How to Answer: What is Your Biggest Weakness?

Posted by GradConnection

To answer “What is your biggest weakness?” in your graduate interview, consider using your response to frame your positive traits and to demonstrate your own self-awareness. While saying “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I work too hard,” might be a tempting response, it’s important to understand both the role you are interviewing for as well as the interviewer’s intention for the question.

Asking about your weaknesses isn’t intended as a gotcha moment, or to exclusively see if you’re qualified for the position. Instead it helps interviewers understand your honesty, self-awareness, and willingness to improve. The question isn’t intended to be the deciding factor in the interview.

With this in mind your response should consider highlighting your willingness to use your weakness as a motivator. It’s also a good idea to not use an example that directly affects your ability to excel in the position too! The best way to identify this is to avoid anything listed in the key selection criteria of the position.

For example, if you’re applying for a position as a social media manager, maths might not be listed as one of the key skills required for the role but could still be needed for supporting work like statistics and reporting on results. In your response, you can acknowledge that your weakness is relevant to your position, but more importantly that you've been using this as a motivator to challenge yourself and learn more in this area.

✏️ Example Answers

“Data analysis is a weakness of mine, but I know as a social media manager I will need to be able to compare results and make informed decisions, so I’ve been working to improve my skills. It’s motivated me to take courses on statistics and become more familiar with why understanding the data is important!”

“My main weakness is confidence, as a recent graduate I still feel very new to this industry and working environment. However I also feel that this presents an exciting challenge for me. I’m really looking forward to taking on any opportunities to speak in meetings and discuss my work with coworkers to build my confidence.”

See more common graduate interview questions and how to answer them here.


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