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“What are your weaknesses?” – Tips to answer this common interview question

what are your weaknesses
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One of the most common questions that are asked in most job interviews is “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”. While it becomes easy to answer what are your strengths, it becomes difficult to answer the weaknesses. While the strengths become your pitch to make you a good fit for the job, the weaknesses can actually become a blockade for you to get the job. You have to point our weaknesses in such a way that you do not look hopeless for the job.

Tips to follow 

“What are your weaknesses?” is actually a very tricky question. You should know your weaknesses first and you should frame your answer that puts your weaknesses in a better spot.

Be honest

You cannot say that you have no weaknesses. No one’s perfect, and the hiring managers know very well that. So, respond to this question in an honest way. One best way to answer this question is to review your past performance evaluations where your supervisors or team leads have pointed out your areas that need improvement.

Transforming your weakness into a strength

Remember only your work-related weaknesses. The reason for asking for weaknesses is to know how you can handle adversity on the job. Read the job description thoroughly and find out one thing that’s essential to the job as your weakness. But, point out how you have transformed your weakness into a strength.

An example, “ I had time-management issues earlier. I met my deadlines always but it was always at the last-minute and I really had to work for long hours to complete it. This was very stressful to me. But, I decided that I should know to manage my time. Thankfully, I now know how to schedule my days and plan work as soon as I get a new assignment, and I often complete my work before the deadline.”

Pick a skill that’s not required for the job position

Undertand the job role thoroughly. As a weakness, you can pick a skill, which is not essential for the role. But at the same time, you can say that you can learn and develop that skill.

For example, if the job role is in IT Help Desk role, then it is quite evident that it won’t involve any finance-related job role. So you can simply say that  “I’ve no experience with finance or budgets in my previous job roles, so I’d say that’s a weakness for me. But, I’m a quick learner, and I can pick up the basics of finance if it is needed for this job.

Detail-oriented

You can also point out that you are very detail-oriented. This weakness is actually a strength for many. So you can present your answer in such a way that detail-orientation has actually become a weakness for you.

For example, you can say, “My weakness is that I sometimes give too much importance on the details of a project and spend too much time on it. As such, I miss the bigger picture of meeting deadlines. But, now I am improving in this area and giving myself a chance to re-focus on the bigger picture. That way, I can still manage quality without getting so caught up in the details and I meet the deadlines too.”

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