Job Interview Biggest Weakness

If you’re going for a job interview, you’re probably dreading the interviewer asking you to talk about your biggest weakness – and that’s totally normal. This very common interview question puts you on the spot and requires you to evaluate and talk about yourself in a somewhat negative way.

To minimise the risk of freezing up or saying the wrong thing, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for this question:

Understand WHY interviewers ask this question.

It might seem a little strange for an interviewer, who should be interested in your achievements and experience, to want to know about your biggest weakness. But the reason they ask this question is quite simple: they want to get past your smart, rehearsed interview façade to understand what you’re like as a person and what you’re like to work with.

Answer the question in TWO parts:

1. Identify your weakness.

  • Don't deny that you have weaknesses.
  • Choose a weakness that doesn't directly relate to the job.
  • Try not to get defensive or talk about yourself in an overly negative way.
  • Don't try to disguise a strength as a weakness - try to be honest.

2. Talk about how you're working on it.

  • Give an example of a time your weakness caused an issue at work, then explain how you resolved it.
  • Give examples of the ways you plan to work on your weakness (if you haven't started working on it already).
  • Be positive and confident - having weaknesses isn't something to be embarrassed about. Everybody has them!

Plan your response to the question.

It is quite likely that the interviewer will ask you about your biggest weakness - this question is so common at this point that it's on the verge of becoming a cliché - so we recommend preparing a constructive answer ahead of time.

  • Think carefully about your weaknesses and write them down.

  • Look at the job specification and highlight the key skills and attributes required for the role.

  • Compare your list of weaknesses to the key requirements of the job. Exclude any weaknesses that might give the impression you're not suitable for the position at all - e.g. don't give shyness as your answer if it's a customer-facing role requiring strong interpersonal skills.

  • Compose a strong answer relating to the remaining weakness(es).

Example of a good response:

Scenario: You're applying for a job as a lab technician. This job requires meticulous attention to detail and safe practices.

Good Answer: "I am not very good at public speaking. I get very nervous; I'll happily put my ideas forward when working in a small team, but on a larger scale, I do tend to struggle. However, I have arranged to go back to my university and give a talk to current chemistry students about my experience on the course - I'm hoping that this will help me to improve!"

Bad Answer: "I really struggle to be organised. My friends and family say I'm a bit of a slob, and I'm always breaking things accidentally. There's not much I can do about it, though - that's just who I am!"

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we can offer lots of helpful advice if you're applying for a job in a scientific sector. Click the link below to browse our latest job listings.

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Women in Science

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which takes place on the 11th of February every year, was created by the United Nations as part of the ongoing effort to address gender imbalance in core STEM subjects and promote the participation of women in scientific roles.

The Statistics

Across 14 different countries, the percentage of women graduating from universities with degrees in science-related subjects are as follows:

  • Bachelor's Degree: 18%
  • Master's Degree: 8%
  • PhD: 2%

These low figures are quite disheartening, as are reports that under 30% of scientific research and development roles are currently held by women.

The UN's International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to encourage women and young girls to pursue an education or career in science and dramatically raise the above percentages.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

To mark the occasion, we'd like to take a look at just some of the many prolific female scientists who have done vital work throughout history and helped to pave the way for gender equality in scientific fields:

Lise Meitner (1878-1968)

Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist who specialised in radioactivity and nuclear physics. Together with a select group of other scientists, she discovered nuclear fission of uranium - the basic principle of the nuclear weapons that were to follow.

Grace Hopper (1906-1992)

Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark 1 computer, and she developed an early variation of the programming language COBOL which is still in use today.

Sandra Faber (1944- )

Sandra Faber is an astrophysicist specialising in the evolution of galaxies. Some of her important contributions to science include linking the brightness of galaxies to the speed of stars within them and helping to design the Keck telescopes in Hawaii.

Are you ready to pursue a career in science? HRS is here to help! Click the link below to browse a huge selection of science jobs spanning a variety of scientific fields.

See All Science Jobs >

If you are considering pursuing (or already working towards) a career in science, you might be curious as to which jobs can earn you the most money, making the hard work you put into studying worthwhile and providing you with financial security for the future.

Highest Paying Science Jobs

Specialists in the STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are constantly in high demand due to the rapid pace at which these fields develop and change. Therefore, you can be fairly certain that pursuing a career in any of these industries will have a reasonably good chance of leading to a fairly high salary.

But let's take a closer look at science jobs specifically.

The Highest-Paying Science Jobs

Of course, there are lots of different professions - from biotechnology to manufacturing - that could potentially fall under the 'science' umbrella, but here are some of the best-paid science jobs of all (salary estimates taken from nationalcareers.service.gov.uk).


Microbiologist

Starting salary: £26,250 per annum

Experienced salary: £99,000 per annum


Physicist

Starting salary: £14,000 per annum

Experienced salary: £70,000 per annum


Software Developer

Starting salary: £20,000 per annum

Experienced salary: £70,000 per annum


Pharmacologist

Starting salary: £25,000 per annum

Experienced salary: £80,000 per annum


Does a job in one of these lucrative science professions sound good to you? Click the button below to browse current science vacancies across the UK, or create a Candidate account to upload your CV and apply for jobs online!

