What Is Your Greatest Fear?


Job Interview Question and Answer: What Is Your Greatest Fear?

Why Do Employers Ask What Is Your Greatest Fear?

When interviewing for a position, hiring managers may ask you about your greatest fear. Employers ask this question because they want to know how you might fit into their workplace culture. They’re also using this as a way to see how you might handle certain situations and aspects of the job if they were to hire you.

How To Answer a Hiring Manager When Asked, “What Is Your Greatest Fear?”

Companies want honest employees. When answering, be truthful. It is also important not to paint yourself in a negative light. They know that most everyone has fears and workplace anxiety. Employers are more interested in how you handle fears, rather than what they are. This question is a great opportunity to turn a weakness into a strength.

What Not To Say To a Hiring Manager

As with any question during an interview, you want to be open and honest. Saying that you “don’t have any fears” might make you believe the company will see you as a strong candidate, but hiring managers want to learn more about you. If you want to make a good impression when answering the question, avoid making these mistakes:

  • Being Generic – While you may want to reply with a general fear, such as snakes or sharks, managers want to know if your fear will affect your job performance in any way. Give a specific example and be able to explain why.
  • Giving a Negative Answer – Being too hard on yourself suggests that you allow this fear to control you and can make the hiring manager think twice about giving you the job. While you want to be honest, focus on putting a positive spin on your answer.
  • Being Dishonest – Have a prepared response that you practice before heading into the interview. The person asking the question is likely experienced at giving interviews and may sense any dishonesty.

Sample Answers To “What Is Your Greatest Fear?”

Going into the interview with polished, practiced responses can be the difference between being offered the job and the company selecting another candidate. Like any other typical interview answer, you should rehearse it beforehand. Here are a few examples for the question, “What Is Your Biggest Fear?”

Sample Answer 1 – Grocery Worker

I would say that my greatest fear is speaking in public. I find when I am around other people, I start to feel anxious. To better my public speaking skills, I started taking a course that teaches me how to manage my fears and practice talking with others.

Sample Answer 2 – Restaurant Manager

I’ve always had a fear of being wrong. When I was promoted at my last job, I was hesitant to make decisions. I feared I may make a mistake that could potentially hurt the business. Once I became more comfortable on the job, I was able to learn to trust my own judgment. This gave me the confidence to run a successful establishment.

Sample Answer 3 – Bookseller

My greatest fear is confrontation when it comes to the workplace. I was afraid to turn in a coworker to management, even though I knew they were doing something wrong. Once I spoke up, it ended up helping the company. Now, even though I still get anxious about confrontation, I see how it can help everyone involved.

The Question “What Is Your Greatest Fear?” Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

When answering this question, it’s important to remember that this is a great opportunity to turn a perceived weakness into a strength. Showing hiring managers that you’re able to face adversity, develop a plan, and come up with an effective strategy for dealing with fears can make a big impression during the interview.

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