Two of the most common Interview questions are “Tell me about your strengths” and “Tell me about your weaknesses”.
It’s easy to talk about our strengths, after all those are the things you excel at and love to do. However, when asked
about weaknesses, people often struggle with what to say. After all… could you be giving the interviewer a reason not to hire you if you expose too much?
What interviewers are looking for here is to get a sense of how self-aware you are. Most people miss the mark by saying something trite like “I work too hard” or “I can take on too much”.
Here is a great strategy for answering this question. A weakness can be a strength used in the wrong environment, or a strength used to excess.
For Example: I love to share my ideas. When I’m in a group setting I’m usually the first person with my hand up. Where that can be a weakness is if I’m not careful I can keep jumping in and other people who need to think about what they want to say first won’t have a chance to contribute.
Then say how you are responsible and aware of this behaviour. “How I keep this in check is that I remind myself in group settings that it is okay to put my hand up to share, but to also be sensitive and compassionate for other people and the different styles of communication that people have. I don’t always have to be the first one to speak. When I do this, I can actually learn a lot from my team members.”
So how can you create a personal answer like this? It’s easy… just look at your strengths and look at what happens when you overuse that strength or use that strength in the wrong setting.
Here are some examples:
STRENGTH – Being Analytical WEAKNESS – Analysis Paralysis, overanalyzing everything
STRENGTH – Being Strategic – WEAKNESS – not everything has to be driven by strategy, sometimes just rolling up your sleeves and doing tactical work is what is necessary
STRENGTH – Great Researcher – WEAKNESS – Don’t have to over research everything. Learn to trust your gut.
STRENGTH – Takes Action Easily WEAKNESS – Can Jump the gun and take action too quickly. Ask yourself; is this the BEST action to take right now? Is there a better option? Run your idea by someone before acting etc.
These answers will put you ahead of 99% of the people who answer this question and will have you excel in your interview!
Here’s to your success!
P.S. If you are in a job search watch my FREE WEBINAR “LinkedIn Profile Secrets to Land Your Dream Job”