It’s like the final boss of the job search video game: the dreaded “what’s your biggest weakness” question. It’s the kind of query that keeps you up the night before. However, it doesn’t have to be an anxiety-inducing interview-killer. There are creative ways to turn the question to your advantage.
The “biggest weakness” question doesn’t have to mark the low point of your interview. In fact, it can represent a real opportunity. Answer it thoughtfully, and you can turn it into one of the highlights of your performance, a chance to score real points with the interviewers.
Here are some creative ways to turn the “biggest weakness” question to your advantage:
Put It in the Past
Everyone likes a good recovery tale. The most common trope of storytelling involves the hero overcoming some hardship to reach success. It’s even better when the problem is a personal flaw.
The “biggest weakness” question provides the springboard for just such a narrative. You had a problem, and now you’ve overcome it. The key is to focus on the “had” part.
When you answer the question, make sure to put the problem in the past. Assure the interviewers that the weakness you’re discussing isn’t an issue that will affect you going forward. It’s something you’ve already struggled with and conquered.
Place It in Context
Don’t frame your weakness as a general problem. Describe a particular situation when it would impact you. This makes the issue seem extremely limited, an occasional hiccup brought on by circumstances that you strive to avoid.
Concentrate on things like “public speaking in front of very large crowds makes me nervous” or “I’ve found it hard to communicate with very negative coworkers.” The idea is that it takes a specific context to trigger your particular weakness.
In your response, don’t linger on the problem. Focus on the solution. Describe the steps you’ve taken to alleviate the issue.
So, if you say you’re made nervous by speaking in front of large crowds, discuss how you learned some breathing exercises that have helped get over your jitters. Or mention how you counteract your nerves by aggressively preparing for any presentation, and that added level of planning always gives you the confidence boost you need.
Using this strategy, you show that you’ve overcome your weakness. It also has the added benefit of emphasizing your problem-solving skills.
Balance with a Strength
The discussion of your weakness shouldn’t be the end of the conversation. You want to steer the interview toward your good points.
As such, use the “biggest weakness” question as a way to progress into more positive territory. When detailing your weakness and the steps you took to overcome it, transition into a discussion of a counter-balancing strength.
For instance, say your weakness is that you are detail-oriented and sometimes take a long time to complete a project. Counter this by mentioning your willingness to work overtime to get the work done by its deadline.
The process of finding a job is filled with potential traps and tripwires. The “biggest weakness” question is just one example. But you can overcome any hurdle when you partner with a strong recruiting partner, like PrideStaff. They can put you in the ideal position to highlight your strengths and maximize your long-term career development.
Contact PrideStaff Bend today to learn more.