Thursday, October 6, 2011

What are Your Weaknesses. How to Answer this Interview Question without Jeopardizing your Interview.

In an interview, the hiring manager is often looking for a reason NOT to hire you. Instead of looking for positives, the truth of the matter is that most interviewers take a negative approach to the screening process. Therefore, your goal in an interview is to ensure that you do not provide them a reason to say no to you.

However, one of the questions we are often asked is “What are your weaknesses?” If we are trying to avoid providing negatives about ourselves, it is difficult to properly answer this question. In the past we were told we should bring up a negative that really is not so bad. For example “I am such a perfectionist that I go above and beyond in everything I do.” However, this answer does not seem sincere and is not the approach I recommend in today’s market.

My rule of thumb when interviewing is that whenever you have to bring up a negative, state the negative and cover it up with a positive statement. The best approach to answering this particular interview question is to define a weakness that you have learned to overcome. Here is an example of how you can effectively answer this question.

“I am not very good at saying no and in the past I have taken on more than I can handle. This led to me missing deadlines or producing work that was not my best quality. I learned to overcome this weakness in several ways. First, I have learned to delegate and am a much better team player. I have also learned to manage my time, organize my daily tasks, and prioritize my day much better. I make a list for the next day at the end of each work day and review it first thing in the morning in order to better plan my daily priorities. Learning to deal with this weakness has led me to be a better time manager and to realize that I am not superwoman who has to say yes to every request myself.”

With this strategy you demonstrate that you are self-aware and that you are willing to admit that you are not perfect. However, you are also able to show your ability to solve problems and overcome obstacles. So, what weakness have you learned to overcome in

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