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4 Simple Steps to Answering the Weakness Question

4 Simple Steps to Answering the Weakness Question
From Recruiter - January 10, 2017

A conversation I had with my daughter in the past aroused in me emotions of both concern and relief. Yes, two conflicting emotions, but the feeling that stays with me is the relief.

Relief because she was truthful about her faux pas, her display of bad judgement. All was forgiven, although not forgotten.

This is what the truth accomplishes, I told her.

This is what you get when you ask your kids to be honest, regardless of the response. But is the truth always the best policy?

That depends.

What Is Your Greatest Weaknesses?

What interviewers get from candidates in response to this interview question arent always honest answers. Candidates are guarded, weighing every word they say, because they feel one wrong answer can blow the deal.

When I spring the question on my workshop attendees, I often get a moment of silence. Their minds are working like crazy to come up with the correct answer. They think the best answer is one thatdemonstrates a strengthdisguised as a weakness.

So they come up with answers like, I work too hard, or worse yet, Im a perfectionist. I tell them these answersrank high on the B.S. scale, at which they laugh. But its true. These answers are predictable. Theyre throwaway answers, wasted breath.

Instead, I advise my workshop attendees to follow these simple steps.

1. Keep It Very Short:I cant tell you how many people talk on and on when their answer should be no longer than 20-30 seconds.

2. State a Legitimate Weakness:Interviewers want transparency. They also want to see self-awarenessthat youre aware of your mistakes. People who think theyre flawless are unable to see their mistakes, learn from them, and correct them.

3. Be Smart, Though:I asked at the beginning if honesty were always the best policy. The real question is, how honest should you be? In other words, dont mention a weakness that is vital to the position at hand.

For example, bringing up your fear of public speaking when youre applying for a training position would be a major problem and probably eliminate you from consideration.



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