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How to Talk About Your Weaknesses

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If you’ve ever been in a job interview, you’ve probably been asked what your biggest weakness is. Here are a few ways to calmly answer the question without getting that “deer in the headlights” look.

Some of the time when you’re asked, it’s just to mess with you and see how you react, but most of the time, they actually care what you have to say. There’s no “right” answer, but it is an important question and how you answer can make or break you. If you know what your weaknesses are, then you probably know what your strengths are. That means you’re smart and have a good handle on how you can be most valuable. If you don’t know what they are, take a personality quiz to help you figure it out.

Don’t prepare an exact response and if you do, don’t sound like it. What you should do is think about it ahead of time, but don’t have a robotic answer that you’ve rehearsed. Your answer won’t come across as authentic.

Don’t just focus on the bad. Talk about how you used to be bad at something, but overcame whatever that was or maybe have a story to tell. I know exactly what my weaknesses are, but I’ve learned how to turn them into strengths. For example, I ask a lot of questions and take copious amounts of notes, which can come across that I’m a slow learner, but writing everything down step by step allows me to practice and become better and do things faster and also allows me to pass notes on and train others better and be seen as a leader.

When you’re asked about your biggest weaknesses, keep it to just business. Personal weaknesses are OK, but how do you work those in to your work life? When you’re on a job interview, the person asking you the questions doesn’t want to know about your personal drama unless it relates to what you can do on the job.

Don’t give a “stock” answer like saying you work too hard or you’re too much of a perfectionist. They’ve heard it a million times. They may move on, or they may press you for an example, so be prepared.

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