Strong weaknesses

I interview candidates daily and have done for years. Inevitably they vary massively from person to person. I am regularly shocked with how people answer questions and represent themselves and equally impressed with others. As a vital activity to vetting candidates it can’t be under estimated the importance of interviewing. Despite these vast differences experienced, there are general trends that seem to stay the same regardless. I want to share a key one with you and give you the opportunity counteract and benefit from this trend.

The common interview trait I want to share with you is weaknesses.

When I am talking skills and strengths everyone has a fair degree of flow to best discuss themselves. However whenever I ask the question “What would you say is your biggest weakness”, no one has an answer! The interview stalls and an awkward silence creeps in. It is important to be prepared for your interview, why is it that no one ever is prepared for this one simple question? I mean non of us are flawless! It is important to be aware of both your strengths and weaknesses. Your Strengths to display and in the interview elaborate on, your weaknesses to be aware of and address to compensate.

When my Interviewees do answer I have had some very interesting answers, but what strikes me is that many of them are in fact a positive too and thus become a “Strong Weakness”. I have hand-picked 3 as an example, but hope this goes to inspire you to tune in to your main weakness, work with them and have it prepared for your next interview and hope it is a Strong Weakness like the following:

Self Critic: “No one can put more pressure on me than I do myself”. This can be a fault for someone, but is a nice problem for a manager to have someone that keeps themselves in check.

Over commit: “I find that I take on too much”. Yes this can be a problem, but the idea of a person more inclined to be proactive about this compared to the person that will do all they can to do the minimum necessary is an attractive option.

Workaholic: “All I want to do is work”. Everything is about balance, but some people clock-watch and seem to have no interest in doing any work at all. A potential employer would much prefer this problem to the clock-watcher.

Finally there is a post that is doing the rounds on LinkedIn. It is an interview scenario.

It goes:

Interviewer: What would you say is your biggest weakness?

Interviewee: honesty

Interviewer: I don’t see that as a weakness?

Interviewee: I don’t give a **** about what you think!

Weakness such as untrustworthy, chocolate, lazy, high maintenance, violent, bigoted and easily distracted probably will not cut any positives, so do give a thought to your “strong weakness” and be prepared for this question at your next interview and stand out from the crowd.

If you like what you read here, feel free to contact me on:

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