How to answer what is your greatest weakness?

When an interviewer asks “What is your greatest weakness”, they want to find out:

  • Whether you have a healthy level of self-awareness
  • Whether you can be open and honest, particularly about shortcomings
  • Whether you pursue self-improvement and growth opportunities to combat these issues, as opposed to letting these weaknesses hold you back

Ultimately, you’ll want to use this question to demonstrate how you’ve used a weakness as motivation to learn a new skill or grow professionally. Everyone has weaknesses — your interviewer doesn’t expect you to be perfect.

However, it’s critical you avoid mentioning weaknesses that will prevent you from performing well in the role. For instance, if you’re applying for a accountant role, you don’t want to say, “I’m not very good at math and struggle with numbers.”

Alternatively, if you’re applying for a web content writer position with little necessity for math skills, you might admit, “I struggle with numbers. While math is not directly tied to my role as a writer, I believe it’s important I have a rudimentary understanding of Google Analytics, to ensure my work is performing well. To tackle this weakness, I’ve been taking online courses in data analytics.”

At all times express confidence in both your strengths as well as your ability to overcome your weaknesses.