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How to tackle the Inevitable “What Are Your Weaknesses” Question

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Trying to answer the “Weakness” question is like trying to walk along a tight rope: a solid answer takes you ahead unhurt, while a misstep sends everything crashing down! Questions like these are the clinchers. By not admitting to any weakness you come across as phony and fake. And on the other hand admitting to them puts you at risk of losing the offer!

So, do you really reveal your biggest weakness to those who matter?  Do they want to hire you still?  What if you say you have no weaknesses at all?  Then do you run the risk of not sounding genuine?

Read on to know solutions that can help you tame this dreaded monster:

Being prepared is the key                                                   

Anticipating questions that can come up your way can save you from ending up in a tight spot. So, it’s best recommended to review your job description for your potential employee and connect one of your areas of weakness to them. A smarter tactic is describing something that was once a weakness and elaborating on how you managed to overcome it. For example, if you always had difficulty with numbers, then you could say,” I have always dreaded Maths but I took up a crash course in Excel to get a better grip on it.” This way you are not only helping the employer identify the red flags but also projecting your honesty and self awareness.

Project it right

It mind sound cliché, but every cloud has a silver lining. Choosing a short coming that can be best explained in the most positive light is the best thing to do. Putting an optimistic spin on your negative attribute and using words that are seen as professional strengths should be the call for the day.  For example, if you are not a very meticulous person and skip details, you could say, “I have always been a ‘big picture’ thinker and have to confess that I occasionally give the smaller details a miss. By willing to offer both sides of the coin while talking about your shortcomings, you are in a way demonstrating how you are working to deal with the issue.

Pick the Best one

Not all weaknesses put you in the same jeopardy of not being hired. While you don’t want to talk about something that can irrevocably damage your chances of getting a job, you can always talk about a weakness that you are trying to overcome, but which is not a part of the core skill set needed for the job. Or best talk about a previous weakness and how you successfully managed to overcome it!

Just remember one thing; your interviewer isn’t expecting you to be 100% perfect. In spite of whatever strategy you are using, your main objective is talking about a real weakness that does not harm your possibility for the position but also doesn’t come across as impractical or staged. If you are unsure of the negative weakness that you are most likely to discuss, then evaluate the criteria for the position you are applying for. Put yourself in the place of the employer to consider what you would like to hear and what you would think as ‘negative’. Take out time to practice difficult answers, sound confident and show the yearning to improve on whatever weakness you possess.

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