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How to answer the Dreaded Interview Question: "What is Your Biggest Weakness?"
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How to answer the Dreaded Interview Question: "What is Your Biggest Weakness?"

Velents Team
Updated on:
July 20, 2022
Reading time:
4 Min

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There are some questions that interviewees fear more than any others, and for good reason. They're difficult to answer because there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and they can often seem like the interviewer is trying to catch you out. One such question is "What is your biggest weakness?" However, there are strategies for responding intelligently to this issue without making a fool of yourself.

First of all, it's important to remember that the interviewer is not looking for you to list off a string of negative qualities about yourself. They're actually trying to assess a few things: whether you're self-aware, whether you're able to learn and grow from your mistakes, and whether you're a good fit for the job.

some tips on how to answer this question

  • Be honest: The worst thing you can do is try to fake it and list off a made-up weakness that isn't really relevant. Not only will the interviewer see right through you, but you'll also come across as inauthentic.
  • Be specific: Again, the interviewer is not looking for a laundry list of all your shortcomings. Choose one specific weakness and focus on that.
  • Highlight how you're working to improve: This is where you can show off your self-awareness and demonstrate that you're taking steps to improve. For example, maybe you're not the best at public speaking, but you've joined a toastmasters club to work on that.
  • Keep it relevant: Make sure your weakness is actually relevant to the job you're applying for. There's no need to bring up something that won't have any bearing on your ability to do the job.

By following these tips, you can turn a potential weakness into a strength, and show the interviewer that you're a smart, self-aware individual who is always looking to improve. So next time you're asked this question in an interview, don't panic - you've got this!

When you're faced with a difficult question in an interview, it's natural to feel a little bit of stress. After all, you want to make a good impression and you don't want to say the wrong thing.

How to avoid those type of questions

1. What did you dislike about your last job?
This question is designed to get you to badmouth your previous employer. It's a loaded question that can make you look unprofessional and difficult to work with.

The greatest approach to avoid this question is to simply say that you enjoyed your previous job but you're looking for a new challenge. You can also talk about the positive aspects of your current job.

2. Why did you leave your last job?
This question can be difficult to answer if you left your last job on bad terms. You don't want to badmouth your previous employer, but you also don't want to lie about the reason you left.

The best way to answer this question is, to be honest. If you left your last job because it wasn't a good fit, you can say that you're looking for a better match. If you left because of personal reasons, you can explain what those reasons were.

3. What are your salary requirements?
This question is designed to catch you off guard. The interviewer wants to see if you're willing to negotiate on salary, and they may use your answer against you.

The best and smartest answer is to say that you're flexible on salary or that you're willing to discuss salary after the interview process.

4. What do you know about our company?
This is how your interviewers see if you've done your homework on the company. It's important to research the company before an interview, and you should be able to answer this question easily. A couple of minutes online will make you shine.

5. Why should we hire you?
Now, this is your chance to sell yourself to the interviewer. Talk about your skills and experiences that make you a good fit for the job. Focus on what you can do for the company, but also stay clear from talking about yourself too much. You don't want them thinking you are too into yourself.

6. What are your hobbies?
Don't worry, they are only trying to get to know you better. However, you don't want to share any hobbies that could make you look bad. For example, if you're applying for a job that requires a lot of travel, you don't want to say that your hobby is staying at home.

Instead, choose hobbies that make you look good. For example, you could say that you enjoy volunteering, travelling, or reading. And a little football cheering won't hurt, everyone loves football.

7. What would you do if you were in our shoes?
This is a difficult question because it's impossible to know exactly what the interviewer wants to hear. Instead of trying to guess, focus on your own features and experience. Talk about how you would benefit the company and how you see yourself fitting into their team.

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they are also an opportunity to learn more about the company and the position. Asking thoughtful questions during job interviews demonstrates your interest in the role and your preparation for the meeting.

Some questions you might want to ask during a job interview

  • What are the company's values?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the team/department/company?
  • What is the company culture like?
  • What are some of the recent projects the team has worked on?
  • What are the expectations for this role?
  • What is the potential for career growth within the company?
  • What are some of the challenges I would be expected to solve in this role?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you faced a difficult challenge at work?

After asking thoughtful questions, it's the perfect time to ask the interviewer for their thoughts on you as a candidate. This gives them an opportunity to share any concerns they may have, and it also allows you to get feedback on your interview.

Finally, thank the interviewer for their time and be sure to ask for a business card. This is a professional way to end the interview and make sure you have the interviewer's contact information in case you need to follow up.

Interviewing can be a daunting process, but by preparing ahead of time and asking questions during the interview, you can set yourself up for success. 

Good luck and best of wishes on your hiring journey whether it’s an on-demand interview or a video one

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