Behavioral interviews are tough. The questions can seem vague and deciding what types of examples to use when answering can be challenging. During interview preparation sessions I find one particular question causes anxiety for even the most confident of candidates. The question – What is your biggest weakness? Why is it so scary? I find that most people view it as a trap. Why do they ask that question? It is really not a trap at all. Everyone has weaknesses. It is important to understand what constitutes a weakness before approaching how to answer the question. I view a weakness as a trait a person possesses that could negatively impact how you perform the job. Most weaknesses are not necessarily deal breakers (although some are depending on the role). To prevent a weakness from hurting your job performance it is important to recognize the weakness and demonstrate how you manage it. The weakness that a person is not aware of or does not acknowledge is the weakness that will hurt them. So own your weakness, state it clearly, and then state how you manage the weakness so that it does not negatively impact your job performance. Be prepared to give an example if asked for one. Avoid trying the old method of using a positive as a weakness such as “I work too hard”. Hiring managers are smarter than that.
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Elizabeth Danford, MSL resume writer, interview coach, and job search strategist