Welcome to Pressing Questions, Fast Company‘s mini advice column. Twice a week, Deputy Editor Kathleen Davis, host of The New Way We Workpodcast, will answer the biggest and most pressing workplace questions in less than one minute.
How do I answer the interview question “What’s your biggest weakness?”
Who doesn’t hate this question, right? It’s one of the most common, almost cliché interview questions and it often feels like a trap—you don’t want to say something bad about yourself; you are trying to impress them and get hired!
This kind of question along with questions like, “where do you see yourself in five years” and, “tell me about yourself” are called behavioral interview questions. They are designed to determine how you will handle situations at work.
They’ve more about how you work—the “soft skills” of job—rather than what you do, or the “hard” technical skills.
So, for the biggest weakness question, the best approach is to be genuine. Talk about something that you struggled with but then highlight how you worked to improve. Something like, “I can be too detail-oriented, and in the past that’s held back from completing projects. To work on this, I started giving myself smaller benchmark deadlines.”
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