Here comes the important part of your life when you are about to get your job.
You have gone through all sorts of errands to get this job.
You have done your homework to beat even the toughest of questions that can be asked in an interview, making a solid start, sell you as the best candidate with all of your skills and achievement to show off.
But when the time come to deal with your dark side, you simply cover it up with some sort of indirect answer or at the very least with some sort of over-correction to hide your weakness or negativity.
This is the make or breaks moment for an aspiring candidate and so they usually find it difficult to speak about their downside thinking that even a slight mistake or a blunt answer can result in losing the job.
And they should be concerned with it. But as with other parts of the interview, it is very important for the interviewer to deal with negativity about them and present it in the way to avoid getting rejected from the job.
To get an answer to this most disturbing question for the job seekers we will have to go back and do some research about the process of interview and then we will deal with tackling the question ‘what’s your weakness?’
What is an Interview?
The word interview means to view each other. I know this is not what you expect to read in this article but it is important to remind yourself, the purpose of this process.
An organization conducts an interview in order to get to know about you in detail and you get to learn about the organization (The latter part is more in a figurative manner).
So you can say, a company uses such type of question to figure out how best you can fit into this organization and whether they are doing a wise investment or not.
Nature of interview
To understand anything it is best when we get to know the logic and reason behind it. The very purpose of taking an interview is to get to know who you are:
You see it is very important for a candidate to know about them. Knowing your personality and about your strength and weakness is what gives you the knowledge about your preference and it gives the interviewer the perspective of realism in you.
There are various tests that you can take to understand your personality like Myers-Briggs assessment.
In a rough sense, to sort out candidates that fit best for the job. In specific it acts as a filter that makes sure that only the best of best gets to land a job offer and that the company will be making a wise investment.
That you will fit into this organization as a fully loaded and readymade piece ready to work from day 1.
As at this time of economic crisis, it becomes difficult for an organization to spend their investment on those candidates that fail to serve the purpose of their position and so it becomes important for the interviewer to identify the most appropriate job seeker for the applied job.
Now that we know the reason behind this entire hectic of how do we face the interview in general? Let us explore more:
How to Face an Interview Confidently – Tips:
1. Evaluating yourself:
The very purpose of the interview is to evaluate you in terms of your skills and capabilities.
So in order to do that it is very important for you to understand yourself, which includes pretty much everything like your personality, your skills and your other qualities that may fit appropriate to your job.
2. Getting to know about your organization:
It is your job to find out the job requirement and the need of the organization so that you can sell yourself as per the requirement of the company.
It is only when an organization gets a hand on an applicant to fulfil its entire requirement that they offer a job for the applicant.
3. Getting to know about your employers:
Just as important it is for you to know about the organization that you will join, it is equally important for you to understand the people with whom you will work and under whom you will work.
Even within an organization, different persons have their own sets of requirement and it is important to be able to perform up to their expectations.
4. Presenting your true self:
Just as nobody is interested in a fake or unreal matter, the interviewer also is not interested in fake job seekers. No one likes to land a job offer to those cheesy persons who look perfect only on papers.
So it is very important that you only deliver that information which is true and are appropriate to the job applied.
There lies a difference between marketing your best and just outrageously bluffing. Make sure that you stay true to yourself and stick to those points that are relevant.
Now that you know the basic structure of the process and how to deal with them in the very crude format we should now fast forward to explore the area of discomfort to most job seekers i.e. answering your negativity in a good light.
Job seekers generally try to play this part safely and so they wind up answer this part in following ways like:
i. ‘I am a perfectionist’.
ii. Following the principles of ‘state your strength as weakness ‘.
iii. I have no weaknesses.
And so on.
These methods are not only old but are also outdated in their approach. Many books and guide usually explain to use these techniques because they are safe.
No doubt they may be safe but unless you really mean it, it only shows your lack of self-awareness but also they act as a deal breaker.
So, how do deal with such a situation?
Negative Qualities About Yourself:
There are certain kind of common questions asked in an interview process, no matter what type of role you apply for. They are so common ones that you can even check online for answers and rehearse them well. Some of the questions are,
- Tell me about yourself
- Why should we hire you
- What do you know about the company etc
The other two important questions which most employers ask for sure are
- What are your strengths?
- What is your weakness?
The best policy to answer this type of question is to mend it in such a way that it can be helpful for the company. This works well for the first one, but for the later one, you need to follow few tips carefully. Though the formula is the same, but to answer the question about weakness or negative qualities, there are few steps that are mandatory.
Important note: Before attending an interview, it is very essential that you do not get nervous and always be confident while answering questions.
