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Five Tips for Effectively Answering the Weakness Question

Because it has become so common, the dreaded question of many job interviews is “What are your greatest weaknesses?” In the past, it has caused many applicants to stutter, stare silently, or spew out way more information than is prudent.

While it is important to be honest in a job interview, there are better ways to answer this question. The interviewer is looking to see if you hold to high or too low an opinion of yourself. Do you recognize that there is room for improvement?

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Interview strengths and weaknesses for employment questions.

1. Tell the relevant truth. All of us have weaknesses. Some will affect our work life and others have nothing to do with it. Your interviewer could not care less if you have trouble with dusting your home often enough that no one sneezes.

They don’t want to know that you have a love affair with frosted doughnuts. The human resources manager wants you to tell something that has relevance to the work environment. Interview tips weakness basics start with targeting a simple weakness that has some relation to work.

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2. Don’t reveal a work performance crippling weakness. You don’t want to tell the interviewer that you are always late, lose important files, or have zero people skills. These things will get an immediate, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Your resume will go in the trash as soon as you walk out. The next of the interview tips weakness is to find a weakness in yourself that you are able to improve within the next six to twelve months.

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3. State an action plan for improving. Once you tell the interviewer your weakness, follow it up with how you have a plan in place to improve this area of weakness. For instance, if you have a tendency to keep everything on top of your desk making it seem cluttered, you might implement a color-coded filing system so things can be put away but easy and quick to access.

Interview tips weakness number three is to show your initiative and motivation by providing a solution.

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4. Avoid spending too much time on the weakness. Relating scores of examples about how your weakness has affected your performance in the past. Even if you have funny or endearing ones, you don’t want to leave the interviewer with the idea of weakness but with the idea that you are working on the solution.

5. Stay away from cliché answers to this question. The interview tips weakness question is standard and has been around so long that there are now some answers that have been given a little too often to be credible.

At the top of this list are two main culprits: “I’m a perfectionist” and “I’m a workaholic.” Both of these answers are a weakness for an individual but a strength for the company. However, if you take one of these answers, they better be the absolute and obvious truth. When your references are called, if you lied, your name will be scratched right off the list.

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by Don Georgevich

Need help with your interview? Contact Don