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What’s Your Weakness?
Ah…The dreaded interview question. What should you say? Do you tell them that you’re a perfectionist? What if they ask “Why is that a weakness?” Then, if you’re nervous, you may be compelled to go on and on about the time you were in charge of a project, but couldn’t let it go because you were so involved in the details…It went way over budget and was late because you couldn’t put it to bed. A good weakness to describe for an interview? Not so much.
There are several keys to this question.
- You should be prepared to answer it. If you’re caught off-guard, you just look ill-prepared.
- You need to come up with a weakness that has NOTHING to do with the job.
- You must demonstrate how you are striving to improve your skill in the “weak” area.
For example, a computer programmer whose job it is to sit at a computer and work magic might say:
“I have to admit that I am a bit nervous speaking in front of very large crowds. However, I’m considering joining Toastmaster’s and I’ve been doing some reading about how to be better at public speaking, as it is a skill I’d like to practice and improve.”
Why is this a great answer in this case?
- Public speaking in front of very large crowds is not part of this applicant’s potential work duties.
- Most people are nervous speaking in front of very large crowds, so even if speaking may ever unexpectedly come up in this job, it wouldn’t be unusual to have this weakness.
If the job involved frequent presentations, this would not be a good choice for a weakness.
So, the trick to this question:
- Be prepared to answer it.
- Describe that you are trying to improve in the “weak” area.
- Whatever you do, don’t expand on the weakness or give more information than necessary. Be brief and to the point.
Or, you can give an answer my former boss mentioned to me…(Use only with careful discretion):
What’s your greatest weakness?
Look them straight in the eye, smile and say, “Chocolate.”
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