Now when the employer asks a question like “What do you consider your biggest negative quality?“, the initial step you should take is to craft your answer in such a way that the employer gets impressed by the answer. Here are a few things that you can do, to make your answer little more effective.
Mistakes to Avoid:
- Choosing not to answer
- Turning a positive thing in to negative
- Disclosing real weaknesses
- Understand the requirement of the company
- Explain your ways to overcome the weakness and improve yourself
Good Negative Qualities to Say in an Interview:
- Time management
- Getting stressed near deadlines
- Being too strict to yourself
List of Good Negative Qualities:
1. Getting to know about yourself:
Yes, that’s right. I know I did say about it a few words ago but I cannot ignore to repeat this point because it is at the root of everything.
It is very important that you get to explore yourself in all the respect. Be it your personality, your working style, the way you deal with other people or the manner of your behaviour in a different situation.
Only when you explore yourself, only then you get to know when your weakness can be an obstacle for your job.
2. Satisfying the worries of your interviewer:
An interviewer inquires about your negative points to get to know if your weaknesses will become an issue as well as prove to be a burden on the organization.
An organization will never want to invest on something that couldn’t return any profit.
So you should be speaking about your weak points in such a way that it doesn’t create any issue regarding your capabilities to fulfil the job demands.
And you can eventually learn to make use of good negativeness during an interview.
3. Stop using clichés:
Clichés are the best means to avoid uncomfortable topics. But they also make it difficult for the interviewer to evaluate your real worth because clichés speak the partial truth.
They may be true but it doesn’t tell anything in specific to you.
Plus they have been overused to such an extent that sometimes they become a reason for not getting a job.
4. Being innovative in presentation:
Now it doesn’t mean that you will be doing some fake sealing about your weakness but then there are certain ways in which you can make sure that your weakness doesn’t sound like its bogging you down.
Show them your preferences:
Now suppose you are not very good at writing articles but are efficient in dealing with data and tables. So instead of stating that you are not good at writing, you can present this matter in the way of options.
For example, you can say “Suppose I am given a choice between handling writing and handling data analysis I would like to choose the latter. “ This way you not only get to state your weakness but also you get to tell your strength.
Refer to your drawbacks as a situational dependent:
Let’s say you are a bit short tempered, then you should try to explain it in such a term that makes it look like it’s a situational one and it is not something that is a part of your personality.
In that way, you get to avoid putting yourself under bad light and you also get to diffuse the matter in a very subtle manner.
If there is a situation which is uncomfortable to both of you then you should be the one taking the lead in discussing it.
It shows that not only you are aware of the situation but you are also able to take responsibilities and perform them with confidence.
5. Planning a way to improve yourself:
This is a long shot in the way that you try to convince your employer about what you should do to overcome your weakness.
Those things may or may not even work but by stating ways in which you will overcome your weakness shows that you are responsible for your action and you do have a long vision regarding your career and skills.
The solution to your problem should be realistic and approachable and it must show that you acknowledge your shortcomings and are determined in continuously improving yourself.
6. Use your weakness to your advantage:
I approach this principle in a different manner to what books and another guide might explain.
You don’t need to state your strength as a weakness rather you will be stating that weakness that is inherently a weakness in every human being and presents it as a strong point later on. Here I will be discussing to such weakness:
Anxiety is the reason that people don’t do stupid acts. This can act as a catalyst for making better and intuitive decisions.
It not only stops you from making a foolish decision but it also helps you to avoid a dangerous situation.
So if you say to your interviewer that you are a person who is little anxious you can back it up with the above facts.
Generally, people search for happy-go-merry kind of person and aggression in all case is considered as taboo.
But in many cases where you need to be straightforward or where you need to be assertive about your standing you need to show some amount of aggression.
Therefore, when you are stating this as your weakness make sure that give certain examples to refer to it as circumstantial and not something as a part of your personality.
7. Use it as an opportunity to open up yourself:
This is an opportunity where you get to open up yourself and stand above rest of the candidates.
The way you present and the manner in which you handle this question can have a profound effect on the perception of your interviewer. So make sure you make the best out of it.
8. Keep it simple silly(KISS):
No matter what, at the end of the day this question states about your weakness and you should make sure that you don’t use it to tell everything about yourself.
Try to be precise, true and concise in answering this question ensuring that you completely deal with worries of your interviewer and stand yourself against the rest of the candidates.
To Wrap Up:
Dealing with the uncomfortable situation has always been difficult and answering the classic question of ‘what’s your weakness’ is no such exception. Even greatest of interview taker may hesitate to answer such question. But with a bit of practice and keeping the above principles in mind, you can easily excel in an interview.