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The dreaded weakness question – everyone knows it’s coming but few prepare for it!

There are many ways that the question can be answered so I’ll start with the DON’T’s!

1) Making a joke of it - Chocolate, men, beer, Friday nights, whatever

2) ‘I don’t have any weaknesses’ – YOU DO – you’re full of them if only you’d look at yourself. I knew someone who once replied in this way and the interviewer shrieked ‘Hallelujah! I’ve always wanted to meet you Jesus Christ. Here, shake my hand!’

3) ‘The perfectionist answer’ - e.g. “I am very target focused and work towards a team target – I quite often put undue pressure on my team to ensure that targets are reached” or “I am meticulous about everything that I do – I sometimes get annoyed with myself because I take longer than I would like to get tasks done”. It can work but nowadays is a bit tired.

4) ‘I need training answer’ - I don’t know your marketplace/products, I will need training to succeed, etc.

A very soul searching way to look at this is to prepare beforehand. Actually sit down and list your weaknesses. Ask a close friend and colleague to help (and take their answers as constructive – do not hold it against them – this could be the lost valuable lesson you’re learned in years). Many management trainers say that all of the best managers can list more weaknesses than strengths because this demonstrates self awareness, they know their limitations, they are looking to improve, they know how to and when to delegate, etc.

Therefore recognise that you have a weakness. Talk through what you’ve done about it but how it is still a weakness, e.g. “Friends and colleagues used to comment about how disorganised I was. I therefore searched the Internet and found an article on time management planning on www.aaronwallis.co.uk that prioritises daily tasks and structures my day accordingly. It works like this I list my tasks and grade them A –must do, B – do it I get the time, C – If I run out of B’s, D – Delegate and E – Eradicate (cross off the list). Since I introduced this to my working day, friends and colleagues are always saying how more organised I am. However, I’m still not perfect and quite often get distracted and forget to focus on the tasks in hand, but I ‘m really pleased with my improvements and I’m far more focused than I used to be.

By answering in this way it shows you are self aware, analytical and committed to self improvement. You will address the question and turn the weakness into a strength.

See How to Tackle the Weakness Question for further insight and tips

Further Questions:

Revised on: .

 

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