Then, eliminate the skills you feel can backfire and choose a quality that does not directly affect your chances of getting the job or can be easily fixed.

3. Choose a minor, fixable weakness

Dealing with interview questions about weaknesses needs a lot of preparation since your answer can make or break the deal.

So, choose a weakness that is minor and easy to fix. Some such weaknesses are:

  • Lack of knowledge about a technology
  • Being nervous in speaking in public
  • Spending too much time on research and gathering data
  • Organizational or time management issues
  • Worrying too much about projects at hand

4. Ask yourself these 5 crucial questions

Many of us stay unaware of our weaknesses and rarely feel the need to improve anything about ourselves.

But the truth is that no one is perfect, and every person lacks something or the other.

To answer what is your greatest weakness, ask yourself these 5 questions.

  1. Do you lack a skill that is crucial to your profession?
  2. What was the cause of your last failure, and how did you resolve it?
  3. Did you ever receive feedback from your seniors regarding your working style?
  4. Have your colleagues pointed out any quirks of yours?
  5. What is the one quality that you wish you had?

5. Answer honestly with a genuine weakness

Making up a weakness or lying in the interview doesn’t work too well for most job seekers and can put you in a difficult spot.

The interviewers are smart people who can see through such charades.

So, avoid talking about unrelated weaknesses and do not try to turn a positive into a negative while answering "What is your geatest weakness?".

Being too punctual, too perfect, or too involved in work are not real weaknesses!

Choose a skill from the list (Step 3) and discuss a genuine shortcoming that is related to the position you are interviewing for with your recruiter.

6. Discuss how you are working on your weakness

A crucial part of answering “What is your greatest weakness?” is talking about how you plan on overcoming it.

Job seekers that share their plan of action make a much better impact in interviews as they reflect the will to learn and grow out of their weak spots.

It also reflects the effort and time the candidate is willing to spend on perfecting a flaw, making him/her a promising candidate.

“What is your greatest weakness” answer samples

Let us understand how to answer interview questions about weakness with some sample answers.

Here are some “What is your greatest weakness” answer samples based on specific roles and experiences.

You can take inspiration from these templates and form your own unique answer.

When you lack a required skill

Sample answer 1

My biggest weakness would be my limited knowledge of Javascript coding.

I know all about javascript coding theoretically but have never had the chance to use it for backend operations.

In my 3 years of experience, I have become hands-on with Python and C++.

I have also led several projects for my former employers. For one such project, I mastered Django withing 27 days.

I noticed the job description demands someone great at both javascript and C++, and while I’m a pro at C++, I will have to brush up javascript.

To do the same, I have already signed up for online classes and will try to ace Javascript coding before the end of this month.

When you have a personality flaw that affects your work

Sample answer 2

One of my greatest weaknesses is that I’m excessively concerned about meeting deadlines, and when that doesn’t seem to happen, I get impatient too soon.

In my initial years of working as a PR executive for ABC company, we were needed to send out copies at a fixed time.

Submitting even 5 minutes past the said deadline would make me uncomfortable, and I would feel uneasy even after I had submitted the content copies.

However, I’m trying my best to overcome it. I plan my day, a week, in advance, and schedule all tasks to make sure I get them done well before the deadlines.

It’s been 2+ years since, and my streak is going strong yet.

When you have a common flaw that doesn’t impact your work

Sample answer 3

One of the things I wish I could get better at is my organizational skills.

I often have a messy desk, and sometimes, organizing my thoughts becomes equally hard.

Even though it doesn’t hamper my productivity or efficiency, I feel I could get more done more quickly and easily in an organized environment.

Now, I spend 15 minutes every day cleaning my workspace and laptop. I discard the clutter and delete all extra files and documents.

To record my thoughts, I always carry a notepad and pen with me to make notes, so I don’t forget anything.

When being too involved with work is your weakness

Sample answer 4

One of the greatest weaknesses I have is that I’m usually too involved with the work at hand, which eventually leads to a blurred line between work-life balance.

I have the habit of spending a lot of time with my laptop. For the first 2 years, I would check my email first thing in the morning.

I eventually had to bring changes in my lifestyle when I realized that I was always tired, which directly impacted my efficiency.

Now, I try to find time for myself and have made some healthy additions to my routine. I meditate and spend some time with self, and my family.

It helps me relax for a bit and has led to a more proactive lifestyle.

When you are trying to get your first job

Sample answer 5

One of the greatest weaknesses I have is that I cannot share responsibilities with people in my team.

I get too engrossed with projects and take up additional responsibilities as I want to do everything by myself.

Eventually, I end up with a lot of stuff on my plate and have to run north to south all on my own.

For instance, I was the captain of the college football team, and we were to organize an inter-college competition.

I took all the arrangements upon myself, leaving very little for others to manage.

I later realized that not only did it exhaust me, it also brought about a sense of distrust amongst my teammates.

They thought I didn’t want them to do anything because of the lack of trust I have in them, but the truth is I just wanted everything to be perfect.

Once I understood the importance of delegation, I worked on it, and I have been doing it since.

I made plans and charts with duties assigned to people after that incident and was able to restore faith in my team.

I hope I’ll be able to do that in the future when I work for an esteemed organization such as yours.

Top 10 answers for “What is your greatest weakness?”

Apart from all the sample answers, here are 10 most basic weaknesses that you can choose to elaborate on in an interview.

  1. Leadership skills
  2. Management style
  3. Weak delegation skills
  4. Poor verbal communication
  5. Lack of diplomacy
  6. The constant need to exercise control
  7. Time-management skills
  8. Organizational skills
  9. Bad at being a team player
  10. Inability to provide constructive criticism

In the end, I hope that you are now ready to face “What is your greatest weakness?” and other interview questions about weakness too.

Just remember, your biggest weakness may get you your dream job.

All it takes is a well-drafted answer, and the practice to get it right.

All the best!

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