September 21, 2014

Turn Your Biggest Weakness Into A Strength

Job interviewers absolutely love the question, “what is your biggest weakness?” Have you heard it before? If you’ve ever had a job interview you probably have. It’s probably the most common interview question and is definitely one you need to prepare for.

Identifying your weaknesses is  tricky. You need to be honest, but you still don’t want to make yourself look bad. Unfortunately you can’t plead the 5th either. This is why you need to give this question some serious thought before you’re put in the hot seat. It’s easier to plan out this answer than an answer to one of these off the wall interview questions.

Google the question and you’ll find all sorts of strategies to answer this question. The best approach is simple. Here is how Mac’s List suggests you answer the age-old “what is your biggest weakness” question:

  • Address The Obvious – Identify your weakness and how it relates to the job.
  • Reframe As A Positive – Give your weakness a positive spin.
  • Draw On Context – Show how your weakness is actually a strength in some situations. Use a specific example.
  • Highlight Improvement – Explain how you realized this was your weakness and how you have adapted it into a strength.

Ultimately it’s up to you to turn your weakness around and to use it to make you look good. It’s a challenging task, but if you can do it, your interview will feel like smooth sailing. Practice prior to your interview so that you don’t stumble over your words.

Get more job interview tips on JobMonkey

If you’re really having trouble identifying your weaknesses, feel free to use this cheat sheet. It’s meant to help jog your memory or at least give you an idea of why you’re weak in a certain area. Try to have a story that backs up your reasoning in case you’re asked during an interview. Here are a few common weaknesses:

  • Impatience
  • Trouble delegating
  • Organizational Issues
  • Language Skills
  • Cautious
  • Uncompromising
  • Nervous in front of large groups
  • Lack of job specific skills
  • Sensitive
  • Overly helpful
  • Overly critical
  • Suspicious
  • Talkative
  • Procrastinator

Use this list to help you brainstorm your weaknesses. Then take your personal weakness and apply it to the process above to help you prepare for your next interview. You know it’s coming, why not be prepared. Are you ready to answer the question? What is your biggest weakness?

You can think of your answer while you apply for jobs on the JobMonkey Job Board

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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