What is your weakness? 3 things not to say in an interview situation.

It might feel like a trick question in an interview – after all, you want to sell yourself.

And here you are, faced with a question designed to reveal weakness.

Don’t panic. The question is actually designed to provide you with the chance to demonstrate you are reflective. It enables you to identify some training needs. It is not there to uncover all the reasons why you should not be hired.

With that in mind, here’s what NOT to say in an interview situation.

  1. Do not start sharing self-doubts and inner gremlins. Now is not the time and place to convince the interviewer that you have terrible imposter syndrome and doubt your own capabilities.
  2. Don’t try to provide anecdotes to amuse the interviewer. Spinning tales about a big night out and how you woke next morning believing you had liver damage only to discover you were laying on your shoe might be funny to share with mates, but it will come across badly in an interview. At best you look unprofessional; at worst it raises questions about your ability to control yourself and your drinking habits!
  3. Don’t try to look perfect and declare that you have no weakness. For a start, everyone knows that isn’t true and you’ll look like you are arrogant, have something to hide or simply lack emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Any of the above just indicate that you are not someone that managers can work with.

How to tackle tough interview questions.

Instead, use the question to demonstrate how you overcome a problem to become a more effective employee as a result.

For example, “I used to really find it challenging to let go of control when working on projects because I believed asking for help from colleagues reduced my impact and ability to take the project in the direction I wanted. However, I quickly learned that this was ineffective because the vision could be enhanced by incorporating and developing new ideas and concepts. Once I overcame this barrier, my work improved, and the team became stronger and more effective in producing high-quality outcomes.”

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