How To Answer The Job Interview Question: “What Are Your Weaknesses?”
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Weakness is an attribute that no human wishes to be associated with and surprisingly enough, we tend to lean favorably towards the animal kingdom when it comes to certain “highly valuable” and emulatable traits perceived to be best portrayed through wildlife.
Such traits associated with animals include; strength(ox), courage(lion), sharpness(eagle) and the list could be endless.
This however should not depict the superiority of animals over man because since time immemorial, humans have always dominated the foodchain and there is no better conclusive statement to wrap up this fact than a popular athlete’s inspirational phrase, “No human is limited!”
With this in mind, any successful job applicant scheduled for an interview should expect inquiries touching on their imperfections and more or less they will revolve around the question, “What Are Your Weaknesses?”
This however, should not be translated as an invitation to pour out your personal weaknesses like not being able to resist beautiful women or finding it hard to restrain tears during emotional soap opera moments.
While this could be a very important conversation to have with your therapist, it should NEVER see the light of day in the confines of a job interview room.
Plainly speaking, do not respond to the question on a personal perspective rather it should be at a professional viewpoint whereby you concentrate on areas of your profession that require improvement.
Your response to this should be organized as STAR , which means you State the weakness, the Task and action you made to over come and the result you have achieved on that specific weakness.
Always remember if you just mention the weakness and leave the rest, the panel will not consider you as professional candidate.
Let us look at some notable areas of weakness.
1. Hard skills – these are skills attained through learning. They may include foreign languages, using certain software programmes or machinery etc.
Examples of weaknesses in hard skills may include:
- Communication barrier due to accent.
2. Soft skills – these are skills that are in-born and cannot be attained through learning and mainly revolve around behavioral traits eg impatience, perfectionism etc
Examples of weaknesses in soft skills may include:
- Impatience when deadlines are not met.
- Inability to relate well with disorganized individuals.
Perfectionism which interferes with deadlines.
In situations whereby i am required to submit my weekly report regarding client feedback and complaints, i tend to ask for more time despite the stipulated day/time deadline, this has made me to be perceived as someone who is not time conscious.
As a result, i have learned from this and i no longer try to achieve perfectionism in my reports instead, i now focus only on the important basics and this has resulted in improvement in time efficiency.