Browse Science Jobs >

Bioanalytical Science Jobs

Bioanalytical science is a sub-discipline of analytical chemistry, which is responsible for implementing technologies to help gather quantitative measurements from xenobiotics and biotics within biological systems.

In modern bioanalysis practices, many scientific endeavours are reliant upon precise quantitative measurements of endogenous substances and drugs within biological samples for the purpose of toxicokinetics, pharmacokinetics, exposure-response and bioequivalence. The practice of bioanalysis can also be applied to environmental issues, anti-doping testing in sports, unlawful drug use, and forensic investigations.

Many techniques exist that allow bioanalytical scientists to gather the information that they need from molecules. These include:

  • Hyphenated techniques such as CE-MS (capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry) and GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry)

  • Ligand binding assays such as radioimmunoassay and dual polarisation interferometry

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance

  • Electrophoresis

Career Requirements

There are certain steps that you will need to take in order to gather the knowledge and experience needed to become a bioanalytical scientist:

  • Bachelor's Degree - A bachelor's degree in a relevant field (such as chemistry or biology) will be extremely useful when you're looking to pursue a career in bioanalysis, as you will have undertaken modules that involve laboratory components, providing you essential laboratory research skills.

  • Postgraduate Degree - A postgraduate degree in chemistry or biology is extremely advantageous and looks good to potential employers, but is not always necessary. A master's degree will provide you with further analytical and research skills.

  • Work Experience - Many employers require at least 2 years of experience for bioanalytical jobs. Candidates with a master's degree may not need as much work experience as someone with just a bachelor's degree. Experience can often be gained through entry-level positions within research facilities.

Once you have accrued the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to pursue a full-time career in bioanalytical science, we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help you to find a suitable role. Bioanalytical recruitment is one of our specialities - we work with some of the best science firms in the country to help fill vital positions in a variety of different organisations.

Browse Our Bioanalytical Science Jobs >

Irritating Job

Hyper Recruitment Solutions recently conducted a survey to investigate what irritates employees in the workplace, and the results are truly staggering!


78% of employees have directly experienced rudeness in the workplace, including:

  • Being sworn at (54%)
  • Being reprimanded in front of peers (48%)
  • Being spoken over in a meeting (44%)
  • A personal remark about a choice of outfit (42%)

Our research further revealed that 92% of employees claim to have never been accused of workplace rudeness, despite 78% claiming that they’ve been on the receiving end.

Many of the respondents who stated that they had been accused of rudeness by colleagues cited swearing and speaking too directly as common reasons.


94% of employees said they thought that some physical contact in the workplace was acceptable.

However, responses varied depending on the type of contact:

  • A pat on the shoulder (52%)
  • A high-five (39%)
  • A hug (35%)
  • A fist bump (32%)
  • A kiss on the cheek (17%)

HRS Managing Director Ricky Martin says: “These results are pretty surprising. We often hear and read in the media how physical contact at work isn’t acceptable, yet our survey results suggest otherwise. Of course, physical contact isn’t always appropriate or well received, so I’d advise that it’s essential to be aware of factors such as personality, religion and culture. What might be regarded as friendly in one culture may be deemed deeply offensive in another! However, as the results suggest, should the relationship be there and requited, it shouldn’t be frowned upon for colleagues to hug, high-five or give one another a pat on the back!”


72% of employees would take action if working with a colleague with poor personal hygiene. What action would they take?

  • 36% of people would tell the person directly. Of these, men (78%) were more likely than women (68%) to voice their concerns about a colleague.

  • A further 36% would raise the issue with HR or management to handle the problem on their behalf.

This straight-talking approach is carried over into issues such as colleague disputes - over a third of employees surveyed would directly tell a colleague they don’t like them, with men (43%) being more likely to do so than women (24%).

Ricky says: “Workplace disputes and personality clashes are nothing new. What the results show is how direct people are when handling often-sensitive issues. I’d always advise that taking an open and honest approach with colleagues will work better in the long-term, but it’s important that colleagues are mindful not to unintentionally offend or create further issues in doing so.”


81% of employees cited small talk with colleagues as irritating.

Football and children were cited as the most irritating topics of conversation, as well as:

  • Trash-talking colleagues and clients (36%)
  • Forced pleasantries, such as 'How are you?' and 'Happy New Year!' (29%)
  • The weather (17%)

50% of employees admitted they had purposely not made a hot drink for themselves, just so they wouldn't have to make one for others!

This shows that while employees are willing to confront some issues head-on, they would sometimes rather avoid a situation completely than feel obliged to do something (like making a cup of tea for others in the workplace).


Why did we conduct this research?

HRS isn't just a company that puts people into jobs - we help candidates to find roles within organisations that make life-saving medicines and life-changing technologies. Ultimately, the people we support change lives!

With this in mind, we thought it essential to understand exactly why some people - even those in important, rewarding roles that look to be perfect for them - end up disengaging and leaving their employer. We hoped that this survey would uncover another side of the workplace, one that's not usually visible in CVs and job descriptions.

For more news and insights about the world of work, be sure to follow Hyper Recruitment Solutions on Facebook and Twitter!

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