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Answering "What Are Your Weaknesses?"

When it comes down to interviews, you spend hours, maybe even days preparing. However, this one question always trips everyone up. In fact, it’s the question that most of my clients seek guidance on. The dreaded, "What are your weaknesses?" question. I have heard many methods to answering questions. Do you answer 100% truthfully, keep your weakness vague, say you don’t have any weaknesses? So, how do you answer it? Well it depends!

First let’s take some time to understand why this question is asked. This question is designed to assess if you are self-aware, if you can be open and honest about shortcomings, and if you have pursued self-improvement and growth opportunities. Keeping this is mind, how you answer this question is very important! Try to think about a task or skill that demonstrates how you’ve used a weakness and turned it into a strength, or grew professionally. You want to avoid mentioning any weaknesses that will prevent you from performing well in the role. Let’s go through an example together.

I recently went through the interview process and transitioned into a role in Revenue Cycle Management for a Healthcare Tech company! Based on the job description and discussions around the role, I knew that I would be working in a highly collaborative setting, managing a multitude of reports and presenting findings to healthcare executives. Knowing this information, it would not be wise to discuss any weaknesses in relation to presentations, delivering reports, and any lack of teamwork. Instead, I shifted my attention to focus on discussing my struggle with managing a team while being remote and during a pandemic. Not only did I discuss how I struggled with this, but I also discussed the steps that I took to improve on my management skills. In this scenario, I was able to be honest but also provide the steps that I took to improve, without hurting my chances.

As you can see, there is a certain science to answering this question. As long as you remain truthful and show that you took the initiative to learn from your weakness, you will be well equipped to answer this question. Remember, practice is key. Take the time to run through possible answers to this question. Need more guidance? Feel free to schedule a free consultation with us.

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The Hiring Hub, Interviews, Careers

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