Q&A: The Secret to Answering ‘What is Your Greatest Weakness?’ in Job Interviews

Jul 13, 2022 | Burning Question

“I’ve recently discovered my strengths (based on an Equipt session!) and it still feels awkward to define something I’m good at but don’t enjoy or don’t feel energized by as a weakness – but I’m trying! How can I effectively answer the dreaded interview question about my weaknesses?”

– Sophia, age 26

It’s understandable. Newness often breeds awkwardness! A new way of thinking about strengths and weaknesses takes time and practice. Resist the urge to be clever. (And please, whatever you do, don’t answer with “My greatest weakness is that I care too much.”) When you get the “Tell me about your biggest weakness” prompt in your next interview, try this type of response:

Recently, I learned a new definition for strengths and weaknesses. For example, a weakness can include something I might be good at or capable of doing but I don’t enjoy it and it drains me. With that new definition, my greatest weakness is: <Share an activity that you are good at, but drains you>.

Then, elaborate on why the activity drains you or you don’t enjoy it. Is it conceptualizing because you thrive at execution? Maybe it’s public speaking because your best ideas are conveyed in writing. Or perhaps it’s project management because, though you’re good at it, you simply don’t enjoy it.

Employers appreciate a thoughtful response to this question. And, it will help them align you with work that plays to your strengths and enables you to create the most impact.

Remember, competence alone is not a strength and incompetence alone is not a weakness. Pay attention to your energy and sense of enjoyment, too.

Don’t be afraid to use this new definition to showcase your investment in self development and growth 💛

Do you have a burning question in your work.life? Equipt is here for you. Whether you prefer to type it out or record a voice memo, simply drop us a line at community@equiptwomen.com.

If your work.life feels out of control, take control.

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