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If you’ve done any interview prep, you know that one question interviewers love to ask, the sometimes dreaded, “What’s your biggest weakness?” question. You put yourself in a weak position if you don’t properly prepare to answer this question. Use these strategies to answer it in the most honest and effective way possible.

Avoid the old “I work too hard!” type of response.

Saying your weakness is actually a strength (“I care too much,” “I’m a perfectionist”, etc.) comes off as disingenuous and can accidentally reveal true weaknesses: You avoid examining your flaws, you don’t really know yourself well as an employee, or you’re not willing to have an honest discussion. Employers and recruiters have heard these types of responses enough that they’re almost conditioned at this point to have a negative response, something you want to avoid at all costs.

Prepare your answer.

This means you need to truly sit down and think about your weak points as an employee. You may even want to ask a co-worker or trusted former superior what they think – sometimes we don’t even recognize our deficits until someone clearly points them out. Then think about those weaknesses in terms of employment – how have they affected your work and those around you?

Answer honestly, yet constructively.

The point of preparing is to respond quickly: This tells the interviewer you’ve thought carefully about what you need to improve upon. Of course, if your weakness has a direct negative impact on the position you’re applying for, you may want to discuss a different one, but keep it as forthright as possible. Then, and most importantly, talk about steps you’ve taken to improve upon it. For example, “I used to be fairly disorganized, frankly, so I found a day planner that works really well for me and it’s helped me tremendously. I check it religiously, and now I stay on top of things.”

So answering that question can be as simple as 1-2-3 if you think about it carefully and avoid the clichés. To walk into the interview feeling your strongest, get some pre-interview help from the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks.

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