How to Talk About Your Weaknesses in an Interview




Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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One of the most hated, yet frequently asked, interview questions is, “What is your greatest weakness?”

We all have faults, but the last place we want to talk about them is in a job interview. Next time you are up for a job, take these three steps to prepare for this dreaded question:

Prepare an answer. Yes, you need one. Make it brief, honest, trivial, and not a fault.

If possible, use something out of your control.

For example, “My biggest weakness is that my professional network is in Boston, but I’m looking to relocate to Los Angeles.”

Get input. Run your answer by a few friends and colleagues to make sure it sounds reasonable.

Ask a question back. In the interview, deflect the attention away from you by ending your response with a question for the interviewer.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “The Worst Interview Question (and How to Answer It)” by Priscilla Claman.

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