Talent Development Centre

How to Handle the Most Dreaded Interview Question

Frances McCart By Frances McCart,
Vice-President, Business Development at Eagle

The key to any good interview is preparation.  Most candidates focus their interview prep around explaining their career progression, what they are really, really great at, and doing some background research on the company they are interviewing for.  This is all important, but one of the interview questions that tends to trip people up is “What are your areas of weakness?

The worst thing you can answer is that you “don’t have any weaknesses”. Answers that come across as arrogant or insincere (ex. “I work way too hard, so my personal life suffers“) should also be avoided.  This is one of the most common interview questions that has been used for years, but if often catches people off guard.

A good place to start with is past performance reviews.  Thinking about areas that you were asked to improve upon is a great opportunity to demonstrate how a weakness was turned into a positive.  The most important thing to remember is to be sincere, be genuine, and be honest.  Employers aren’t expecting perfection, but they do prefer to hire candidates who can recognize areas of past or current weakness and how they have (or are planning to) address them.

This video from Kathryn Dill talks about tips on how to tackle this tough question during an interview. The key take away is to be prepared to speak about yourself in both positive and negative terms and to BE PREPARED!

preview_whats-your-biggest-weakness

One thought on “How to Handle the Most Dreaded Interview Question

  1. Here is my answer to this question: ” To me a weakness implies a permanent state. Something I cannot change. I like to think about it in a postive way and think of it as an improvement area. A weakness, I perhaps cannot change, but an improvement area I can”. The problem is the question. Not the answer.

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