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How do I answer "what do you think your greatest weakness is" during interviews?

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Caroline’s Answer

Hi Jessica! I think this is a really good question everyone should reflect on to work to better themselves. Personally, my biggest weakness is not asking questions. I have run into many situations either at school, or in my internship where I find myself not quite sure about something. Rather than asking a question because it seems 'stupid' or 'already known', I end up putting myself behind and never understanding fully. To combat this, I always think of questions I have and write them down, then figure out the appropriate person to ask. Never feel that asking questions is a bad thing; it shows you are engaged in what you are doing and are curious to learn more.
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Ro’s Answer

This question is not asked to actually assess your actual weakness, but what you did to OVERCOME a weakness. To respond to this question, it's best to follow this formula:

1) State your weakness
2) What you've done to overcome your weakness
3) The results of your effort

ex: (1) My greatest weakness is networking. I am naturally an introvert and avoided large groups, however (2) I realized that this was a necessary part of future jobs and building connections, so I've practiced my speaking and connecting skills at fairs and developed my ability to meet and develop partnerships. (3) Although I am far from an expert, I now feel confident to reach out to new people and can make the most out of networking opportunities.

This formula allows you to state a weakness, but not leave that weakness as a problem, but rather give you an opportunity to show how you resolved a problem. Companies want problem-solvers, and answering this question well can leave a great impression in an interview. Best of luck to you!

~Ro
Given an answer that shows you understand your weaknesses and are working them is important. J Zirbel
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Ryan’s Answer

I believe that it is important to reflect on your weaknesses because without taking the time to realize them, you will never improve them. My biggest weakness is probably taking too much on at once. I enjoy helping people and have over-committed myself in the past, which leads to not having much time to relax. Although it is a great feeling to help others, it is important to take care of yourself as well. By making sure you leave enough time to recharge and stay healthy, you will be able to offer more help in the long-run because you will not be burnt out. A good tip I would give for this would be to try to imagine how much time each task you commit to takes and see if it will fit in your schedule. By realistically planning out a timeframe for each project, you will make sure that you are not taking on to much work at once.
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Krishna’s Answer

This is a great question! I don't think people focus on their weaknesses nearly as much as they should. The best way to improve and grow as a person is to assess one's weaknesses.

Personally, I think my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist who needs things done a certain way. I sometimes forget to take other people's viewpoints into consideration, which often times is very beneficial. I have to learn to rely on other people more rather than put all the pressure on myself. Through my academic and professional career, I learned the importance and benefit of working in teams and using different perspectives to strengthen projects. You will never be alone nor should you be. Make sure you learn from those around you, because they may have thoughts and ideas that never would have crossed your mine.
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Angela’s Answer

Hi Jessica, at first, my biggest weakness was not taking feedback personally. Accepting constructive criticism, even when it hurts, is something I've found to be instrumental in my personal and professional development.
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Anubhav’s Answer

There is never a right or a wrong answer to this question in an interview. Every individual has a different thought to a situation and it behaves exactly as the 2 sides of a coin.

Answering this question in an interview can be quite tricky and I have seen people jumping off the chair, perplexed with anxiety and confused on how to answer this so that the interviewer doesn't make create any prejudice even before hiring. Or maybe the answer may lead to rejection.

So the best thing for an interview question is to relax!!! you need to think before you speak and weigh your answers but at the same time, you need to be the natural you. You are being hired for being yourself and when you don't do that, it will not take you far at any given role.

Now jumping to the answer - Construct your answer in a way that you tell one of your weakness - could be time management, decision making, impulsive nature, communication, etc. but at the same time come up with an example or story to explain how you are working to improve upon it or how it becomes your strength at times as well.

So for example - I feel that at times I take a while to make decisions as I tend to weigh the situation and think through in detail. Now, this can lead to a situation where the actionable takes a while however it also helps me to ensure whatever is being done is correct. The extra time is spent in detailing it before taking the decision, helps me to ensure that the decision is worth it. So I try to use my weakness as a strength to ensure my decision making or results after the decision are fruitful even when I took an extra while to conclude my decision.
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Sam’s Answer

I used to go through my weaknesses and determine whether each one was "safe" or not to state in an interview. But I finally realized that just about any personal weakness is OK to point out in an interview, as long as you can also state how you've worked to overcome and grow from it.

For instance, one of my biggest weaknesses had been stubbornly spinning my wheels when I couldn't solve a particular problem. I eventually learned to identify earlier that I was indeed stuck, and then put that particular problem aside for awhile and go onto something else. Most of the time, when I came back to what I was stuck on, I'd solve it almost immediately. The rare times I still couldn't solve the issue, I'd seek help. So while "spinning wheels" in and of itself isn't a quality that would impress anyone, explaining how I bettered myself through working on it has helped me in interviews throughout my career.

