“I tend to work too hard.” “I often take on a lot of extra work.” “I am a perfectionist and hard on myself if I am not the best at something.”
What are these? The normal, rehearsed answers to the dreaded “What is your greatest weakness?” interview question. People want to seem that no one will be as amazing as they are. Instead, be you. No one is perfect. Employers hire people who are imperfect but honest, know themselves, recognize their imperfections, try to better themselves, and whose imperfections won’t hinder their performance.
Think of these. “Looking at instructions, it’s hard figuring out how to put products together. For example, my neighbor just saw and with all the pieces for a new bike in the yard, was reading a diagram and looked perplexed. He put it together and had a great ride that afternoon. A couple of years ago, during medical strengths testing, my brain tested above average for communications, writing, and service, but below average for technical matters like this. On a good note, it brings humor to holiday functions. My family wonders how I can read ingredients and make such yummy food when I can’t assemble most toys Santa brings!”
Or, “In the last few years, I’ve found it easier to text, email, and take care of everything possible online. Last year, I looked around and saw 10 people nearby. Everyone was on their phones. I thought; ‘no more.’ People are more valuable than technology. My phone stays in my purse on public, I call more than text or email, closed my Facebook account, took a recent customer service course in person and even started mailing my electric bills. The Internet is convenient, so I still use it. But I work to maintain a healthy balance and be a good example for those around me.”
These are real. Of course a construction worker wouldn’t tell interviewers they couldn’t read blueprints. If assembly isn’t needed, interviewers may like to hear a person is neighborly, tested highly in areas, accepts help, is active, and likes their family. Many relate to the overuse of technology. So they may like to know someone recognizes the problem, is working on it, took a recent customer service course, and wants to be a good example.
I just used two examples of my weaknesses. Show interviewers you know where you don’t shine. Recognize it, overcome through yourself or by asking for help, and care for others. These sound more real and ARE more real. Interviewers are hiring a person—not an actor with rehearsed lines.
Good luck job searching,
Beth Husom, GCDF