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Talking about your weaknesses can be a difficult task. You should not speak about a weakness unless it’s something you’ve overcome.

There are numerous things that interviewers are looking for in the biggest weakness question. The three most common are:

  • Unassertive – Always agreeing on everything despite the topic and so they are constantly being used by others. They are not able to say NO.
  • Procrastination – Always rushing to complete tasks for the last minute. Usually missing or postponing deadlines and generally asking for help in finishing tasks.
  • Lack of some skills – No interviewee has all the requisite skills for your job profile. There is no one person who has all the skills for the job.

There are several types of “biggest weakness” responses that you should avoid. Here are two:

  • Spin a weakness into a strength – Don’t tell the interviewer your biggest weakness is your inability to have work-life balance. Which hiring manager doesn’t like someone who works 90-hour work weeks? Hiring managers are wise to this tactic. Many view candidates who do this as being insincere and evasive.
  • Too naive – If you’re interviewing for a sales role, your biggest weakness should not be: I hate making cold calls!

You can learn to put a positive spin on your weaknesses with a bit of practice. You need to make a good impression. The old cliché “that you don’t get a chance to make a good impression” is true! For example, answering the lack of skills question, your response should be that you will be willing to learn (Smith, 2013).

– Tom Curcio

Reference

Smith, J. (2013, January). How to ace the 50 most common interview questions. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com

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