When engineers look for jobs, a big part of the preparation is for the job interview. Once the resume is already placed, the next thing to be bothered about is which questions the hiring manager would ask you. Because your answers could make or break your chances of getting that engineering job.
There are lots of tricky questions in job interviews that engineers should be careful about. One of which is this: What is your biggest weakness?
A favorite question of many hiring managers not only in engineering but in other sectors, this will test the answering ability of the job applicants.
A too honest answer to that question could cost you your potential employment, while a barely honest one could do the same. So how should you handle such interview?
Because somehow you have reached this article to prepare for this question, the first thing to do is think.
What is your biggest weakness indeed? It could be related to your work habits or attitude even outside of work. List all of them down.
Now eliminate. Which of your answers come across as quite a big turn-off to your new boss? It is something like you struggling with an organization/workmate or your inability to meet deadlines. Because those traits are critical for any engineers, never mention anything like that in the job interview when answering the said question.
GIF via Imgur
It is also worth noting that saying “my weakness is actually a strength” could be interpreted as inauthentic. This could come in variations like “I am so hardworking, that’s probably it” and “I do not have any weaknesses.”
Not one hiring manager will believe in you with your arrogance and lack of self-awareness. Engineers have weaknesses, you should admit that.
So what else could you say?
One, non-essential skills. It should be something that isn’t directly part of your job description, but still related to it. Like as an engineer, you do not have the best writing ability because you are more of a technical, math person who prefers to work with numbers and codes.
Two, minor behaviors. You could say that you are shy and nervous by nature, having difficulty sharing or opening up in groups at first. This is an acceptable answer since engineers do not necessarily need to be outgoing at work.
What’s also important in answering is that you show self-improvement. To do that, once you have pointed out a weakness, make sure to include the details about the steps you are taking to learn a skill or correct the weakness you have mentioned.
Source: Up to Work