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A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress - Interview Skills - Reframing Weaknesses

Personal hang-ups, shortcomings, weaknesses… No one wants to talk about these in a job interview. Luckily, there is a constructive way to frame your discourse on such matters. Here’s how you can turn weakness into strength.

Are you hoping to find your dream job? Are you going through a career transition?

Both of these scenarios require that you have an effective job search strategy.

Of course, being a good interviewee is an indispensable skill when you are seeking a job you love.

You want to give the interviewer a great impression of who you are. You want to present yourself as the perfect candidate for the job they need to fill.

So, how the heck are you supposed to convey a positive image when the interviewer asks you to talk about your weaknesses?

There is a way.

The good news is that having weaknesses is part of being human. Everyone has areas that could use some work.

That’s why, when you are asked the dreaded question, you can reframe it in your answer. Rather than saying, “I am weak in the area of time management” for instance, say, “Something I am working on improving is time management.”

There is also one more crucial strategy to employ in your answer.

When you describe what you are working to improve about yourself, state it in a way that lessens the negative connotation.

Continuing with the previous example, if you really want to find your dream job, explain why time management is challenging for you.

Better yet, explain it in a way that puts you in a positive light.

Time management may be a challenge for you because you get so involved in the project in front of you that you have to remind yourself to be aware of other projects that need attention as well.

By framing your answer this way, you are giving the interviewer a few favorable tidbits about yourself:

  1.    You are conscientious of your shortcomings.
  2.    You are someone who strives to improve yourself.
  3.    You are passionate about the work you do.

It is in your best interest to anticipate this question, and prepare your answer(s) ahead of time using this formula.

Now go out there and land your dream job!