How many times have interviewers asked about your most significant weakness? And, how many times have you faltered and fumbled to come up with an answer?
Now that you’ve come to the end of your academic career, you are about to enter into the real world where you will be applying for jobs. Maybe even your dream job.
When compared to the most difficult of academic assignments, job interviews are far more challenging. When you appear for an interview, you have to face it by yourself.
However, you are not alone. We are with you, and we can help you spin around tricky questions.
The most common area where most of us falter is during the tricky questions regarding our strengths and weaknesses. When an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, they do not actually want to know about your negative aspects.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but instead, they want to know how adaptable you are. More so, how effective you are at transforming yourself into a better human being.
While answering the question about your greatest flaws, make sure you keep the following in mind:
1) Be Prepared
Quite often, a tricky question like “What is your greatest strength and weakness?” catches us off guard and we end up blanking while searching for an impressive answer. The best way to avoid this scenario is to stay prepared in advance.
You already know that the interviewer is going to ask this practically mandatory question, so why not be ready with your answers! Rack your brain and make a list of your flawed traits.
Then frame them positively, and make concrete points about how you have taken positive steps towards changing them.
2) Be Honest and Be Yourself
If nothing else, be truthful to the person interviewing you. Being frank and open about what you honestly feel can earn you points with any recruiter. A good interviewer can see through lies, so do not try to deceive them or tell half-truths.
Make sure that every academic and professional claim on your CV is accurate. Also, do not try to be another person to impress the interviewer.
3) Explain How You Overcame a Weakness
Everyone has a flaw, and so do you. So, do not so claim that you are some magical exception. First, understand that it is entirely reasonable to have weaknesses.
So, tell them about a flaw that you have and share how you are trying to overcome that deficiency. What is important is how well you can handle your faults and get the best out of them.
4) Be Positive Throughout the Interview
Handle negative questions with a confident stance. This will prove your mettle and show your recruiter how composed you are and how well you can handle tough situations. Quite often, people get nervous and end up fumbling for answers.
That is a natural response. But, if you answer a negative question negatively, this will reflect your mindset and approach. Suppose they ask you about the reason you left your previous job. Do not, under any circumstance, criticize your former workplace.
When it comes to talking about your flaws, it starts with acceptance. It is when you accept that you have a weakness that you know how to deal with it and overcome it.
Even while talking about your shortcomings, make sure you express it with a smile. This will reflect the optimistic and favorable outlook that you have in life and in regards to your future.
Here are five flaws that you can claim as your negatives and then turn them around into positive aspects about yourself to impress the interviewer.
5) Time Management
Time management is a severe problem for many professionals, and it can be yours too. If you think that you cannot manage time properly, then you can state it as your weakness.
If you feel you are unable to deliver your daily work target within the 8 hours window, feel free to communicate it to your interviewer when asked the dreaded question. But, at the same time, make sure you mention how you are trying to improve on it and how far have you have come.
Tell them how you have taken measures to grow in the form of reminders and alarms and about the positive strides that you have made so far. Show them that you have invested time in rectifying your weakness.
Tell them how you plan to tackle the most critical tasks first and keep your work desk more organized to manage time better.
6) Taking A Lot of Stress
When asked about your greatest weakness, you can say how much you worry about meeting deadlines and how you end up taking a lot of unnecessary stress which in turn makes you anxious. This can work as a positive since the recruiter will know how serious you are about the work assigned to you.
Anybody dedicated to his or her job is a good employee and thus will make the interviewer give positive feedback about you. Worrying about an approaching deadline is good.
However, when you end up taking a lot of stress, things may get a little out of hand. So make sure you spin this around by telling how you are training yourself to handle things better and learning to take less stress.
7) Being a Perfectionist
When asked about your biggest flaw, you can answer saying that you are often too hard on yourself and too critical over everything you do. You can explain how you have always been unhappy with the work that you deliver.
Say how you always strive for perfection and yet somehow you feel you do not achieve it. This will give the recruiter a view into your sincerity and perseverance. But that is not where it should end.
Make sure you explain how you are trying to bring in a positive change. Mention how due to that flaw, you always give your 100%. Then, say how you are learning to appreciate yourself more by accepting accomplishments and accolades as you receive them.
Perfectionism is a trait that can be both a flaw and an admirable quality. Too much perfectionism can be detrimental to your self-esteem, but at the same time, it can also assure the recruiter how particular you are about the work you deliver.
Being shy is, of course, not a flaw. But it can come as an obstacle in the workplace if you cannot bond with your colleagues. Being shy can be detrimental to teamwork when you have to perform in a group. But at the same time, shyness can be rectified using various techniques.
You can claim to be shy, but then mention how you are trying to overcome your flaw by engaging across multiple speaking classes. Tell your recruiter how you have made positive changes and how you have become more confident and outgoing.
Narrate how you have taken lessons in boosting your self-esteem, which has helped you step out of the shell and make friends.
Procrastination is a problem that many people have, and even if you do not realize it, you may have it too. You may be thinking that owning up to this negative trait can land you in hot water. But, there is a smart way of putting this, spinning it around to make it look like a positive.
When you say that you are guilty of procrastination, make sure you also follow up with how you are trying to change that bad habit. Tell the recruiter how you have started creating a routine to cope with procrastination.
You can also say how you have curbed your addiction to social media and made an effort to stop yourself from using your phone in between work. You can also mention how you are teaching yourself to be mentally prepared to start work immediately without delay.
When asked about your weaknesses, it is a mistake to claim that you are free of defects. It is better to be upfront, and honest. So, admit to the flaws you have.
It is not necessary to respond to a negative question negatively. You can tell the recruiter about a weakness that you have through the lens of positive steps you are taking towards overcoming it. This will show how concerned you are about your performance.