Lots of interview questions are interesting and useful for the interviewer. The “biggest weakness” question is a great one for seeing which candidates are prepared to answer difficult questions about themselves and how well they think on their feet.
The “Fatal Flaw” question is not one of those questions. The fatal flaw question is a bad question. It is basically asking you “Why shouldn’t we hire you, and you better give us a real reason!” Nothing productive can come from the question. Still, some hiring managers ask it anyway. Great.
How to Answer
There are a couple of choices. The first is simply to spin it into a “biggest weakness” question and ignore the “fatal flaw” aspect of it. That’s not a bad idea. Refer to how to answer weakness questions to see how to answer this interview question. If you are certain they are looking for a true “fatal flaw” or you were already asked the “biggest weakness” question, this may be the one time that you can act as though you are perfect. See below.
“I have not completed my college degree. But I am educated and capable of doing the job, as you will see by my qualifications and work history.”
This answer is too defensive.
“I am not perfect, but I do not have a ‘fatal flaw.’ If there was any skill I lacked that would prevent me from doing the job to the best of my ability, I would continue to work on that problem so that I could adequately complete any task at hand.”
It’s a risky answer. You might want to stick with a biggest weakness answer. Still, if you are certain they are looking for a true fatal flaw, don’t give it to them. This is an interview question that is designed to cause good candidates to hurt their own candidacy. It’s a bad question.
Take Away Interview tips
- Provide a biggest weakness answer instead or
- Proudly claim that none of your flaws are fatal.