So really just assess yourself, work on the weaknesses you identify, and you'll have ready-made answers to that question!
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Kanchan’s Answer

This is the trickiest yet the most crucial question asked in any interview.
Your answer should be such that you show case a business skill that is too good to be true and always support with a real life past experience and a way how you're trying to improve it. For Example :
1. My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. I take time in doing everything perfectly and thus am not satisfied till it is the best outcome than can be attained.(Add a past life experience)
2. My weakness is that I struggle to ask anyone for help. I always think that I should be self dependent and should take care of all the work on my own.(Add a past life experience)
3. My weakness is that I am detail oriented. (Add a past life experience)

Understand that there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
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Saige’s Answer

I would say my biggest weakness is delegation. I am not good at saying no and I like to be busy and take on a lot. I don't necessarily consider those things weaknesses but I could do them a lot better if I could ask for help or trust other people with work that also has my name attached. The only way to really improve this is build trusting relationships in your work and school fields and the take a leap and learn from what happens.
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Caroline’s Answer

One of my biggest weaknesses is overanalyzing things sometimes it is better to just go with your gut and provide your initial feedback. Sometimes when I overanalyze how I will respond to a question or comment it takes time out of my workday and lowers my confidence. I also take feedback too personally as well. I should realize that the feedback being given to me will only help my personal and career development.
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Shiyoung David’s Answer

Hello Jessica!

It is not important what kind of your weakness you have. The most important point of this question is that you are trying to recognize and accept the weakness of you.

As we are human beings, we all have our own weaknesses. If you ignore your weakness, there will be no self development. However, if you recognize and accept your weakness, you could be prepared by yourself about any issue from your weakness and develop your own strength to cover your weakness. You are on the right track now!
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Blake’s Answer

I struggle with my sense of urgency. At times, this can make others feel like they aren't involved in making decisions.
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Sydni’s Answer

Great question! I find that often times I am really detail-oriented. This leads to me micro-managing tasks, not looking at the bigger picture, and becoming more of a perfectionist. To combat this, I try my best to take a step back from the situation and clear my head. By approaching it from a broader perspective, I can better tackle what needs to be done. Ultimately, while looking at the details is beneficial, looking too deep into them can cause you to become sidetracked and could shift you from fulfilling your goals.
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Madelyne’s Answer

I believe that my greatest weakness is the way that I am more of an introvert. In the business field, I always believed that there was a stigma against introverts- always thinking that I wouldn't be able to advance as far as my peers because I was not as comfortable with networking. I have found that putting myself in situations and joining different organizations at my university has forced me to develop networking skills. I have found the more I practice and develop these skills, the more comfortable I get when put in new situations.
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Kimberly’s Answer

This is a great question!
As someone who holds interviews often I love hearing my candidates responses. One of the main things that I look for is honesty. I have respect for someone who is able to acknowledge that they have flaws and weaknesses . Never say "I don't know or i'm not sure". You know what your not good at and the person doing the interview knows your not perfect either. There is nothing wrong with haveing a weakness but know what it and how to embrace it. Personally, when I am being interviewed I like to state my weakness but what I am doing to work on it. This shows that I acknowledge my weakness and I want to improve. Having a weakness is not nearly as important as how you handle it.

Embrace your strengths and your weakness!
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Ram’s Answer

I think my greatest weakness is struggling to ask others for help. I know that everyone is busy, and I don't want to be a disturbance, so I try not to ask for help. Over the last few years, I have realized that this is the wrong approach. When I am working on difficult tasks, I should ask someone for help in order to work smarter not harder. In both college and the workplace, there will always be someone who has done the job you have done or something similar, so they can definitely help point you in the right direction. This will help you learn quicker and increase the overall efficiency of the team.
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Meghan’s Answer

I would say my biggest weakness is wanting to always do everything and not knowing how to say no; this has often resulted in having an overloaded schedule and task list, however overtime it has actually helped me develop a strength of how to best manage my time. I religiously use Google Calendar, as I have found that to be the best and most efficient way for me to stay on top of my obligations. I prefer the use of a digital calendar over a handwritten planner because it is difficult for me to always remember to carry around a physical planner. I like how I can pull up my calendar anywhere I am, whether that be on my phone, my laptop, or on a public computer. I have also grown to understand that it is okay to say no to doing certain favors if that means having to put yourself second, as it is important to prioritize yourself and your responsibilities. Putting yourself in a situation where you say yes to everything all the time can result in getting extremely burnt out, which in turn can negatively affect everything you do. Overall, finding a healthy balance between work, doing favors, and making time for yourself can be challenging but remembering to prioritize and stick to a schedule is definitely helpful!
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