Why shouldn’t I hire you? Talk about a curveball question! They’re basically asking you, “what’s your greatest weakness?” They’re looking for self-awareness, ownership of a flaw, and for you to prove to them that you’re working on improving yourself. It also allows the interviewer to see how you think on your feet, adjusting to such a tricky question. If you handle it the right way, it’s a chance for you to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates. Here are some tips to answering this question.
Be upfront and honest
Believe me, they don’t want to hear you say, “I don’t have any weaknesses, I’m basically perfect.” Come on. You might be a great candidate and a great fit for the open position, but nobody’s perfect. Plus, you don’t want to sound arrogant or dishonest. Give some sort of weakness, no matter how small, and then quickly turn around and bring up one of your strengths. For example, admit that you’re not a great writer, but that you are effective in person or running a meeting.
Emphasize your strengths
Frame your responses so that you’re highlighting your strengths instead of your weaknesses. For example, if you have trouble collaborating with teammates or delegating responsibilities, emphasize that you work best independently because it allows you to get more done in a short amount of time.
Focus on a personality trait
Don’t talk about all the certifications you don’t have, or that you’ve never worked in this field before. Instead, use one of your personality traits as a reason they “shouldn’t hire you.” Mention that you’re too social, always busy building positive relationships with people. Or talk about a habits that you’re trying to improve. Maybe you’re working on your organizational skills. But don’t highlight something that might already stand out on your resume—like that you’re lacking a certain licensure or valuable experience.
Don’t be dishonest or evade the question. Yet don’t give a reason that’s so dire it would prevent knock you out of the running. Try to minimize it and focus on the positive. If you try to skip it, they’ll probably ask you again—awkward—and that doesn’t reflect well on you as a candidate.
Expect additional questions
Most interviewers will ask you a few questions about your weaknesses, so be ready for follow-up questions. They’ll probably ask for a specific example and whether you’ve had any success trying to improve it. But don’t lose confidence as you talk about your weakness—they appreciate your honesty and understand that nobody’s perfect.
For more information on how to really nail a job interview, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com/jobseekers/.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh