What are your current boss's weaknesses?

  | James Innes

What are your current boss's weaknesses?

Alternative and related questions:

What’s the main criticism you would make of your current boss?

The meaning behind the question:

This is a very thorny question – and the interviewer knows it to be a very thorny question. It’s unlikely they care very much about what your boss’s weaknesses are – although they will be interested in seeing how you define weakness. But, as with many of the toughest questions, they’re primarily interested in how you react to the question.

Your answer:

It would be a mistake to say that your boss has no weaknesses; it’ll ring hollow. However, it would also be a mistake to level too much criticism at your boss – because you won’t come across as being a very loyal employee, because it has no relevance to your ability to do the job for which you are applying and because it’s quite simply unprofessional. You want to deflect this question and the secret is to tackle the question along much the same lines as you would respond to the question, “What are your weaknesses?” Talk about a weakness that’s not necessarily a weakness at all – but make it sound convincing!


I’d naturally be wary of criticising my boss because I don’t think it’s very professional. However, everyone has their weaknesses of course. My boss wouldn’t be in the role they’re in if their strengths didn’t significantly outweigh their weaknesses. If I had to cite a weakness I would say it’s that they tend to bite off more than they can chew. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a weakness to be overly ambitious but, as a result, they do often seem excessively busy and overworked and, inevitably, certain items slip through the net. However, the net result is probably that they get a lot more accomplished than the average person.

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