How to Handle the Interview’s Toughest Question

Interviews are stressful for everyone, but being prepared can make a huge difference for your confidence level during the interview. One way to prepare is to think in advance about how to answer the more difficult questions such as “what is your biggest weakness” which can also be phrased as “what skill or quality would you like to develop in the future”. This question is particularly scary because no one wants to talk about his or her faults in a situation where you are supposed to be standing out as the best candidate. HOWEVER: if you follow a few simple steps, you will be able to answer this question flawlessly and the interviewer will not even notice you were discussing a weakness at all.

Before the interview, take some time to think about what skill or quality you would choose as your weakness. It is best to choose a skill that is not vital to the position in which you are applying. For example, if you were applying to be a teacher, you would not want to choose public speaking since that is crucial to the position.  After you have chosen the skill, think about ways that you have already worked to improve this skill or steps you plan to take to improve upon it. The trick to this question is to demonstrate to the interviewer that you are working to improve upon your weakness whether it be by taking a class, meeting with a professor, or other proactive steps. Make sure to have a strong, positive ending to the question by stating that eventually with more experience and practice your weakness will no longer be a detriment, but will hopefully be one of your assets!

– Kelsey Hodas