When they ask, “What’s your greatest weakness?” , you want to name a real weakness.
I highly recommend picking something skill-based, not personality-based.
You never want to say you struggle working with others, or you’re bad at resolving disagreements, or taking direction from a manager, etc. Those things will get you rejected in the interview.
So pick a specific skill, but pick something that won’t severely impact your ability to do this job.
For example if the job involves data entry with Excel spreadsheets all day, you do not want to say Excel is your weakness. Or that you struggle paying attention to details.
Finally, end your answer by explaining what you’re doing to overcome or improve your weakness.
Take a look at the do’s and don’ts, and the interview answer example below, to get a sense of what your answer might sound like.
- Name a real weakness
- Pick something that’s skill-based, not personality-based. For example, say, “I’m not particularly strong in Microsoft Excel…”, rather than, “My weakness is working on a team and following directions.”
- Mention what you’ve done to overcome this weakness and improve recently
- Don’t give a fake weakness like, “I work too hard”
- Don’t try to be funny with an answer like, “Kryptonite.” Hiring managers have heard it over and over
- Don’t tell them you have no weaknesses
- Don’t name a personality-based weakness (like “I have trouble getting along with colleagues”)
- Don’t name a weakness that will severely impact your ability to succeed in their job
Example Interview Answer:
“I’m not particularly strong in social media marketing. For the first few years of my career, I focused entirely on email marketing. That’s still what I specialize in, which is why I applied for your Email Marketing Manager job. But I’ve realized it’s also helpful to understand the principles of social media marketing because some of the strategies that work there also work well in email. So I’ve started spending a couple hours a week of my own time studying and learning this new area, and it’s helped me a lot.”