The Worst Job Interview Question and How to Answer It

March 2, 2016

Career Advice

13422683845_af962141b7_zOut of the entire list of difficult interview questions, one of the hardest ones to answer is this: “What’s your greatest weakness?” At first thought, we all want to say, “I don’t have one!” But don’t be tempted. Answering as if you have no weaknesses indicates even bigger issues.

So what’s the right answer?
There is definitely a correct way to answer this question, but it’s different for everyone. Although we all have weaknesses, you need to craft your answer very carefully so that your weakness ends up working for you. So it’s a weakness…but it’s not. The interviewer is observing three things when you respond to this question:

  1. How are you handling your response both verbally and nonverbally (fidgeting, nervous, confident, scared)?
  2. What type of weakness did you list, and how will this weakness affect the office or team if you are hired?
  3. What’s your plan going forward in life and in work to combat or work with this weakness? How have you learned to deal with it?

Examples of “Greatest Weaknesses”
Here are a few examples of how you can turn a weakness into a positive force in the workplace.

  • If you are very detail-oriented, this can be a fault… but in a workplace, it is a highly sought-after skill when it comes to tasks like editing or catching financial errors.
  • If you are overly analytical, this can also be a hinderance… but it could be a good skill in a team setting when you’re solving problems for clients. You could be the team member who is able to identify problems and devise solutions that others can’t see.
  • If you ask a lot of questions, although it can be considered an annoyance, your value as a team member could be very high. Playing devil’s advocate at meetings or in brainstorming sessions is something a service-oriented organization could benefit from.

Preparation means everything when answering this question. Don’t be the interviewee who begins to sweat when they hear this question. Think back to your history of experiences in the work world and how your weaknesses worked for you. Think about the nature of the organization you are interviewing with and choose the weakness that best fits their culture.

Photo credit:

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: