When you go in front of a hiring manager for a professional interview, he or she is going to ask you questions in order to gather important information about your personality and professional habits. You may be asked, “What is your greatest fear” The interviewer is not asking you relive a bad experience or reveal weaknesses. Instead, he or she wants to know how you handle tough situations. This question is a great spot in your interview to showcase how you can overcome obstacles and grow as an employee. Simply put, the hiring manager wants to gauge your abilities in the workplace.
Points to Emphasize
Hiring managers use this question to figure out what you want from the position. For instance, if you are afraid of having no chance to advance, the interviewer understands that professional development is a top priority for you.
- Highlight your skills or career aspirations.
- Focus on your passion for success in the workplace.
- Mention how you overcome your fear.
- Be confident and positive in your response.
Try to be as honest as possible without responding in a negative manner. Let some part of your response include how your experiences have made you a good fit for the company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
The interviewer is asking questions so he or she can gauge how well you will fit into a position or work environment. As such, tailor your response to what the hiring manager is really asking.
- Stay away from responses that have nothing to do with the workplace.
- Do not state a fear that can be interpreted as a hindrance to successfully completing work tasks.
- Do not imply a fear of others negatively impacting your productivity.
- Do not be afraid to incorporate humor into your reply.
Try to focus more on fears that you can control and cope with. For instance, you cannot help if a coworker shows up late, but you can combat a public seeking aversion.
Here is an example of a good response to the greatest fear question:
Given my level of experience, I have no reservations about any job related tasks. I have no problem picking up the slack whenever necessary, even if it means doing a project I’ve never done before. However, my biggest fear is that I might take on tasks that alter my role in the company and get me off track from my true career goals.
Remember, the interviewer is more concerned with how you handle obstacles and your desire to move forward, so keep that in mind as you respond.