Articles From the Team
What is your biggest weakness?
OH THIS QUESTION. Drives me crazy! I understand why it’s a good one to ask, it puts the candidate on the spot, forces them to think quickly, and also opens them up to a whole world of awkwardness because they don’t want to appear weak in front of their future employers.
However, this question is surely now one of the oldest in the book? And most importantly its purpose is now thwarted as 99% of candidates are now expecting it at interview, and are well prepared – I know it is something I prepare my candidates for before they go to interview.
Most candidates I speak to are prepared, but surprisingly I still speak to candidates who think that the stock answer of “I’m a perfectionist” will cut it at interview because it shows them as thoughtful, diligent and mindful employees, whilst still wanting to please everyone all of the time, perhaps to their own detriment.
An article in recruitment grapevine recently revealed some of the best responses to that age old favourite interview question “what is your biggest weakness?”. Someone responded by pulling an index card out of their pocket and saying ”I am always over-prepared” – really? A bit contrived and set up I think! Although rather cheeky, my favourite response was “‘weak interview questions’ – drop the mic, and then walk out”. Made me chuckle!
How about being honest though? One candidate said “I am usually just honest about my weakness, I don’t like to say whatever it takes to get a job, I want the employer to know what kind of person I am”. I like this attitude. This could be a little risky, for example if you come out with the likes of “I’m constantly turning up late for things” or “I swear all the time”, but as long as its nothing too damaging, I think this is a really positive way of getting yourself across in interview.