What is the best approach to answering a common interview question about my greatest weakness? I have heard one strategy is to cite a weakness that most employers will be happy with i.e. “I just don’t seem to know when to go home”. That seems a little too patronizing, but is it less risky than being brutally honest?
I feel that honesty is key in an interview. The interviewee should take some time to self reflect about what their weakness is. Since this is a common interview question, it should be prepared for like other common ones ”tell me a little bit about yourself”. When answering the question, be proactive in the answer and explain what you have done to work on changing your weakness to a strength.
I agree that citing a weakness designed to be viewed as a strength is transparent and suggest being honest about a real weakness that is not likely to be a “deal killer” (I once had a candidate respond, “I have an explosive temper”). Many people have a weakness that is common and which others can easily relate to; consider one of those. Refer to it as an area to improve on rather than a “weakness”. Most importantly, incorporate into the answer what actions you have taken, or are taking, to eliminate the deficiency—or better yet to transform it into a strength.