Imagine that you have been selected for what could be the interview of your life. Once you are sitting there with your nerves “on edge”, the interviewer asks you one of the classic questions: What is your greatest weakness? You were prepared for everything, but not for that question. Then, your mind goes totally blank… Goodbye to the job.
Let’s prevent this from happening!
We are going to give you the keys so that answering the question: What is your greatest weakness?, is not a reason for anxiety but for achievement.
What are your weaknesses?
There are several ways to answer this “dreaded” question. One option is to mention skills that are not critical to the job or to turn a negative into a positive. It is true that they are asking you about your weaknesses, but you must frame their positive aspects.
To answer this question you can:
Talk about non-essential skills
One option when answering this question is to accentuate the key strengths required for the job and find a non-essential deficiency within it.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a nurse, surely it would not occur to you to say that you have a phobia of needles (somewhat exaggerated). You can, for example, mention that you don’t defend yourself very well in public speaking (for a lot of people). In this case, it is essential that you emphasize that what you like is talking directly with the patient, showing him that “ray of light” that encourages him in difficult moments.
If, for example, you are a journalist, you can mention that numbers have never been your forte and that is precisely why you put all your passion into lyrics. Also, you can add something simple like:
“Although well, in recent years I have become familiar with digital analysis tools and I am growing fond of numbers.”
This answer shows a weakness that is not relevant to the position and, in addition, a desire to improve.
Mention the skills you have improved
Another option is to talk about the skills that you have improved while you were in a previous position. This will make the interviewer see in you a person who wants to improve himself.
You can start by talking about the origin of that job and what you did to improve within the position. And of course: emphasize the objectives achieved . Of course, if you use this type of strategy, do not name any aspect that you have not improved.
Turn a negative into a positive
Turn negative into positive. Giving that 360º turn is not easy, but if you do it right, you will give an answer of 10. For this type of answer it is essential to indicate that you are aware of the trait, but you know how to handle it to prevent it from affecting your work.
Let’s take an example:
I am a very detailed person. Sometimes I border on perfectionism. In previous jobs I have come to review a simple calculation several times or give the emails I send a lot of thought to make sure they were well understood. Since then I have learned to organize my time and choose the time needed for each task.
This answer will give the interviewer the vision that you know how to manage your time and you are someone precise who likes to do things well.
What does the recruiter want to know with this question?
When an interviewer asks about your skills, what they want to know is simply if you are qualified for that job and what indicators show that you are a person with a desire to improve.
Therefore, this question should not be seen as a trap, but as an opportunity to make him see that you are not only qualified for the position, but that you want to learn and grow in it.
Keys to answer
These are the keys that will help you answer the question What is your greatest weakness?
- Don’t overdo it: you don’t need to give a whole lecture about your weaknesses or the aspects you want to improve. Giving too much thought to a simple question is not well seen.
- Be honest: It is relevant that you give an authentic response adapted to the circumstance. You will be asked several questions in an interview. This, precisely, is not a question to lie.
- Turn negatives into positives: Frame your responses in a positive way. For anything you describe, you have to turn it around to show that it wants to improve to make it an achievement.
- Don’t say you’re perfect: don’t be arrogant. This is no longer worn (in fact, it has never been worn). We all have weaknesses and the interviewee wants to know what yours are.
Pdt: arrogance is a weakness and quite limiting.
We cannot vouch for you. What we can do is give you the keys to develop the best answer to this question according to your characteristics and, of course, your work.
The security that he perceives in you, the desire to learn and improve. And, above all, the motivation to become part of your team is vital to achieve the position.
Perhaps you still don’t know what to answer and perhaps that magical answer only seems at the very moment of the interview. Whatever the key to a good answer is one: Trust yourself.
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