What is your weakest skill? As a candidate for a new position, this can be an intimidating question.
One common belief is, “If I admit I have this particular weakness, how will the interviewer hold that against me in terms of my ability to perform the job role and excel?”
To play devil’s advocate, “What if one simply states they do not have any weaknesses? Won’t you still throw yourself into the reject pile with certainty?”
There is no perfect job performer who simply has no room to grow. This is a time to show humility and expand upon your weakness.
Here is the nitty gritty
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to best handle this interview question, each piece of the job hunt process, including your documents, should be designed with integrity and honesty.
Beyond stating perfection, it has been proven in excess that producing any dishonesty on your resume will red flag your information straight into the bin. Whether it is sales results, dates of employment, or specific job tasks you handled, just be honest.
Not only is it the right thing to do, it makes conversations with recruiters, and potential employers much simpler.
When you’re participating in a phone interview or it is time to walk into your face to face meeting, your nerves will be at ease knowing you can speak with accuracy and honesty about your experience.
How to embrace underdeveloped skills
Personally, this interview question holds a strong place in my line of interview prep questioning. This allows the job candidate to embrace their underdeveloped skill, and address what moves they are making to become more productive and proficient with it.
When you are conscious of your weaknesses, it is much easier to verbalize and improve upon them. Not only will you feel more comfortable answering the question, it is the first step to developing an outline for how you will improve.
This can be important for overall personal and professional development, making the interview mastery component, icing on the cake.
Don’t be afraid to use an ample number of colorful descriptors here for how you’re going to execute.
Time to start practicing
So, what is next? It is time to start practicing your explanation of how you’re going to wrap this all together and conclude what benefit there is for the company. Remember, displaying cognizance of how you will contribute to their success is key.
Think of the cause and effect analogy:
“I will perform ‘X’ task, expect ‘Y’ outcome and ‘Z’ is how that relates to the opportunity.”
Better yet, if you can provide an example of actions you have already taken to elevate yourself, there is concrete evidence you are willing to put the work forth.
How to perform a SWOT analysis on yourself
Preparation and strategy can make this question a breeze, but the prep is necessary. Within the efforts put forth to master this, industry-specific components need to be considered.
Displaying humility throughout will also help you grow personally and develop your overall skills.
The most efficient way to expose your weaknesses (and strengths) is to create an individualized SWOT analysis. If unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for:
For example, envision you’re interviewing for a sales position, and through your personal examination, you recognize overuse of close-ended questions, but there are essentially no soft words within your pitch skills.
Uncovering these vital puzzle pieces will help move forward throughout the process, and self-realization of what you need to improve upon.
Appointing yourself as the owner of your skill set puts you in the driver seat and demands respect from the individual conducting the interview.
Putting interview puzzle pieces together
The anticipation of this specific question is just one piece of the interview puzzle, but it is one giant leap in the right direction.
Developing a strategy to answer commonly asked questions will prove its value in the first two minutes of any job interview, regardless of industry.
The glory of the digital age allows for instant access to questions frequented within specific roles and industry.
One may even be able to gain access down to the degree of what specific formatting questions are expected to be answered in for an interview.
Stay tuned for more advice on how to tackle finding your next role proficiently and professionally!