Okay so it’s final interview day and you waltz into your job interview with your resume. Confident, you’ve rehearsed answers to all the possible questions they could ask. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?
They welcome you in, ask you to take your seat and start asking questions. They start off with the personal information. It then goes to your educational background, your extracurricular activities, hobbies, interests. Then they go to why you should be hired. And just when you thought you’ve aced it all they drop the bomb and ask, “What is your greatest flaw?”
Wait, what?! How do you even answer this?
Do you respond with:
A. “Thank you for that question. I will get back to you on that.”
B. “I believe my greatest flaw is that I can’t think of any and that’s why you should hire me.”
C. “Would you please repeat the question?”
D. “What the fuuuuudge.”
None of the above. That was a trap. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. It just means you gotta be extra creative in answering it and here some ways out of the sticky situation!
In the food industry, the bliss point is the perfect mix of salty and sweet that keeps you coming back for more. When it comes to human interactions, this is the mixture of two different characteristics that hit the nail on the head when it comes to tricky situations.
So when you’re asked for your greatest flaw, think of a positive attribute and overdo it.
E.g: “I can be too much of a perfectionist, I often spend too much time on a project.”
From here, you can follow it up with how you’re willing to go the extra mile for things you believe in.
This is a way to answer the question and not dodge it because nothing in excess is ever good. But you are doing so, without burying your own grave, as you chose a positive characteristic. What you did was you put together humility and confidence—two different character approaches—to answer that trick question.
You were humble enough to admit you do have flaws, but confident enough to present yourself in a good light. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember you’re still in an interview and are making sure you fit the bill.
Choose the lesser evil.
We all have flaws. But when it comes to talking about them in interviews, it’s wise to choose one that won’t pull out and wave red flags. There are some things only people who know you well should have the privilege of knowing. Maybe let’s save the major disastrous parts for when they know you a little bit better – after all, first impressions do last! So, your inability to make friends, or habit of being late – save it for later! But the fact that you and numbers don’t see eye to eye is something you can say.
Pro-tip: Instead of saying “I suck at math,” you can say, “To me, math is really challenging.”
You can show vulnerability by talking about your flaws but you don’t have to shoot yourself in the foot as you do so!
Look back at experience.
Lastly, you can opt to tell a story to talk about your greatest flaw. The beauty of this is it puts your flaw in context and shows how identifying it has allowed you to create something great. You could talk about a moment in your life or career that brought so much learning and how you grew from that. If you used to be a “control freak,” you could say how you used to feel the need to check boxes and do everything by the book. Then you could talk about the instance that led you to understand how sometimes you just have to keep moving forward with unticked boxes.
Doing this, shows you are comfortable enough with yourself to tell your story and talk about your shortcomings without losing sight of where you are headed.
Remember to put yourself in a positive light and let your strengths speak for you! If you’re great at working with others, put that on display. If you love public speaking, turn yourself into an asset! If you have a lot of creative ideas that might help them, put it on the table!