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How to Turn Weaknesses into a Strength During the Interview

Nobody likes to admit that they have a weakness. Even fewer people like to admit that they have multiple weaknesses.

However, the simple fact of the matter is that everybody possesses multiple weaknesses.

So as you can see, these facts of reality are at odds in the employment marketplace. Specifically, they’re at odds for those people who are trying to find a new job.

After all, when you’re looking for a new job, you feel as though you must present your “best self.” While it makes sense to want to make a good impression with a potential employer, it’s quite another thing to pretend that you don’t have any weaknesses.

Trying to pretend that you don’t have any weaknesses is the worst thing you can do during a face-to-face interview. (Okay, maybe it’s not the absolute worst thing you can do, but it’s not good, that’s for sure.)

No, the best thing to do is be honest and forthright. That will be more impressive to those conducting the interview than if you try to pretend that you’re flawless. Oh, and one more thing. If an interviewer asks what your biggest weakness is, do NOT say the following:

  • “I’m too hard on myself.”
  • “I work too hard sometimes.”
  • “I’m a perfectionist.”

No, no, and NO. The face-to-face interview is the time for authentic interaction. So instead of sidestepping your weaknesses, you must address them. However, you must address them yourself, before you even go to the interview. If you don’t prepare for how you’re going to talk about them, then you won’t come across in the best fashion.

With all of that in mind, follow this blueprint for turning your weaknesses into a strength during the interview:

#1—Acknowledge your weaknesses.

This is more impressive than trying to downplay them, including by using the phrases we listed above. Instead, say something like, “Yes, I have noticed that I have one or two weaknesses.” This will show that you’re self-aware, which can be a rare trait to find in a job candidate.

#2—Names your weaknesses.

Hopefully, they’re not egregious weaknesses. In other words, they shouldn’t be “deal breakers.” For example, telling the interviewers that you impulsively set things on fire is a deal breaker. Also, stay focused on weaknesses that are of a professional nature. “I’m a poor bowler,” is a NOT a weakness worth mentioning.

#3—Explain your plan for addressing your weaknesses.

Ideally, you already had a plan in place for doing so. Detail what you’ve done to that point and the progress that you’ve made. If you could document that progress in some measurable fashion, that would be even better. Prospective employers want to know that not only are you aware of your weaknesses, but you also have a plan in place for dealing with them.

Following this three-step blueprint will impress those conducting the interview a lot more than tap-dancing around the subject of your weaknesses. That’s because companies want employees who have more than just a lot of strengths. They want employees who have a firm grasp on reality.

No matter how well they bowl.

Do you need an edge in your job search and your career? Time Staffing can help!

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