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Name One of Your Weaknesses
Amazon is bringing readers The Road to Character by David Brooks. Find out what makes a great quality in an individual.
Imagine a character weakness at first glance is actually a strength to be used for an advantage
A number of questions asked during the interview are designed to trip an applicant up. One of the oldest ones is name one of your weaknesses or what are your weaknesses. There is no actual right or wrong response. Though, there are some which are guaranteed to get a desk in the company or put an applicant back in the bread line.
A great start is turning the question around and making what at first glance appears as a weakness an advantage.At first glance this appears a difficult task. Though, depending on how the interviewee looks at it makes an enormous difference. A daunting task is suddenly manageable with the right skills.
Why it matters
Interviewers have a job which entails benefiting the company via new hires. It is their job to assure any new hire is an addition and not a subtraction from the current staff. Although there are generally competencies and some basic experience coming with the package, there is always room to make an impression which separates this prospect from the herd. Resumes are all the same at this point and how questions are or are not answered make the distinction apparent.
Where to begin
I find myself to be a list person. