You could prepare all you want to talk about your strengths but what do you do when you’re asked ‘Tell us about your weaknesses’? An awkward silence in this situation can multiply the doubts in your employer’s mind and ruin all your hard work to get up to this point.
‘I work too hard’…‘I am not good at taking stress’…‘I don’t have any weaknesses’..these are some answers you need to stay away from. The most important thing to remember is that you should not talk about a weakness that directly affects your work. To make sure you don’t make a mistake, we tell you a few tips on how you can handle this dreaded question in your next interview –
- Assess your skill set: You should do this exercise before every interview. List down your strengths be it technical or soft skills (computer skills, communication skills, problem solving etc). Now, check the job requirements and match the skills which you think best showcase that you will be a good choice for this role. This will help you steer the conversation to focus on your strengths instead and also, have a few examples that demonstrate your skill set.
- Don’t avoid the question: Don’t try to avoid or refuse answering this question as your recruiter will clearly doubt that you are hiding something. Be honest and upfront about what you think and don’t freeze up. Sometimes all that the recruiter is trying to do is catch you off-guard to see how you respond to situation.
- Pick a minor or fixable weakness: Though being honest is the right way, many would say, but it is better to mention a weakness which can be worked upon. Being nervous when talking to a large audience, delegation etc. are weaknesses that can be tackled if you work on them. You should not mention skills which are essential on the job – for eg: if you’re looking for a career in sales, you can’t mention being too reserved. This can very easily cost you the job.
- Prepare your answer with a well thought out solution: There is no harm in telling your interviewer about a particular area or aspect you’re weak in but make sure there is also a solution attached to it. You do not want to come across as too laidback or overconfident and should let your recruiter know that you are making an effort to overcome your weakness.
- Don’t go overboard: You don’t need to sound apologetic while answering this question. Don’t go into too much detail in trying to justify or explain your weakness. Keep it brief and to the point and ensure you do not sound defensive.
Remember while answering that your recruiter is trying to understand if you would be right fit for their organisation. A single answer could jeopardise your chances of getting that offer so keep these tips in mind the next time you’re headed for an interview.