If the interviewer asks, "What are some of your real weaknesses, please don't give me a typical answer that your weakness is a strength in disguise?" What should I say?

Updated on : December 3, 2021 by Dane Rich



If the interviewer asks, "What are some of your real weaknesses, please don't give me a typical answer that your weakness is a strength in disguise?" What should I say?

That's a very aggressive question and I wonder if that's the kind of place I want to work. A hostile interview environment is definitely a big red flag.

At the same time, I can understand why an interviewer would be tired of hackneyed answers like "I'm a perfectionist." You must identify a real problem, but have an explanation of how to address that problem.

I'll give you one of the examples that I use:

As I approach a deadline, I know that I can focus a little more on getting the document out than on making it perfect. So when I realize that I've lost

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That's a very aggressive question and I wonder if that's the kind of place I want to work. A hostile interview environment is definitely a big red flag.

At the same time, I can understand why an interviewer would be tired of hackneyed answers like "I'm a perfectionist." You must identify a real problem, but have an explanation of how to address that problem.

I'll give you one of the examples that I use:

As I approach a deadline, I know that I can focus a little more on getting the document out than on making it perfect. So when I find out that I've missed things, I start creating checklists. Then I use those checklists every time I publish a document. The checklist is a living document that I update with each project that is published.

Knowing what your weaknesses are and showing that you find ways to address or improve them is an important skill. It's called self-awareness.

If you're not sure what your weaknesses are, check out previous performance reviews for suggestions of areas for improvement. Look for trends in those articles.

Good luck!

I would say…

My weakness or weaknesses are not there to be discussed in conversation. My weakness or weaknesses do not resemble some kind of simple Superman / Krypotnite formula. My weakness or weaknesses are complex and deeply ingrained in my personality, my way of life, my upbringing and my nature. They are part of who I am and I have become aware of them and not only took them seriously, but used them for my benefit. They have kept me humble, human and empathetic.

The real weakness that I would show you today, to answer your question, would be to reveal it to you.

And I'm not that weak.

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I would say…

My weakness or weaknesses are not there to be discussed in conversation. My weakness or weaknesses do not resemble some kind of simple Superman / Krypotnite formula. My weakness or weaknesses are complex and deeply ingrained in my personality, my way of life, my upbringing and my nature. They are part of who I am and I have become aware of them and not only took them seriously, but used them for my benefit. They have kept me humble, human and empathetic.

The real weakness that I would show you today, to answer your question, would be to reveal it to you.

And I'm not that weak.

Thanks, that felt pretty good.

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