“What is your weakness?”, when an interviewer asks you that question, you need to answer truthfully but in a tactful manner. You will see two examples of real life answers, one is inappropriate while the other answer is appropriate.
Inappropriate Answer: “My weakness is that I tend to work hard a lot and sometimes, I overwork myself in order to achieve my goals.”
That is the type of answer which interviewers get from many job applicants. The problem is that the answer has a touch of bragging, otherwise known as “subtle bragging” and the answer is unoriginal because a lot of applicants have said the exact same thing before.
Please take note: When the interviewers ask you about your weakness, they do not want to know how hard you work, instead they want you to humble yourself, be truthful and reveal your true weakness. “Subtle bragging” is totally inappropriate during an interview. It will make you lose points during an interview and if you have lost points in other areas, it might prevent you from passing the interview.
Now, let us see the appropriate way to answer that question in a humble, truthful and yet, tactful manner. Below is a very good and real example of how to answer that question.
“I get very nervous when I have to speak in front of a big crowd or large audience.” Then, the interviewer asked, “How have you managed to overcome this weakness?” The applicant calmly replied, “I have managed to subdue this weakness by preparing my speech or presentation well ahead of the big day but if it is an impromptu speech, I have learnt how to speak confidently at a moderate pace and with a poised voice.”
You see that wonderful answer to the question. No bragging, just pure truth and tact only. The applicant was humble and truthful by mentioning a real weakness which he has, then he was tactful by calmly mentioning how he has managed to subdue that weakness. Actually, the applicant passed that interview, he was impressive all through.
In case you don't know, most interviewers want to know your real weakness and how you have managed to overcome or subdue it. So, keep this in mind.
Caution: During an interview, do not copy the answer above, your answer should be original and peculiar to you. The fact is, you have a personal weakness, so mention it and how you have managed to overcome or subdue it. However, be careful, do not mention a weakness which does not make sense in an official setting.
Wishing you success in all your endeavours. Please, do not be selfish, share with everyone that needs this.
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