Why You Should Get Rid of the “Biggest Weakness” Question

February 16th, 2016

If you’re interviewing people for jobs, the chances are that you’re going to want to ask the dreaded biggest weakness question. However, you should avoid asking this for a multitude of reasons. If you do so, you will find that your candidate pool will increase significantly. Here’s why.

It Makes People Uncomfortable

People are uncomfortable with this question because it makes them think about their weaknesses. While this is a valid thing to know, asking it during a job interview can often be seen as being inappropriate. Your candidates may act and look uncomfortable if they can sense that the question is coming.

It Provides Canned Responses

Because this question is used so much in interviews, people have had a long time to come up with a canned response. This doesn’t showcase the individual as much as it showcases their ability to research and plan for set situations. Though planning can be a good trait, it might not be the one you’re looking for necessarily by asking this question.

It Doesn’t Give You a Sense of the Candidate Under Pressure

Everyone expects this question, so they aren’t really under pressure if you asked it. If you want to see how the candidate acts under pressure, try asking them about a hypothetical situation or rewording the question, so that it’s slightly different. Even the slight variation would be enough to get them out of their canned response mode.

It Makes You Seem Unoriginal

If you ask this question, your job candidate may be questioning how much effort you are putting into the interview process. Asking about a candidate’s biggest weakness makes you seem unoriginal and like you don’t care about their answer. Once again, try asking another question if this is a part of the interview you would like to explore.

If you need help fielding candidates for interviews, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to do pre-screenings for you so that you only have to worry about spending your time with pre-qualified candidates. It’s our job to help you make the best hiring decision for your company.