Answer The ‘Greatest Weakness’ Question With This Formula

Answer The ‘Greatest Weakness’ Question With This Formula

What’s your greatest weakness” may be an awkward, tired job interview question, but if a potential employer asks it, you want to be ready. This formula can help you prepare. Photo by adabara.

It’s probably counterintuitive to answer a personal question with a formula, and most interviewers will see through it, but a formula can help you structure your answer when you’re preparing for the interview. Here’s what career site The Job Network suggests:

choose a weakness that you’ve since worked hard to convert into a strength. Formula for the latter: “Well, I was noticing that I was x, so I took , so I took step y in order to improve, and ended up in situation z (which is infinitely better and makes you a stronger candidate for the job).

There are three factors here: the problem, what you did to overcome it and the result. This way, you’re not shirking the question completely, but you are letting the interviewer know you have the ability to overcome this weakness, so it’s not a problem. Again, it’s less about following the formula word for word and more about structuring your own answer in a way that solves a problem.

For more advice on answering tough interview questions check out the full post for yourself at the link below.

How to Answer Tough Interview Questions in 60 Seconds [The Job Network]


  • Isn’t this like a really, really amateurish questions to still be asking? It seems like the kind of question an interviewer asks just to watch a candidate squirm.

    Having said that, if you really want the job replying with “answering stupid, tired questions is something I consider a weakness” isn’t a good idea.

    • HR flaks working for big corporates are pretty good at coming up with these ‘amateurish’ questions. Better yet, they might have someone from the Philippines conduct a scripted phone interview that would include a question like this (that’s right, your value as a potential cog in their machine is so low that they’ll have someone in a different country interview you over the phone).

      • True that. Human resources is surely an ironically named department considering how bad they behave towards workers.

  • My personal weakness is reacting violently to clichéd interview questions. I’ve managed to correct this unfortunate tendency at least in part through directed breathing techniques. Excuse me a moment.

    Closes eyes, inhales…

  • So the interviewer says, ‘What’s your greatest weakness?’
    ‘Honesty.’ says the interviewee.
    ‘I don’t see honesty as a weakness.’
    ‘I don’t give a f*ck what you think.’

    Boom, boom. 🙂

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