// What Are Your Weaknesses?
by Linjie, 1st August 2016
The question we all dread in a job interview, at a time when we are trying to look our best, is one that forces us to be honest and vulnerable.
You may have been told that, when asked questions like this, you should respond along the lines of
“I work too hard”
“I’m just too nice”
Ok. We know it is hard to be truthful when you’re in an interview for your dream job, but do you think the interviewer is really going to believe you?
There is no correct answer to this question. Think about it, if there is one, what’s the point in asking it? Your answer though, will tell a lot about who you are as a person.
Here are 3 tips to prepare your right answer:
1. Choose a weakness wisely
There is no point in mentioning a weakness that is not skill-based or work-related. But remember, even now you have come up with a list of all the weaknesses that are relevant to the work environment, they are not equal to the potential employer. Take a second look at their job description to see what skills and qualities are central to the responsibilities, then try to pick a weakness that has the least effect on them.
For example, your greatest weakness should not be “I’m always late” but could be “ Sometimes I rush as I am eager to get things done.”
2. Tackle your weakness
After facing and embracing your weakness, you have come to the most important part of the game – show your potential employer how you will improve. Some of our strengths are a natural gift, but actually, most of them are gained from our weaknesses. Here are 3 ways to leave a good impression:
a) You have been improving
Whether attending a course on public speaking, joining a writing workshop or volunteering for a new project, demonstrate that you have tried to break through your limitations to get better.
b) See your weaknesses as strengths
“Hidden in your weaknesses are your strengths”
says Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, on his LinkedIn Blog.
He taught his readers that every weakness has a corresponding strength and instead of trying to fix them, embrace them as strengths that haven’t been discovered. So:
Shy —> Reflective
Weak —> Humble
Indecisive ---> Patient
Consider Dave’s technique to close your answer about weaknesses with a positive spin.
Compensate the weakness in question by displaying a skill that you are extremely good at.
For example, you are good at writing and want to get into journalism. Even though you are relatively new to a journalistic style of writing, but with a high level of social media savvy, you have resorted to blogging writing and attracted a growing audience, and now you are ready to change your style with the ability to engage with the readers.
3. Time to move on!
Don’t try to fill the awkward silence once you have finished the answer. Remember, just describe your weakness (one is enough) concisely and end on a positive note, job done. Don’t apologise or linger by giving explanations or excuses.
Be firm, since the key message you want to deliver here is:
Your Power of Self-Awareness.