Examples of weaknesses that people mention during job interviews may include excessive attention to detail, lack of knowledge on a particular skill or topic, and a tendency towards pleasing other people. Some applicants may also mention weaknesses not directly relevant to the workplace, such as spending too much time on a particular hobby.
The purpose of an employer asking the applicant to mention her greatest weakness during a job interview is to find out her level of self-awareness and find out whether she has any significant issues that would prevent her from effectively performing in the position. The applicant should avoid any answers that undermine the overall interview or place her in a poor light to the employer, instead presenting an honest answer that demonstrates one of her strengths in the process. For example, an applicant who admits that she wastes too much time double-checking her work can show that she pays close attention to detail and maintains high standards for quality.
An applicant who cites a lack of technical knowledge due to age as a weakness can transform it into a positive trait by emphasizing her overall experience and wisdom from her years of employment. Similarly, an applicant who has a lack of knowledge due to lack of experience may translate the weakness into a strength as a desire to learn quickly. In all situations, the applicant needs to show that she is aware of the weakness and that it motivates her to perform better as a result.