It is quite an art to talk to a potential employer about your shortcomings without shooting yourself in the foot.
Job interview questions have barely changed over the past two decades, and employers still ask the question, “What’s your biggest weakness?” “
Now is not the time to say you’re taking four weeks off work at a time or binge on alcohol. Basically, they want to know if you’ll be honest about a work-related part of your life.
I used to say that my weakness was that I took too much, but then I went on with what my solution was for it.
For example, I have a to-do list, I delegate and I prioritize.
I make sure they know I’m going to deliver no matter what.
Don’t just let the weakness out there, talk about what you did to deal with it instead.
Never admit to a weakness if you can’t explain what you are doing to deal with it.
You don’t want to lie, but you don’t have to let your guard down.
You still need to protect yourself and present yourself in the most positive light.
One strategy might be to look at a positive weakness.
For example, if your weakness is that you are micromanaging you can say that you are passionate about delivering quality work, but to address your weakness you are now mentoring the people under you rather than micromanaging.
Be careful what you say because the weakness might be the only thing they remember when you leave the interview.
Don’t speak for too long and keep it light rather than deep or detailed.
On the flip side, if an employer asks you about your best qualities or your greatest strengths, the key is not to be overly pushy and arrogant.
Confident is different.
If you know what the employer is looking for, make sure your strengths match the purpose of the job.
For example, if the role demands attention to detail and you have good attention to detail, make sure it’s a force you’re talking about.
Check the boxes in their heads.
Your answer to this question will change from interview to interview.
Think about different strengths depending on the role you are looking for.
It takes more effort but will put you at the top of the list.
Amanda Rose is a business consultant, workplace trainer, LinkedIn influencer, and founder of six organizations – and now she’s tackling your career questions every week for SMART Daily.
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