Managing the “Trap” Question in the Interview

Interview Artwork Image

One question that is unsettling to job applicants during an interview is “What is your greatest weakness?” Many people fearfully anticipate this question from a potential employer, but most fail to prepare for it in an advantageous way. If you have dressed appropriately, offered a firm handshake, and maintained good eye contact, you do not want to lose your winning edge with this question.

To take the fear factor out of your response, organize a positive introduction to areas in which you would like to further develop your skills. Consider discussing strengths, such as your motivation, time management skills, or work ethic and how those qualities can occasionally create issues.

For example, a person seeking a job as an accountant may say “I am a person who appreciates accuracy, completeness, and conformity to reporting standards.

My personality has taught me that I enjoy process- and detail-oriented work but my desire to complete the work thoroughly can sometimes make me lose perspective on time. I now remind myself that I need to be as efficient as possible and use time-saving steps that help me to meet multiple objectives.

I have also learned to share part of my review procedures with others. Having fresh eyes examining final reviews of critical information can be time saving and add to this company’s profitability.

I want to be as professional as possible and understand that precision in my work is a process of consistency. One of my solutions to enhance my personal improvement includes developing data entry techniques that help make me better organized and more highly productive.”

This type of response in the interview can help you to present challenges in a positive light.

Your response to the weakness question in an interview can help the person conducting the interview to see your thoughtful action plan for improvement.

Using strengths to assist in overcoming weaknesses demonstrates good intelligence, self-awareness, and critical thinking. Advanced preparation is the key to answering this potential “trap” question of weakness satisfactorily and can provide the confidence you wish to project.