What is your weakness?

Many interviewers like to use a version of the question “What is your weakness?” A common technique for answering this question is to state a strength as a weakness; “I’m a perfectionist.” But an answer like that raises more red flags and leaves the interviewer wondering what issues would arise from this weakness. Candidates frequently swing and miss on this curve ball. How do you hit a homerun? Cover all your bases:

1st: Fess up. You are human. We all have weaknesses. Do you know what yours are? Or, are you walking around thinking you are perfect? Demonstrate that you have self awareness. State a realistic weakness neutrally, not overly negatively.

2nd: How do you manage your weakness so it doesn’t interfere with success? What tools have you developed to combat this weakness?

3rd: What strength is derived from managing your weakness and how is your weakness a strength in other situations?

HOME RUN: How will you use that strength in this job?

Example:

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and can dwell on things. I have learned to balance my need for perfection with the need to meet deadlines and priorities. Sometimes that means understanding that my current task is completed adequately and moving on. Strong time management skills and the ability to continuously prioritize tasks have helped me to manage my perfectionist side. Good news is that you can count on me to complete documentation accurately and on time.

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