Professional Interview Tip: Weakness

Job-Interview-Tips-and-adviceForbes recently published a great article that outlines the five primary questions you will hear in an interview and how to answer them.

It’s a good article and I find the five to be spot on having been on both sides of the interviewing table.

I wanted to share an idea regarding discussing weaknesses (see the article).

Weaknesses for people are often hard to identify because they become blind spots to us. If you haven’t ever taken a personality assessment like Myers-Briggs, DISC, etc., I suggest you take one. Take a look at the areas of weakness that you’re personality type inherently deals with and use that as your example.

For instance, I will use me as an example. I might answer this question this way:

In the Four Colors Assessment, I am Gold / Orange and have very little Blue. This identifies me as the strong outgoing planning type, who gets things done. However, with little Blue, I often do not think about special events in people’s lives like others do. You know the type…they always know whose birthday is coming up and have a stash of cards for the just-in-case moment. I’m not that person.

Now, it’s not because I don’t care, but more that it’s not in my DNA. So, to overcome this, as a person, I make sure I put important dates on my calendar with early reminders. I sit down and take time to really consider special gifts and not just the random cards, and I try to make recognition a planned event or recurring activity so I don’t forget.

If I am in charge, I find on my team the Bluest person. Blue people love to support others and your bluest employee will probably enjoy being the office special events coordinator. He or she doesn’t have to run everything, but they help build the plan and keep you on track.

By identifying a weakness from a data source, like an assessment, and then sharing how you overcome it, you become a more powerful candidate.

The fact of life is that we all have blind spots. Assessment tools help you realize what they are. Now it’s your job to figure out ways to overcome them or deal with them and you are prepared to answer this difficult question.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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