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Interview Tips : What are your weaknesses?

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Like most job interview questions, “What are your weaknesses?” is a commonly asked and equally complicated answer. You shouldn’t see this as an obstacle to avoid, rather see it as an opportunity to portray your side of growth and how you are willing to absorb and overcome your flaws to be your better self. Employers dwell on this question to learn if you have the will and ambition to use your weakness as a chance to grow. 

How to tell your interviewer about your shortcomings without sounding inadequate for the job? Now the ball is in your court. It is tricky but can be done. Keep in mind that your answer is how the interviewer will evaluate your disposition in an adverse environment.  

Introspect to your past and make a list of your shortcomings you have come across. It can be from your projects, notes from your superiors, or past performance reviews. You should also focus on researching the company and the open position. This way you can avoid sharing any shortcomings that can be taken as a deficiency for the job. So make sure to thoroughly read the job description to familiarize the critical points required for the job. 

Bring the positive in your negative 

Learn to portray your weakness as your learning experience and do not shy away from them. Having a weakness is not a trait of a failure. It shows that you can pick yourself up and move forward. 

If you answer the question as if you have no weakness, your interviewer will see that as a trait of failure- the failure to understand your mistakes and learn from them. Overconfidence is not what they are looking for in their potential employee. They want to know how self-aware, honest, and emotionally stable you are with enough room for self-improvement. 

What you have analyzed and established as your weaknesses, craft a response in a way you bring your flaws into a positive light. We must craft each answer in an adaptable manner. One correct answer for a job may not be correct for every job description. Some suggestions to take in hand are as follows:

  • Avoid negative phrases like “failed”, or “incompetent”.
  • Talk about how you worked on yourself from a weak point.
  • Address how you learned the flaw and took steps to improve.

Before sharing, consider the position you are applying to. See to that the weakness you mention will not jeopardize the opportunity. 

Some classic examples for “what are your weaknesses?” can be as follows:

  • I am very detail-oriented
  • I tend to over-work myself 
  • I stumble into being competitive 
  • I struggle with not asking for help

The question provides you with an opportunity to set yourself apart from others. You can show the interviewer that you recognize the areas where you need to upgrade yourself and how you are taking steps to address them. Analyzing and mending your own weakness is a humbling experience. It shows your awareness and your ambition to change. Show them how you can learn from constructive criticism. Any employer will count these as strengths and will be pleased to have you on their team. 

Read Also Interview Tips: What are your strengths?

article1Daljeet Kaur Lal

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Daljeet Kaur Lal is an HR Trainer who has extensive work experience of over 11 years. She is now working with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai. She develops and executes various HR training programs to ensure that employees have the skills and knowledge to meet the organization's objectives.

She is passionate about learning new things. She enjoys spending her free time reading favourite books and listening to all-time favourite melodies in English and Hindi. She is also keenly involved in Adventurous activities and loves to travel a lot. 
 

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