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"What are Your Weaknesses?" - How to Answer Everyone's Least Favourite Interview Question

"What are Your Weaknesses?" - How to Answer Everyone's Least Favourite Interview Question

Tell me why I shouldn't hire you?

We all know that no one is perfect but when it comes to presenting yourself in an interview, you want only the best to shine through. You spend so much time preparing your answers, rehearsing your introduction and researching the job role, the only focus is on demonstrating how much of an ideal candidate you are, so why are employers so keen to know what's wrong with you?
You're hoping they don't ask this question but it almost always appears during the interview, so instead of stumbling through your answer or worst attempting to completely avoid the question, you need to get practising. 

Here are the tips you should be following to get through this interview question stress free. 

It's Only One Question

It's Only One Question 

Let's start by stating the obvious. Yes, this question may come up in practically every interview and yes it is never going to be anyone's favourite question but remember it is only one very small part of the interview. 

It will be done before you even know it so don't pay too much attention on nailing your answer, to the determent of the whole other 58 minutes of your 1 hour long interview, you need to spread the interview preparation. Your interview needs to be smooth and fluid, allowing you an opportunity to build a rapport but nerves about a question that might never even come will definitely dampen your connection. 

Stop Using Tired Clichés 

I don't even have to type it for you to know what "weakness" I am referring to here. It's everyone's go to answer and 99.9% of the time it's a complete lie. 

Oh you're a perfectionist are you? That's strange because every other applicant who's applied for this job is also a perfectionist. This has to be the most common thought any recruiter has in an interview. If you truly do want to stand out from the crowd in the interview then you need to avoid using clichés  and instead make your answer tailored and unique. 

This Isn't an Opportunity to Brag

If an interview is all about portraying the best possible version of you to the recruiter, then why would you want them thinking you are anything less than perfect ... right? Well, not true. A recruiter knows you are going to have areas that need improvement and that's not a negative. The answer to this question can help them highlight where training or support needs to be given.

Most applicants don't realise this and instead takes this chance to brag about how amazing they are, maybe they couldn't possibly think of a single weakness or every weakness they have ever had has already been improved. 

No recruiter wants to hear that, if you're saying you have no weaknesses, an interviewer is automatically assuming you're not telling the truth, this is just one of the things you should be avoiding in an interview.

Show you're a Self-Improver 

To be fair, this interview question is worded all wrong and that is where most of the confusion and fear of answering this question comes from, so let me reword it for you. "What areas would you like to develop?" Already sounding a little simpler right?

Well that's exactly it, consider the job spec before answer this one. When you first reviewed the advert or heard about the role, what jumped out as an area that you might need to improve or an area that would be slightly more of a challenge for you. Well, that's your answer.

But, this is the part the recruiter doesn't say, there is a part b to this question that you should answer without the recruiter ever having to ask. "How do you plan on improving in this area" or "What are you already doing to improve on this skill?" Don't stop the answer after you have told them your pitfall instead home in on everything you can do to adapt and enhance this skills in this role. 

Every Problem has a Solution

Every Problem has a Solution

It's that simple, find the problem and then give the solution all wrapped up in one convenient package. This question doesn't need to be so scary and it's not a trick question. It is all about showcasing your ability to develop and self-evaluate your skills and strengths.

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