Articles From the Team
How do I answer what my biggest weaknesses are in an interview?
I’ll set the scene…
Candidate: *thinks* *Oh this is going fantastically well…*
Interviewer: “Ok, so can you please tell me what your biggest weakness is?”
Candidate: *That’s it, bomb dropped! Wait… I’ve got it “Oh I’m such a perfectionist!”
Interviewer: Awkward silence; hay bail rolls by *… and it was going sooooo well*
Don’t worry, this is not the first time the interviewer will hear this, and rest assured it won’t be the last! Every interview you have prepared for you have probably trawled through the internet googling, what questions will I be asked at interview? How shall I answer about my strengths and weaknesses…?
Confession time: I’ve done it!
Most candidates I speak to consider this question pointless. Logic says, if you want the job you are interviewing for, there’s no way you are going to confess your biggest flaws in the middle of an interview. But do not, by any means, underestimate the answer you give to this question.
How you answer this question says a lot about you as a person. If you don’t answer it or try and bypass it, you may be seen as arrogant or afraid to say the wrong thing. But if you do answer it, you don’t want to be too candid and spill your guts to the person you effectively want to work with!
Well I think we can safely say you will have a weakness, so you can’t get aware with not answering it. The caveat here is that you are Mary Poppins and practically perfect in everyway…You’re not? Then read on…
By asking this question the interviewer wants to see if you can acknowledge that you are not faultless. They want to see that you can recognise you are unlikely to be the finished article, no matter how senior you are. It’s all about being self-aware and showing you are accountable to yourself.
Have the courage and integrity to answer the question honestly. Interviewers will see through the, “I work too hard” answer that most people think it’s a good idea to give. Think about problems you’ve overcome in the past, what did you learn from them? Could you have acted differently? Is it a personality flaw; are you impatient? Are you learning to be more patient?
The best way to answer this question is tell the interviewer a genuine (but improvable) weakness. Then add onto the end that whilst you acknowledge this is a weakness, you are working to develop this….
“I struggle to delegate, but I recognise as a fee earner in a commercial business my time is costly and not recoverable and therefore I am working to get better at this by using the support around me”
“Sometimes I can come across as blunt or too direct and I sometimes say things without thinking which can give people the wrong impression of me. Now I have realised I can sometimes come across like that, I am working hard to ensure that I take more time to think about what I say before I say it”
See how easy that was?
If you want to have a confidential chat about your options and discuss any helpful hints and tips for interview, please contact Emma Delli-Bovi at BCL Legal on 0121 230 1020 or at firstname.lastname@example.org