How Should A Developer Answer ‘What Is Your Weakness?’

Adobe Stock / Indi St. Clair

Understand The Question

Interviewers asking about your weaknesses may sound like they are looking for an excuse to turn you down — which is part of what makes this question so thorny. In reality, what they are (or should be) trying to find out is your degree of self-awareness, the size of your ego, and your ability to work on your skills. Therefore see this question for what it is — a prompt for you to talk about your approach to things, and not a trap.

Personal Or Technical Weakness?

Regardless of whether the interviewer says weakness or weaknesses, it’s always better to stick to only one. Don’t start expounding on a list of everything that’s wrong with you. That’s unnecessary and self-defeating.

Adobe Stock / MichaelJBerlin

Preparing For The Question

As mentioned above, when preparing for this question, you should choose something to talk about that you feel comfortable with — a weakness that you know well, that you can talk about in reasonable detail, and that you’re not overly anxious about. Finding this should be your priority when preparing for the interview.

Adobe Stock / vegefox.com

The Key To Answering The Question

By far the biggest mistake that anyone can make when answering this question is to just mention their weakness and leave it at that. What the interviewer wants to hear is not just that you know what your shortcoming are, but more importantly, that you are someone who actively works to address them.

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned, the question What is your weakness belongs to an old school of work interviews, which is why it is sometimes treated with contempt by candidates (“Why should I waste my time answering such a stupid and loaded question?”).

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