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Everyone who has been on a job interview could relate with answering that dreaded â€œweaknessâ€ question. It is the most asked question in an interview, hands down. It can potentially determine if your application is doomed or not. The way you answer this question differentiates you from the rest of the applicants that have been interviewed.
With that being said, if youâ€™re having a hard time answering this question, here are some tips you may want to keep in mind.
1. Poke up some fun, humor
Start the interview with light humor to ease the tension. It will place you in a comfort zone where you can show how well you carry yourself. A playful yet professional way to inject some fun could give the interviewer that you are serious but are open to have fun when warranted.
2. Don’t try to make your weakness as your strength
Interviewers are far too smart to see through your argument if you try to pass one of your weaknesses as somehow being a strength. For example, never try to tell them that you work so hard that you tend to miss out on a work-life balance. This will tell the interviewer that you are a slacker and are not efficient enough.
3. Plug the holes
If your resume doesnâ€™t have the full credentials that can make the grade, this is the time to address those uncertainties. Talk about something that is in the resume and turn it around by highlighting your strengths.
4. Show how you can make it vs. adversity
We all need to improve on something, otherwise we would be perfect. Try to highlight something that turns to be a chink on your armor and how you tried to address it. Always give a real life example and you’ll make a true impression.
5. Never mention something that is alarming
Try to discuss weaknesses that will not set off alarm bells. This is perhaps the reason why people dread answering the â€œweaknessâ€ question. Make sure that what you tell to the interviewer will not be a cause to push you out of the running.Â So, it would probably be unwise to say, “Iâ€™m consistently late because of my two-year child”.
6. Focus on something that is irrelevant
After you have evaded things that could get you in hot water, try to talk about weaknesses that have nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Highlight a skill or a weakness that will not be a deterrent for a favorable decision on your application.
7. Try to let the interviewer answer it
The best interview is an interactive one. It takes a lot of skill to â€œgentlyâ€ have the interviewer answer the â€œweaknessâ€ question. It could buy you some time or it could end the discussion right there, thus saving you more exposure that could lead to more trouble.
8. Pin down your weakness
It is best to highlight two or more of your strengths and then sandwich it with a weakness. Be sure to end the discussion by reminding the interviewer about your strengths.
9. Show confidence
Remember, employers ask the â€œweaknessâ€ question to test how well you carry yourself. Make sure that you are confident in answering the question. There is an old saying that the more you speak, the more mistakes you make. Be concise, because the next words that may come out of your mouth can cost you big time.
In the end, as long as you prepare and your weakness isnâ€™t too bad, thereâ€™s not much to worry about. Remember, there are so many other questions that an interviewer can ask, so itâ€™s always best to be cool, prepared and be extremely confident!
This was a post contributed by Kathy Cady.Â She runs the website How Much Does It Cost? – a large resource that can help you find out what many things cost including How Much Does a Career Coach Cost.