September 1


What is Your Weakness?

By Celeste DeCamps

September 1, 2023

building rapport, communication, InterviewSkills, jobInterview, self improvement, SelfAware

"When We Decide there's Nothing Else to Learn, that's When Possibilities for a More Exciting Future Slip Away."

You've done your due diligence and researched the company. You know you're qualified for the open position and ready to put your best foot forward. The last thing anyone wants to do in an interview is answer,"Well, we've talked about your strengths; let's discuss your challenges." In other words, what skills are you lacking and why? Of course, no one believes you when you say, "Oh, I'm a perfectionist and a workaholic. I just can't help myself." Yeah, right. But how do you answer this question without feeling like you'll lose the opportunity for the job? It's simple, be honest.

The interviewer wants to know if you're self-aware. In other words, do you know what you need to work on to be a better employee? You'll come across as disingenuous if you try to make up a weakness. The best way to answer this question is to describe a problem you have, but also the solution you have for it. If you know you need to up your computer literacy, then you can explain the steps you're taking to increase your knowledge. If you admit that you're easily distracted at times, but you're working on staying focused on the task at hand, it shows you're working to improve yourself. No one is perfect, and offering a little vulnerability goes a long way in building rapport.

I recently read an article about a company that purposely asks a strange question. "Is a coconut a fruit or a vegetable?" The reason for this inquiry is to learn if the applicant will make a guess or say, "I don't know." This gives them some insight to see if the person they're considering will admit they don't have all the answers but are willing to learn. This is why approaching your interview with an open mind will garner you more respect. (For the record, a coconut is a fruit, and yes, I had to look it up.)

I suggest taking action before the interview and writing down what skills or habits you need to improve on. Make sure that they're outside the job description. If it's a manager's position, you don't want to explain that you have trouble managing your time, a team, or a deadline. If it's a sales job, you don't want to say you have difficulty talking to people or being persuasive. Think about a challenge you worked on with the help of a mentor or a boss who recognized your potential and pushed you to greatness. These examples show your desire to excel at your new position and your willingness to acquire new skills.

Most of all, don't overthink the question. The interviewer is looking for some insight into how you perceive yourself. If anything, this is an excellent opportunity to discover what you can do to continue your growth and find success. When we decide there's nothing else to learn, that's when possibilities for a more exciting future slip away. Always be open to constructive feedback and continuing your education in all aspects of your life.

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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