I know that this is a common question. I just wanted to see everybody's opinion on what are good responses and what aren't. One of the answers that I have used before was that my weakness is my passion because I can become overly passionate about what I am doing, like pitching a certain stock, which leads to me not taking criticism very well on that stock. Is this a good answer or a bad answer to give in an interview and why?
Tips for Answering "Biggest Weakness" Interview Question
Most of us have probably been asked " What is your greatest weakness?" during an interview. It is an extremely common interview question, even outside of investment banking.
No Good Answers for "What's your biggest weakness?"
Lets start by eliminating the answers that are no good. These answers are lazy. Worse case scenario 10 other applicants answered the same way. These answers are also hard to expand on in any substantive way. Do not use these answers. You will most likely come across as insincere if you do.
- "I'm a perfectionist"
- "I care too much"
- "I work too hard"
- "I am too passionate about my work"
- "My biceps"
Now that we've eliminated your max curl from the list of possible answers lets take a look at some good responses
"Biggest Weakness" Answers
.Your answer should be specific but safe. Your answer should include an example of your specific weakness. However, you should spend minimal time a discussing your weakness. You need to discuss how you address that weakness. Here are some great answers from some of our Certified Users.
I try to be honest. I say that I make a lot of syntactical coding errors. But the mark of a good programmer isn't being free from errors- it's being able to quickly figure out what you screwed up and how to fix it.
A good example of using a unique background to your advantage:
Something along the lines of, "I know the preferred candidate for mostly all open finance careers is a H/S/W finance major with 2-3 internships.... blah blah blah," to which i would then say how my "atypical path allows me a greater appreciation/respect for the work that is involved in turning over a deal/underwriting/trading/etc.
A workplace example:
I might say, "I get a little impatient when things take longer than I think they should. That would be fine, except it turns out the timeline I have in my mind for something is usually pretty optimistic. This is something I'm aware of and working on. So ideally in the future all my expectations would be realistic and I would do a good job of communicating them to the senior guys so there are no surprises."
Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?
The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.