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What are your weaknesses?

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Friday
May272011

Top 5 ways to make the 'interview weakness' question work for you

Going to an Interview or an Inquisition? Or do they both feel the same? Job interviews are no longer a simple review of academic and professional qualifications. Employers want to know more about the person they are hiring and challenging personality questions are now a big part of the game. One such challenging question is “What are your greatest weaknesses?”

The employer is basically analyzing behavioral traits and assessing shortcomings. Here are top 5 ways to make interview weaknesses work for you:

  1. Talk about a weakness that is now a strength: Everyone has certain failings such as procrastination or being unorganized. However, if you have already overcome that weakness, open up about it. For instance, if you were never too good in the getting organized department but worked on it, bring it up. Talk about how it was a struggle to be methodical, and the measures you took to overcome it.
  2. Pick an area that won’t cost you the job: Confessing to the employer that you’re addicted to online shopping during work hours would probably not go down well. However, admitting that you like browsing the Net during downtime or lunch, and then mentioning strongly related websites which the employer can infer you learn from is a more positive approach.
  3. Bring up a weakness that can be eliminated: Employers are keen to hire pro-active people, so if you mention a weakness be sure to mention the steps you are taking or will take to eliminate it. For instance, being overly talkative is a valid weakness to state at an interview. However, mention the steps you are taking to be a calm and co-operative employee who tends to listen more.
  4. Capitalise on the weakness question: Show that you understand yourself - What are your biggest strengths?  What are your biggest weaknesses?  How do you work with others?  Understand that your strengths are commonly linked to your weaknesses - this is useful when it comes to turning weaknesses into strengths e.g. if your weakness is the administration side of things it will be likely that your strengths are in keeping focused on the core of the problem at hand. Demonstrating with examples from previous positions how you understand this and how working together with others in a team you overcome your weaknesses and accentuate your strengths to the benefit of your prior employers will be a big plus in your interview.
  5. Avoid turning the interview into a confessional: Maybe you’re going through a tough time personally or financially and that has left you too depressed to get the job done. It would be best to steer clear of bringing up perceived personal failings.

Job interviews can be highly stressful. The best way to beat it is being prepared. Before going to an interview, list down examples of your weaknesses and think them through thoroughly. A thoughtful, well-planned out answer can turn trump any odds.

To see your behavioural weaknesses, take our free behavioural profile.  One of the 8 reports is the 'Strengths & Limitations' report which will give you some stuff to work with in preparing your answer to this question.

Get 8 free behavioural profile reports

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    Top 5 ways to make the 'interview weakness' question work for you - Inside Job Hunting Blog - Matiogi » Career Zen
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    Top 5 ways to make the 'interview weakness' question work for you - Inside Job Hunting Blog - Matiogi » Career Zen
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    Top 5 ways to make the 'interview weakness' question work for you - Inside Job Hunting Blog - Matiogi » Career Zen
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