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5 intelligent ways to answer- “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?”

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Rachita Jain

Author

Nobody knows the perfect answers to the interview questions asked in a job interview. And with the nervousness that takes over, it becomes all the more difficult to process and answer the questions in the right way. People panic even to the most straightforward questions during the heat of the moment. Now imagine the most aggravating question, ‘what is your greatest weakness’ pops in.

Strengths and weaknesses are a part of everyone’s life, but what would you do when asked what is your greatest weakness in an interview? It is easier to answer the ‘my strength’ question, but what will you say to what is your greatest weakness when asked in an interview?

While the perfect answer to what is your greatest weakness does not exist, here are some sample answers that might prepare you for one.

How to answer what is your greatest weakness?

Keep the following things in mind when asked what is your greatest weakness-

  1. Be subtle with your answers. Don’t come as very strong or work. Maintain a balance.
  2. Don’t hesitate to answer what is your greatest weakness. Everyone has weaknesses and no one in this world is perfect.
  3. Remember what makes you stand out from the crowd is that you accept your weaknesses and you work on them.

Sample answer 1- Fear of public speaking

Honestly, when it comes to my biggest weakness, I would say it is the fear of speaking in front of a huge crowd. I have no fear of speaking in a meeting. Usually, I am amongst the first ones who stand up and speak in meetings, but when it comes to huge audiences, I choose to take a backseat. I get nervous, and I fumble when required to speak on the stage where everyone has their eyes on me.

Followed by….

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But I spoke to my manager about the same, and she suggested me several ways to overcome this weakness of mine. I joined a networking group for people who want to learn the art of public speaking and took some internal presentation skill classes too. This helped me a lot. Recently I volunteered to do anchoring in an event held in my college.

Sample answer 2- Indecisiveness

Sometimes when it comes to making a solid decision, I find myself in a dilemma of selecting the best option. I fear that I will select the wrong options and will mess things up. Earlier I worked in a strong team with outstanding leadership, which is why I didn’t practice making decisions much as we were given clear and direct instructions.

Followed by….

However, things have now changed for good. Recently I attended a leadership campaign where I was put into situations where I had to make tough decisions on the spot. Once I was put into a tough spot where I had to choose between two extreme things that would decide the outcome of our activity. Many exercises were conducted in that seminar that trained me to become more decisive. These exercises also helped me understand that it is ok sometimes not to know things. We are humans, and hence we can’t always be correct. What matters is that we stand by our decision, good or bad.

Example answer 3- Talkative

I am a social person, but sometimes I become too chatty and start distracting others. I love engaging in conversations with my colleagues. It is an excellent team-building skill, but too much of everything is terrible. I became more talkative after I opted for remote work during the pandemic. I didn’t get to talk to my friends much due to the virtual remote work, and this was when I became too chatty with my colleagues.

Followed by….

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But talking to my manager about it helped me a lot. She enrolled me in a course plan where I learned how to keep conversations to the point, covering key elements. Now, I keep my conversations short and productive and I do engage with my colleagues but only to a point where they do not get distracted. I value their time as well as mine in the office and spend it doing office work only.

Example answer 4- Lack of organization skills

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Sometimes it is hard for me to keep my workspace well-organized. However, it never interfered with my productivity at work. Earlier I often used to struggle with my cluttered desk and inbox, and this habit increased when I worked remotely. During remote work, I didn’t have my office desk, and due to that, I used to keep things here and there. As a result, I had difficulty finding things.

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But ever since I enrolled in the organization skills course, I have now become a more organized man. Now each day I spare 15 minutes to declutter my digital as well as my physical space. An efficient organization is a skill I have yet to master, but I am surely improving at it. Moreover, I have also noticed that decluttering my space also brings positive vibes.

Example answer 5- Too direct in my approach

At times I get too straightforward in my approach toward others. Sometimes I get too honest, but my colleagues mainly value that as they get an honest opinion. However, often it can reflect adversely on my personality as I may appear rude and in-affectionate. My honesty and straightforwardness are misunderstood as my disrespect towards them. But I understand that diplomacy is a skill that is often required at a job.

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That is why I took conflict management classes for the same. It made me aware and helped me understand that different people must be communicated to in different ways. Now I do provide honest opinions, but in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone.

All the answers mentioned above are not perfect. However, these are some insightful and perceptive responses that can help you stand out from the crowd and get the job that you desire. You can take inspiration from these answers and mold your own based on your individual experiences.

Being asked what is your greatest weakness is one of those interview questions and answers that gives you chills. Answering about your strengths is easier than mentioning what is your greatest weakness. The HR interview questions and answers are complex, and so should their answers. These often require detailed introspection and drawing conclusions to self-analysis. Honesty might be the best policy, but often, you also need tactfulness and diplomacy within your answers.

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