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Sunday, May 26, 2024

How to Answer the Question, “What is Your Greatest Weakness?” Like a Pro

Making a perfect resume and applying for a job is not what will get you the position. Sure, its importance can’t be denied, and yes, a resume is like a gateway to your dream job, but that’s not the only key.

Once you are shortlisted and have finally got your foot in the dream company, it’s time to make an everlasting impression on the interviewer. You must win over the hiring manager during the interview to guarantee the position as yours.

Well, we all know the hard and fast rule of a great interview; honesty and confidence. However, many people find themselves stuck when the interviewer asks questions like “What is your greatest weakness?”

Maybe it is either because not many of us have that deeper insight about ourselves, or we are just terrified of being judged and perceived as weak.

If you are contemplating how to answer the question without sounding amateur, here are some of the ways that can help you with that.

You can answer it like a pro in no time with these clever tricks shared by some of the nation’s top CMO headhunters.

Pick a Smart Weakness

When an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, he mostly wants to analyze the following things:

  • Your level of Self-awareness: whether or not you have a healthy awareness of yourself and your capabilities
  • How confidently you can be open and honest:  especially about your shortcomings, failures, fears, and weaknesses
  • How do you deal with your weaknesses: do you let them drag you down, or instead, you pursue new opportunities, take risks, and grasp challenges to learn from them?

Now you don’t want to go ahead and answer like “I tend to overwork myself/ work too hard” or “I am much of a perfectionist”; that would come off as too insincere or too scripted.

Similarly, you don’t want to pick a weakness that might risk your chance of the role. For instance, if you are applying for a content writer, you cannot say “Procrastinator”. No one wants a writer who cannot deliver on time and consistently.

Therefore, you need to be vigilant when picking up your weakness.

The best way is to pick a smart weakness and use it to demonstrate how you have used it as a motivation to help you learn professionally. This will help the interviewer see that you know your weakness and you are determined to work on it.

Be Honest & Pick Up a Real Weakness

An answer like “Perfectionism” won’t do justice to the question. The reason is simple; it is not a real weakness, and you are not being honest about it.

Perfectionism is not a fear. It can never be attained. It is merely a fear-based pattern that leads to short-term rewards like getting the work done before the deadline.

Instead of answering like this, be honest with yourself and choose a real weakness. Everyone has a weakness; your interviewer doesn’t expect you to be perfect.

Underneath the perfectionist act may be the weakness of insecurity or self-doubt. Perhaps, you are always confused about your work and always doubting your capabilities. This might lead you to act perfectly at everything you try to do.

Now, trying to do things perfectly is not a bad thing. It is rather good quality. However, trying to be a perfectionist all the time would only lead to burnout and, in return, cause decreased functioning.

This is an honest and real weakness that you can work on and learn from.

Explain How You have Learned from Your Weakness

Every Human being is flawed to some extent.

We all make mistakes, take dumb decisions, over-analyze things, and thrive for perfection. These are all very common human weaknesses and are nothing to be ashamed of.

The real problem arises when you let that weakness control you until you feel completely helpless before it.

Having a weakness is not your weakness if your know how to overcome it and learn from it. Your Hiring manager doesn’t expect you to overcome your weakness overnight.

Since everyone has areas that they need to constantly work upon, shed light on those experiences and explain what you have learned from them.

Think of it this way; you have dedicated your six months to working out, and you cannot expect to stop one day and maintain your progress. It is an ongoing process that you need to keep working on, but the things you have learned over time will make it a little easier.

Ponder over a Weakness in Your Personal Life

During an interview, the best way to answer the tough questions is through introspection.

If you look within yourself, it will help you and your interviewer visualize and connect too many aspects of your life. Maybe he can even see what working with you in the future will look like.

Your weakness doesn’t have to be limited to just your job. It could be anything from your personal life. For instance, you could be reliable, consistent, hard-working, and a great writer, but you could be an introvert in real life.

If you are an introvert and you acknowledge that your preference for quiet time prevents you from taking risks, it is still a valid weakness that originates from your personal life.

It reflects your self-awareness and your tendency to self-improvement as well.

Think of Where You Want to Be in the Future

Lastly, to turn the question in your favor think of where you would want to be in the future and the people you look up to.

Analyze their qualities; ask yourself what their characteristic traits are and what will help you get there.

By answering like this and providing them with examples of how you are working to improve your weaknesses, you will get the interviewer a glimpse of many positive attributes like self-awareness.

Shying away from your weaknesses takes control from you. Always embrace and acknowledge your weaknesses and maintain an attitude of self-improvement and learning.

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