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What is your biggest weakness?

I hate this question in interviews. I think it is lazy, formulaic and rarely reveals anything about the candidate. It is also used remarkably often, even by seasoned HR professionals. The problem is, it is often impossible to understand how to answer it. And the answers you give are probably not going to be treated logically, because everybody has their own ideas about what makes a good answer and they are all different. The classic answer is to turn your biggest weakness into a strength "my partner says I work too hard" "I take my job to seriously" "I never really switch off from work". There's no real problem with these answers, except that people have heard them all before and so they can mark you down for being unoriginal or dishonest, because they simply don't believe it is your biggest weakness. Often people are completely unprepared for this question and so panic. Then they often choose what is genuinely the biggest weakness. And this tends to get amplified in the mind of the interviewer. Answers like "I lose my temper too quickly" "I don't suffer fools gladly" "I find it hard to concentrate". I have listened to plenty of these bad answers told to me by interviewers, some of them are staggering in their honesty, and many will lead to the exit door in quick time. Be prepared for this question and think about it for any interview. Maybe you have to look at what the company is trying to achieve, what image they are trying to project, how they are trying to filter their candidates. Maybe, just maybe, you can answer the question differently. I have heard people say "Coping with questions like this in interview" or "I don't interview very well". Perhaps "In my enthusiasm sometimes don't get my point across very clearly". Because if the interviewer likes you and you explain that you don't think you doing very well, then maybe, just maybe they will give you the benefit of the doubt. As I say, I think it is a lazy question. But it is best to be prepared for an answer. Good luck


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