Clever Answers to “What is Your Biggest Weakness?
Of all the interview questions that I have fielded, the ubiquitous question of, “What is your biggest weakness?” still reigns supreme as being the most absurd. It’s a question that is more of a test of your innocence, creativity, and ability to bend the truth than it is a measure of skill set and organizational fit.
You must look at this question as a way to steer the conversation towards a direction where you can focus on your strengths, not an opportunity to show off your penchant for telling a white lie. To put it another way; focus on getting past this question as quickly as possible while still retaining your pride, dignity, and reputation with your interviewer. Your job during an interview is to show him/her that you’re the best person for the job, and that’s not going to happen by discussing qualities that make you unfit for it.
Unfortunately, most people who conduct interviews have no idea how to establish the criteria for the best hire, let alone analyze a candidate’s skill-set. You’ll probably find yourself answering this question more often than you think; however, all is not lost.
The key to answering this question is to remember that you’re not expected to give an honest answer. You can, however, provide an answer that also enables you to lighten up the mood and possibly get a smile out of your interviewer. Here’s what you say.
“My absolute biggest weakness… is singing.”
This is great chance for you to get a rare smirk out of your interviewer, and show them that you’ve got some creativity and cleverness floating around in your noggin. If you’re interviewer insists on you giving a real answer, you’ll need to provide something a little more substantial.
If you’re interviewing for a hands-on job, like a mechanic or builder, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning that you’re not terribly artistic. If you’re applying for a position that requires you to be artistic, mention that you would have a difficult time being a computer programmer (the polar opposite of the job to which you applied.)
The above strategy works because it gives you the chance to lighten up the milieu with a little laughter (humor builds rapport), but also show that your personality fits with the position the employer is looking to fill. Do not, under any circumstances, say that you have genuine flaws that could possibly impact your performance.
On the flip side, the egocentric answer of, “I work too hard.”, can also damn your application into the trashcan. Working too hard is a genuine problem that can lead your life into a deficiency of balance. A lack of balance in your personal and professional life can have all kinds of ramifications; like divorce and interpersonal problems that seep into your professional life. So, even if you are a workaholic, don’t mention it.