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Turn 'what are your weaknesses?' into an interview winning answer

Mar 09, 2023

We've all been there. You're in the middle of an interview, feeling on top of your game, and suddenly, the interviewer asks, “What are your weaknesses?” Your mind races, and you're frantically trying to come up with an answer that won’t send your chances of landing the job down the drain.

Sound familiar? If you've ever found yourself in this predicament, fret not. I'm here to make sure you'll never be caught off guard again.

In my experience with thousands of interviews, I’ve noticed that the 'weaknesses' question is a perennial stumbling block for candidates. If you're gearing up for an interview, stick with me. By the end of this blog, you’ll not only know how to tackle this tricky question, but you’ll have a foolproof strategy to frame your answer perfectly.

 

Self-awareness is key

The key to nailing this question is to demonstrate self-awareness and a commitment to personal growth. Remember, it’s better to talk about professional skills you’re improving, rather than personality traits.

 

Why does this matter?

Employers value your professional development over personal quirks. They want to see that you’re proactive about your career growth and are willing to work on areas you need to improve.

 

Preliminary self-reflection

Don't wait until the interview to think about your weaknesses. Reflect on past feedback from colleagues or performance reviews. Identify areas for improvement and write them down. Choose a skill relevant to the job but not critical to the role.

 

Follow the 3-step process:

Let’s break it down with two examples:

 

Step 1: Identify a real but non-critical skill

Example response: "One area I'm working on is my proficiency with advanced Excel functions. It’s not a core requirement for my role, but I know it can enhance my data analysis efficiency."

 

Step 2: Show a desire to improve

Example: "Recognising this, I've enrolled in an online course to improve my Excel skills, which I believe will increase my task efficiency."

 

Step 3: Communicate progress

Example conclusion: "Already, my enhanced Excel skills are saving me time, and I'm excited about my ongoing progress."

 

Another example:

Step 1: Pinpoint a skill

Response: "Public speaking is an area I'm focusing on. While I’m comfortable in smaller groups, larger audiences can be challenging."

 

Step 2: Highlight actions for improvement

Continuation: "To address this, I joined a local speakers' club and have been actively participating in workshops and speaking events."

 

Step 3: Share the Outcome

Conclusion: "As a result, I recently led a seminar for a large audience and received positive feedback. It's boosted my confidence, and I'm committed to continuing this growth."

 

What not to do:

Avoid clichéd responses like, "I’m a perfectionist" or “I’m too detail-oriented”. These types of answers lack insight into self-awareness or professional development.

 

Mastering this three-step approach, coupled with sincere examples, will prepare you to confidently answer the 'weaknesses' question in your next interview.

 

Your LinkedIn profile is more than just your online presence—it's a powerful tool for career advancement. Investing time in your LinkedIn profile can open doors to new opportunities, connect you with industry leaders, and highlight your professional journey.

Here's how to make your LinkedIn profile a cornerstone of your career growth:

 

A profile photo that speaks volumes:

Your photo is your virtual handshake. A professional, approachable image sets the tone for your profile and makes you instantly memorable.

 

A headline that tells your story:

Your headline should encapsulate who you are professionally in a nutshell. It's your chance to make a strong impression, so make it count!

 

A summary that connects:

Your summary is your personal pitch. It’s where you can share your career aspirations, highlight your achievements, and connect with your audience on a personal level.

 

Showcasing your journey in the experience section:

Your work experience is more than a list of jobs. It's a narrative of your professional growth. Share your successes and challenges, and how they've shaped your career.

 

Skills and endorsements as social proof:

By listing relevant skills and gathering endorsements, you're providing tangible evidence of your abilities. This social proof is invaluable in establishing credibility.

 

Educational insights:

Your educational background isn't just about where you studied; it's a testament to your dedication to learning and growth. Highlighting this aspect shows a commitment to professional development.

 

Multimedia for a dynamic profile:

Adding multimedia elements like presentations or portfolio pieces brings your achievements to life. It makes your profile dynamic and engaging.

 

The power of recommendations:

Recommendations are personal endorsements that add depth to your professional story. They are powerful testimonials to your work ethic and skills.

 

Volunteer experience: the human side:

Including volunteer work showcases your values and character. It demonstrates a commitment to causes beyond your professional life.

 

Active engagement for visibility and networking:

Regular engagement on LinkedIn increases your visibility and shows you're up to date with industry trends. It’s also a great way to network and build relationships.

 

Why invest in your LinkedIn profile?

Visibility to recruiters:

A well-crafted profile increases your visibility to recruiters and hiring managers.

Networking opportunities:

It connects you with industry leaders and peers, opening doors to new opportunities.

Personal branding:

Your profile is a platform for personal branding, showcasing your unique professional identity.

Continuous learning:

Engaging with content on LinkedIn keeps you informed about industry trends and insights.

 

In 2024, your LinkedIn profile is a key asset in your professional toolkit. It's not just a profile; it's a platform for career growth, networking, and personal branding. By investing time in your LinkedIn presence, you're setting yourself up for success in an ever-evolving professional landscape. So, let's start building a profile that not only tells your story but also paves the way for your future achievements.

 

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