WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES? STRONG Job Interview Answer in 2020


 Have you ever answered the question"what are you weaknesses?" only to be met with "Well, that's not really a weakness now is it?" 

and then been asked to give another example? Or have you tried to be smart orcute by answering "I don't have any weaknesses." 

Or... Is your go-to answer "I'm a perfectionist." or "I work too hard." 

We looked at how to answer the question "What are you strengths?" And today we're tackling the question that almost always get asked directly before, or after, which is 

"What are your weaknesses?"

 Talking about your weaknesses can be a bit of a challenge. You can't say that you don't have any weaknesses because let's face it, everyone has them. 

Saying that you don't have any weaknesses it's a sure fire way not to get the job. At the same time. 

What if the potential employer doesn't want someone with your weakness? Then you won't get the job anyway. 

Plus. You need to be honest because if they start drilling into the weaknesses that you've mentioned and ask you for more details around it, which is very likely that they do, you need to be able to talk about it honestly and with real examples. 

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And if that wasn't enough to make this question a complicated one to answer, there is one more thing to keep in mind. 

You've probably already seen instructions and tutorials here online advising you to answer this question by bringing upweaknesses that are not relevant for the position. 

This is a good strategy. But because so many candidates do this, don't be surprised if the interviewer starts drilling into this topic further, and want you to talk about the specific requirements related to their position. 

And don't be surprised if they want you to talk about more than just one weakness. Interviewers don't do this to catch you out. 

They do it because they genuinely want to know what you consider being your weaknesses. A real one, not one that you've made up. 

And whether you proactively work on improving your skills. They're interested in getting an understanding of how self-aware you are and whether you take ownership for your own growth and development or whether this is something that you expect the employer to be responsible for.

 Plus, They're checking your honesty. Okay, so that was a lot to keep in mind, so let's look at howyou prepare and answer this question. 

The way you prepare for this question is inthe same way as you prepare for the 

"What are your strengths?" question. 

So we will continue with our example. I'm showing an example of how to read the job description.

 And how to do a self-assessment. And we will continue with the same examplein this article. 

Our example is a Customer Service Representative position that I found advertised online. 

And we have the list of requirements that we've identified last week, and we also have our self-assessment document.

 So how do we pick the weakness to focus on?

 We want to avoid bringing up a requirement that is listed in the job description. 

At the same time, we want to make sure that the skills, capabilities or personality traits that we're talking about is still relevant for the job. 

So my recommendation is that you pick one of the requirements that you've identified as essential for the role, but that isn't mentioned in the job description. 

So the list that we should focus on is this. Let's pick creativity as our example. I picked this as the weakness to talk about because it's a skill that has the potential to be negative in a customer service position.

 Being creative can sometimes mean creativity with responses to customers when really, what you need to do is to follow specific guidelines so that the customer gets the same service regardless of whom the customer is speaking with. 

Let's quickly run throug hour assessment spreadsheet. When we did the self-assessment, we said that your skill level is high. 

When it comes to an example when this has been a strength in your past, we wrote: 

In company X where I worked between 2009 and 2012, they didn't have any predefined guidelines on how to respond to queries so I put guidelines together. 

They later became the company standards. When it comes to an example when this has been a weakness, we've written the following: 

My current company has very strict guidelines and everything is well scripted.

Creativity is not welcomed. When we looked at the actions you've taken to improve this skill, we've written:

 Studied the response guidelines so I don't feel the need to start improvising which is one my creativity tends to kick in. And lastly, the resultsyou've had with this skill: 

I've been the customer service representative of the months twice this year, 

which means I've had the highest customer satisfaction ranking. I also won the up-sell challenge last month and I'm on track for winning at this month too.

 The way to structure the answer is to start by stating the weakness, and then you speak about the actions you've taken,or are currently working on to overcome it. 

So this is what your answer can sound like: 

I've always been very creative and it's easy for me to come up with innovative solutions. 

In company X where I worked between 2009 and 2012, theydidn't have any predefined guidelines on how to respond to queries, so I put guidelines together for my own use. 

They soon became the company standards and were used by all of us in the customer service team. 

However, when I joined my current company where they have very strict guidelines and everything well scripted, it was highlighted to me that I needed to rein in the creativity and stick to what's out lined in the guidelines and the scripts.

 The way I've done this is by really study the response guidelines so that I don't feel the need to start improvising which is when my creativity tends to kick in. It's still work in progress but it's going well and my manager is very pleased with my results so far.

 The reason this answer works is because it targets an essential part of the Customer Service role. 

Consistency in responses to customers and the importance of following guidelines. With your example, you are showing that you are fully aware of these to the extent that you know the guidelines inside and out. 

At the same time, you're also confirming that you have excellent capability to improvise, which is not a bad skill to have in a situation which requires improvisation. And there you have it. 

Now you know how to properly prepare for and how to answer the interview question, 

"What are your weaknesses?" 

And the best part is, if you do the self-assessment that I taught you last week on all the requirements that you've identified in the job description, you know exactly what to answer if the interviewers start asking you about any of the other requirements. And that will set you apart from the other candidates.  

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