“What is Your Biggest Weakness?” is perhaps the trickiest interview question to answer. It contradicts the most basic instinct you have during an interview: showing your best self to the interviewer. It asks you to share a weakness of yours, which is even uncomfortable in an intimate setting, let alone during a product manager interview. But how do you turn this trick question into an opportunity to impress your audience? Let’s find out!
Why Do Interviewers Ask About Your Biggest Weakness?
“What is Your Biggest Weakness?” is only a minor part of the interviewers’ plan to test your self-confidence and crisis management during an interview.
Before we jump into how to answer this question, let’s find out why interviewers ask it. Interviews are looking for several things:
- Are you self-aware about your shortcomings? Remember, product management is all about evaluation and determining what is missing with ambiguous input. You, aka the most important product, also have some weaknesses, and you must understand the areas you are missing.
- Have you thought about how to improve yourself? We all know that nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to be better at what we do. By showing the interviewers that you have a solid game plan to improve yourself, you are demonstrating that you are proactive and motivated.
Does “What’s your biggest weakness?” give your self-assurance pause? You can find plenty of tips and tricks to building your confidence on our YouTube channel, along with strategies for every interview question thrown at you.
How to Talk About Your Weaknesses
While keeping those points in mind, let’s think of a couple of sample answers that our members used to impress their interviewers and help you market yourself as a realistic and open-minded product manager:
I tend to stay quiet during the first few meetings when I am starting a new project or initiative, but speak up more as I get to know the work better.
This answer works because while being quiet isn’t very desirable for a product manager, this answer communicates that you know it’s best to let the experts speak. You want to make sure that the team has as much information as possible. Nobody wants a garrulous teammate, so the interviewers will appreciate the fact that you know when to let others speak.
You can complete this response by suggesting a way of improving this habit of yours. One great example is doing some research beforehand and preparing some questions to ask during the meeting.
I tend to do a few things at once.
This is another great answer. Yes, juggling between multiple tasks isn’t the best way to do your work, but it shows a prevalent trait of product managers: multitasking. Any interviewer who meets with a natural multitasker will appreciate this. They will likely be interested to hear about how you get things done with so much on your plate.
Also, a great product manager should master multitasking anyways. The best way to complete this answer would be to share the importance of prioritization when it comes to juggling multiple projects.
I am blunt with giving feedback.
Being blunt might demotivate teammates and hinder their productivity. However, it shows you care about the quality of the work more than you care about what people think of you. It proves that you are all about the product. It also shows that you are honest.
You might add to this answer by telling your interviewer that you are working on ways to frame your opinions in a way that shows empathy with the challenges that the receiver of the feedback faces. Remember, empathy is a crucial aspect of product management, and you must use this concept to show the interviewer that you value it.
Weakness, Improvement, and Performance
You can always find more answers to this question, but always keep in mind that you should think about how this weakness impacts the performance of your team and what you can do to improve yourself.
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