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What is your weakness?

August 17, 2009


During a recent mock interview I asked a student “What is your weakness” to which she replied “Golf”. Although it made me laugh out loud (LOL for the younger set) it wasn’t the correct answer for this type of question. So what is?

When you are talking about a weakness it is first important to feel confident in the fact that we all have weaknesses that we have to acknowledge and there is no shame in doing so. Secondly we need to look at our weakness and frame it so that it is really a strength. You need to put a positive spin on your weakness; wrap it up with a bow and a smile. So how do we do this?

Whatever you see your weakness as; after you’ve stated it, make sure to follow up with how you’ve recognized it and what you do to improve upon it, making it a strength and using it to your advantage. Here is my standby:

“Well my weakness is that I think I am superwoman and just love to volunteer to lead every project, undertake every initiative and say yes to anyone requesting help. Then I get back to my office and looking at the pile on my desk, am overwhelmed with everything I’ve agreed to do. So I’ve had to learn to do a couple of things.

First I’ve learned to prioritize and pay close attention to the items with deadlines or that are time sensitive; putting those first. Second I’ve learned that sometimes things can wait and that it is ok to let it wait until tomorrow. Thirdly I’ve learned to delegate, I’ve hired great staff and trust them to do work on my behalf. Lastly I’ve learned that sometimes I just need to say no to both myself and others. Even though I love to be the person who helps everyone, I am only one person and I can’t possibly do it all.”

You can see in my example that I demonstrate a weakness and then counteract that weakness by demonstrating how I manage it in my personality with four examples. When you think about your own weakness think of it in terms of what you do to manage it and be prepared to let your interviewer know that even though it is a weakness you know how to make it work in your favor.

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