If you want to build a succesful career as a developer, you need to work on a wide variety of skills. Many ambitious programmers focus solely on improving their coding and design skills, but you need to take a serious look at your soft skills as well. A great way to advance your career is to switch job if you feel that you have stagnated at your current employer, which means you will be doing quite a few interviews. If you’re a consultant like me, it is simply a part of your job and landing a solid interview is a great way to get a head start at your new client or employer.
It is always a good idea to prepare well for the coming interview, doing your research about the company and thinking about answers to some common questions. However, one particular question seems to stress people out, and I remember myself figuring out a cringy answer to it for my first ever job interview: “What is your greatest weakness?”
A common idea is to start with a confession of a weakness and follow it up with a recovery of it, how you managed to minimize the impact of the weakness. I am in a way using the same principle, my thinking is like this:
If you know your greatest weakness, why would you not do anything about it?
I used to think that I was really bad at SQL and databases in general, so I spent a lot of energy and resources learning everything about them. Nowadays I consider them as one of my strengths. So I tell the interviewer about this idea and a little backstory about what I’ve been working on improving the last year and what my current project is. It is as simple as that, no need to dig out a creepy personal trait about yourself and somehow turn it into a strength. You show that you have a lot of insight into yourself and are aware of which areas you need to improve on as a developer. Now go and nail that interview!