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Hey guys

just wanted to ask...
How do you guys usually answer the
question "what is your greatest weakness"
without shooting yourself in the foot?

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Comments (8)

  • JulesWinnfield's picture

    Say something along the lines of "Getting lost in the details." It is a real weakness, but not a deal breaker. You can substantiate it with perhaps a story from a past internship showing how focusing too much on the small details that were not relevant to the overall project hindered your performance. Then discuss how you are improving. Getting lost in the details is at minimum semi-relevant to banking and your interviewer will be happy to see you at least recognize a real weakness.

    Just don't say, "I work too hard" "I try too hard" "I take on too many tasks/extracurriculars" or "I got an A- instead of an A in a class"...those are all very poor choices.

  • BigFatPanda's picture

    Why is it bad to say that you pile too much on your plate if its true, you can show that its true, and you can spin it into a positive for the firm?

  • m.c.trader's picture

    I don't think taking on too many tasks is a weakness, if you say "I take on too many things in my personal life to handle my work life" that may be a deal breaker. I know that is a legit weakness of mine, and I've said it at just about every interview I've ever had and haven't had a problem with it. Saying "Sometimes I spread myself too thin, and often get so bogged down in everything I'm doing my social/personal life suffers" isn't a bad way to put it. I agree that the rest of those answers are BS though.

  • coffeebateman's picture

    Tunnel vision is always a good one.

    "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

  • ibes_answer's picture

    When I hear "I take on too many things" I can easily see how that would be a nightmare weakness for both a full time and summer analyst.

    "Oh, I must have taken on too many things and I don't have it done yet, because I'm trying to only be a few hours late with all the other things I am working on. "

    Good weaknesses:

    I am impatient
    I worry too much about past failures
    I don't speak up enough

    The only right way to answer this is to say the weakness and then give a specific example of something you are doing to address your weakness now.

  • Art Vandelay's picture

    essentially, your weakness must meet four criteria in order for you to "pass" this question:

    [1] your weakness musn't be something that will piss off your colleagues (e.g. "i sometimes have trouble turning my work in on time")

    [2] an upshot of our first criterion, your weakness should not be something that will cost the firm money (e.g. "i have a tendency to be absent-minded")

    [3] your weakness should be something you are steadily eliminating (e.g. "i used to take on too much work in group situations, but, after being elected president of _________ student group a year ago, i've learned to delegate much more effectively")

    [4] your weakness should be legit (e.g. "i sometimes get too hung up on the details of a project"), not self-serving bullshit (e.g. " i'm a workaholic")

  • In reply to ibes_answer
    BigFatPanda's picture

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  • Longcat1982's picture