Job Interviews: Answering “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

Many interview guides advise candidates to answer the common “What’s your greatest weakness?” question with a positive trait disguised as a weakness. For example, “I tend to expect others to work as hard as I do,” or “I’m a perfectionist.”

Why? Because interviewers have heard these canned answers over and over again.

If you use one of them, it will likely backfire on you. Because the hiring manager will think:

You’re not being honest about your true weaknesses and are just regurgitating someone’s advice;

You feel that expecting others to work hard and striving for perfection (or whatever other disguised positive traits you use) are “weaknesses,” which makes you look ignorant, na├»ve and/or lazy;

You don’t know how to do an honest self-assessment;

Or you’re delusional and think you don’t have any real weaknesses!