What Are Your Weaknesses? Here’s How to Answer…

Transcript from video:

I’m going to show you how to answer the weakness question the right way.

So, do you know why employers even ask this question? It’s because they find it in a list of questions that they should ask candidates. That’s it! Because it has no real bearing on the job. And I mean, in my opinion, it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t help an employer qualify you for a job or not. So, I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about it, because it’s not important.

If anything, we should be talking about my strengths and what I can do for you, not what I can’t do for you. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a stupid question, but you have to satisfy some interviewers because they think we need to know the answer to this.

But I guarantee you, your answer to this question does not help them make a decision about whether they’re going to hire you or not. But I’m going to give you an answer that’s going to make them say, “Wow! This is the type of person that we do want” and help you give them that answer that they weren’t expecting.

So, you have to understand; there are two types of weaknesses. There are personality traits and you have skills. So, when you’re answering this question, you have to pick whether you want to choose a personality trait or a skill to talk about a weakness. A skill related example is usually best. But I’ve used personality traits and skills with great success.

Some people will tell you not to use a personality trait as a weakness, because personality traits are more inborn and they’re harder to correct and fix. So, if you have some personality traits that are a problem, it’s unlikely that you resolved them by the time you’re interviewing at a company.

So, that’s why some people will shy away from them. But I’m going to show you how you can use a personality trait that works great.

So, here’s what I like to tell employers when they ask, “You know, what’s your greatest weakness?” And this is a universal answer that almost anyone can use. It kind of goes like this;

When I’m working on a project with a tight deadline, I can be impatient. And some people might interpret my impatience as rude or curt. But I’m working on a project for a customer to meet a deadline and I don’t like waiting on other people who have promised me something, but have not delivered, because they’re missing their own deadlines.

So, what I’ve done so people don’t think I’m being rude to them. I tell them upfront, before we even start a project that I get impatient if we’re running behind and you might interpret that as me being rude, but I’m not. When I’m working for a customer, that’s what matters most and it should to you too.

And this little disclaimer before a project has helped my co-workers understand how I work. And if you were to ask them about me, they would tell you that they really enjoy working with me and that’s no joke.

So, what I’ve just done is give you an example of a weakness that’s part of my personality.

And for the most part, I think all people are really the same way. I mean, everybody gets a little impatient when they’re waiting on someone to deliver something. So, this type of personality trait is something that anyone can understand. I mean, if you were to tell me the same thing, I’ll be like, “Yeah, I know what you mean. I don’t like waiting on people either. If I need something, and I’m waiting on you for it, and it’s holding me up, it’s keeping me from doing my job, that makes me a little impatient– that makes me a little rude– that makes me a little curt. I might raise my voice. So, I think giving that type of answer is universal and you can use it for almost any job.

But make sure that it’s right for you. It has to fit your background and your experience. It may not work for everybody, but it is very universal and almost anyone can use it.

So, what’s the best way to talk about a skill that you have improved on? Now, the trick to this is you want to keep it to a job related skill from a past job where that experience or that skill is not related to the requirements for this job.

So, you want to talk about a problem you had with skill, what you did to fix it, but that that really doesn’t matter to them– that that skill is unimportant to them.

So, let me give you a personal skills example. So, for me, it was teaching engineering classes. My boss came to me and said, “Hey, Don. We want you to start teaching network engineering courses to other people and teach them the stuff that you know”. For me, I was terrified. I didn’t know how to teach. I didn’t know how to present ideas to other people and I was very bad at it.

So, what do I do? I learned how to do it. I educated myself and I practiced. And I overcame that hurdle. So, the teaching was no longer an issue for me. So, when I would go an interview for a job and they’d say, “What are your weaknesses?” I might tell them. I’ll say, “You know what? I used to be really bad at teaching engineering classes. And then I overcame that inability and now I was able to present ideas much better to a room full of people”.

So, most of the jobs that I interviewed at, they weren’t looking for a teacher. They were looking for a consultant. So, I gave them an example from a past experience of teaching engineering classes; where that skill was not required at this new job.

So, it was a great way to answer the week this question and you can do that too; just pick a skill from your past experience that you overcame that is not a requirement for this job. That’s all there is to it and you’ve got the weakness question nailed down.

That’s all I have for you today my friend. We’ll see you next time. Thanks again for watching this video. If you like it, share it with a friend and subscribe to my channel.

And if you’re looking for more great answers to questions and answers for interviews, heading over to jobinterviewtools.com and download the Complete Interview Answer Guide.

It is going to teach how to answer over a 140 different questions that you are likely to face on your next interview. Thanks again for watching. I’ll see you next time.

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About The Author

Don Georgevich

Author of 4 top selling interviewing books, speaker, and job interview strategy coach. The one person everyone calls on before a difficult job interview.

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