“What is Your Biggest Weakness?”

An interview gives you a chance to brag about your accomplishments and highlight your most marketable skills. Given that context, no one wants to bring up their less-than-stellar qualities. That’s why job seekers have come to dread the classic interview momentum-killer: “what’s your biggest weakness?”

But you don’t have to cringe when you hear this question. With the right preparation and some thoughtful strategy, you can turn the question to your advantage. More than just getting through the question with the minimum damage, you’ll have an answer that can actively help your case.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you answer the question, “what’s your biggest weakness?”

There’s a Difference Between Honesty and Therapy

You want to give an honest answer about your biggest weakness. However, keep your main goal in mind: the interview is meant to land you a job. Don’t let your response derail your chances.

Your interviewers don’t want a deep, soulful admission of past sins. They just want a glimpse at your personality and work habits. Don’t offer more info than you need to. Provide a straightforward answer but save the self-flagellation for your therapist.

Leave Your Weakness in the Past

Everyone loves a good tale of overcoming adversity. Rags-to-riches narratives, underdog sports stories, even testimonials about addiction and recovery – these genres are all popular because we crave accounts of conquering hardship.

Frame the discussion of your weakness in these terms. Don’t view your imperfection as an ongoing affliction. Rather, discuss how you’ve moved past it.

In other words, have a happy ending to this story. Yes, talk about your weaknesses. But then assure your interviewers that you’ve conquered these deficits.

Focus on How You’ve Overcome Your Limitations

Employers want problem-solvers. They want workers who can weather tough situations and still produce at the highest levels. Discussing your weaknesses lets you demonstrate these abilities.

Don’t focus on how your weaknesses have limited you. Instead, discuss the steps you’ve taken to limit your weaknesses. Let your interviewers know that you’ve identified your problem areas and have made the appropriate adjustments to overcome them.

Point out specific actions you’ve taken. If you’ve had trouble completing routine paperwork, talk about how you now schedule a specific time during the week to catch up on any pending documentation. If you’ve had problems staying organized, discuss a particular productivity app you’ve downloaded to add structure to your process.

Pivot to a Strength

Obviously, you’d rather not spend much time harping on your weakest points. As much as possible, limit the scope of the subject. Rather than focusing on these potential soft points in your case, try to turn the conversation back toward your strengths.

This requires some tact. You don’t want your interviewers to feel like you’re avoiding something. Get too cagey with the weakness questions and you might leave the impression that you have something to hide.

Rather, you want to provide a thoughtful answer and then pivot to a more advantageous topic. For example, as you wrap up your answer, point out how one of your strengths helps you overcome your specific weakness.

Finding the Perfect Opportunities

Preparing for an interview can prove nerve-wracking. However, a high level of preparation will give you the confidence you need to handle any difficult question.

It also helps if you’re perfectly suited for the position. Teaming with the right staffing agency, like LaborMAX, can put you in the ideal situation to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Contact LaborMAX Staffing today to find temp work in Sacramento, or in any of the wide markets we serve.