Why do employers ask about your greatest weaknesses in job interviews? It isn’t because they’re dying to hear you talk about how obsessed you are with work and having everything be perfect. What they really want is a skills assessment about you, from you.
Some people could argue that you really need to tell them what your weakness is, so that they and you can get a realistic view of whether or not you’re a good fit for the job. After all, it wouldn’t be a good idea to end up in a job that isn’t a good fit, right? Poor choices in jobs have resulted in firings, layoffs, and awkward situations to explain later.
I say something a little different. I say that your job in that interview is to sell yourself for the position. You don’t need them to decide that you aren’t a good fit. You are the one who needs to decide if you’re a good fit or not. You need that freedom of getting that job offer so you can make the decision that’s best for you.
So what does that mean? Does that mean that you are better off denying that you have any weaknesses at all? No. What it means is that just as you do with every other job interview answer, you need to be strategic.
Employers ask you about your weaknesses in job interviews for a lot of reasons…because they want a realistic assessment of you, because they want to compare you to other candidates, or because they want to see how you react to a difficult question.
However, not all of their inquiries about your weaknesses are so obvious. They know that you’ll probably be ready for the big one, and so they have a lot of different ways to get at what they want to know. They can ask about how people criticize you, what you need the most development in, what scares you about this new job (because that could reflect not being ready for it), and more.
It’s important that you be ready to answer these kinds of questions.
Below are 12 different ways interviewers ask you about your weaknesses.
Questions about past salary, salary requirements, or any inquires about compensation or benefits are tough to answer. What you say can have a big influence on the offer you eventually get (or don't get).
Here are 2 common money questions that come up in job interviews. Click on the question to see the answers you need to give.
If you want a smooth and successful salary negotiation, check out my recorded webinar with negotiating guru Jack Chapman: Salary Negotiations Webinar. Anyone can use these tips to secure a better, stronger job offer.
Interview questions about your failures can be some of the most difficult to answer. You need to find a good balance between acknowledging the failure, making sure it isn't one that would reflect poorly on your ability to do the job you're interviewing for, and show that you learned from it so that now you are someone they want to hire.
Below are 5 possible interview questions you could be asked about your failures. Click on the question to see how to strategically and effectively answer it.
If you were fired or laid off in your last position (or in recent years) you will almost certainly be asked about it in the interview. These can be difficult questions that can make even the strongest candidates stumble.
All you need to do is think about these questions ahead of time and prepare good, solid answers to their inevitable questions. Below are # questions you may be asked if you were terminated for whatever reason. Click on the question to go to the answer.
If you're over 50 (or sometimes 40) in a job search, you may be asked interview questions that are indirectly related to your age. Employers are restricted in asking direct questions (because of anti-discrimination laws) but still have concerns about you, and try to address them in other ways.
Below are 5 questions you may be asked in a job interview. Click on the question to see the best answer.
There are a few common job interview questions you'll hear again and again in every interview. With each answer, you have a great opportunity to sell yourself for the job. Below are 13 common questions you can expect in interviews. Click on the question to see the best answer.
Job interview questions aren't always about the past or about the now. They also want to know your plans for the future. If you get those questions, it's likely that they're trying to figure out if you will fit in with this company or if you're really interested in this job (as opposed to simply wanting a job).
Below are 6 questions you may hear on this topic. Click on the question to go to the answer.
Job interview answers that make hiring managers sit up and take notice of you are ones that clearly show how you will be a benefit to the company. With that in mind, here are 9 links to answers in my How to Answer Interview Questions Series that will especially help you grab that attention—and the offer.
Click the links to go to detailed answers for each interview question.
Tell me about yourself– your answer here sets the tone for the entire interview and gives them a succinct framework for why you would be a great hire.
This is a great story. TJ wowed them so much that a hard-to-get-into company searched to find just the right position for him. Congratulations, TJ!
I wanted to tell Peggy McKee a thousand thank yous.
Even though I narrowly lost out on the position I interviewed for, they were [so] impressed with the answers I gave based on her advice that they searched to find a position for me. I wound up getting a different, equally exciting job offer with the same company (who are hard to get into to).
Are you considering attending my Perfect Interview Answers Webinar? See what Matt had to say about how it helped him be more confident and advance through the hiring process:
I thought the webinar was extremely well done. I have been using a lot of the recommendations that you discussed in my Job Acquisition phase that I am currently in.
I was laid off ...from a company I spent the past 23+ years with. Needless to say I had not interviewed other than various promotions within the company I had been with for a number of years.
I have had 5 interviews with a company that I am currently pursuing and am scheduled to fly to their home headquarters ... to meet with their CEO, COO, CFO, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Clinical Officer.
The timing of the [webinar] yesterday could not have been better for me as a refresher and I plan to use a lot of what was presented yesterday for my interview on Friday and am feeling very confident.
This is a free webinar where I coach you on how to deliver perfect interview answers to 4 of the most important interview questions, and give you insights on how to communicate with the hiring manager (interviewer) stronger and more effectively than ever before.
You even get a chance to get personalized expert advice in a free Question and Answer session!
With what you learn in this webinar you will have a big edge over your competition and you can get the job offer.
How you answer “Tell me about yourself” sets the tone of the entire interview. Your answer will either establish a positive bias toward you in the mind of the hiring manager—or it will show them you are not someone to be taken seriously for the job.
Click on the report below to preview this important job interview report:
In this “Quick Read” Report, you will see how to answer “Tell me about yourself”:
- How to Start
- What to Include in Your Answer (And What to Leave OUT)
- How to Make Your Answer Special So You Stand Out
You will bias the interviewer in your favor and boost your chances of getting the job offer.
When you get this report, you also get a BONUS SECTION: