New interview sessions as against the traditional ones have gone past the idea of asking dichotomous or closed-ended questions. They have evolved to asking evaluative or open-ended questions that generate more practical answers through which interviewers can evaluate a person’s ability to suit a given role. Interviewers, more than before, want to know more about a job seeker.
They want to see the person or say the personality of the job seeker. They want to learn as much as possible about that person beyond the fancy suit, the nice tie, the beautiful handbag, the cute glasses, the modest expression, the decency in greeting, and all other things that constitute the physical appearance of the individual.
Interviewers want to know the good, bad, and ugly sides of an individual they are about to employ. They want to know the reasons why you want a job, how you can contribute to the growth and development of the organization.
To achieve this, interviewers make use of open-ended questions to generate the required response. An open query is one of the strategies interviewers use to get to know more about job seekers.
One of the many questions, and also one of the most challenging problems, is “what is your greatest weakness?” Interviewers judge people in an interview not only by the answers they get but by the way this question is answered. And many people have trouble answering this tricky question.
This question is difficult to answer because no one likes to share their weakness with another person easily, especially not in a job interview, and this is a result of so many reasons which generally are based on fear. This is understandable because most individuals have gone through a lot of betrayals, and some are not just usually open to others because they are introverts.
However, if this question can be adequately answered, it gives an added advantage in securing a job. Interviewers expect an honest response, so answering with a lie, partial response, or out of contest response is a wrong thing to do as you might get caught.
When the interviewer finds you, your chances of getting the job become very slim. Answering the question with another question, exaggeration, or refusal to respond are also setbacks.
Steps To Take In Answering the Question “What Is Your Greatest Weakness”?
- Choose a weakness that can easily fit your desired role without creating a negative impact on succeeding in getting that job. Don’t pick a gap you cannot easily talk about or cannot express well so that you don’t end up creating a wrong impression during your interview. Also, don’t choose a weakness that would harm the role you are applying for. It is advisable to select a part that most likely does not relate directly to the current position you are applying for.
- When choosing your weakness, select a defect that is yours. Don’t borrow someone else’s fault. This is because it’ll be easy to relate and discuss your weakness better than a borrowed one in a discussion. Don’t just go on the internet and search for other people’s weaknesses because there’s a considerable chance a lot of job seekers would do the same. You all end up telling the interviewer the same vulnerability.
- Discuss your weakness positively. Tell the interviewer about how you’ve failed a few times but have since been developing yourself. Let the interviewer know how your fault can be of great advantage when well harnessed. Converse on the ways you have been working on your weakness to get better. By presenting both the gap and a solution, you are transforming your fault into strength. But be moderate in your discussion so that you don’t go overboard, making that another weakness.
- Smile while answering this question. This way, you’ll feel more relaxed and make yourself look confident to the interviewer. Most people don’t smile in interviews because they are scared of not getting the job. But displaying confidence is also a significant area of interest for interviewers. Take a sip of water if it is available, don’t rush your words, don’t scare away for too long, maintain random eye contacts, don’t stall, don’t panic, take very brief pauses while answering. This would boost your appearance to the interviewer as a confident person who is sure about what they are saying. However, don’t be overconfident else you appear arrogant. Don’t be too assertive, too, as it may look like you have memorized your answers.
An Example of a Weakness That Can Be Used
My greatest weakness is that I am too straightforward; other people say I’m blunt. I give honest answers, and this can be great. It has helped in many situations where short and correct answers are needed to save time and get things done as quickly as possible.
Its, however, a weakness because when I give comments on work done by individuals or teams; they do not seem to be pleased with my blunt response. My remarks are straightforward, but not everyone can relate with a direct or blunt person.
I have, however, taken on more group projects, and I’m learning to review my comments about others enough and filtering it to suit individual, and I am still learning. I have also read some books on effective communication and work relationship management.
To get extra points in an interview, it is advised that you dress in the best comfortable outfit suitable for the meeting. Wearing warm clothes and beautiful shoes can boost a person’s self-esteem, and this, in turn, would help to answer questions asked in an interview better.
Don’t wear excessive makeup and jewellery. Be moderate and make sure to look very nice. Rest before you go for the interview, smile, and be positive throughout and even after the meeting. Be at the venue an hour before the interview. If possible, it will help you relax before the interview.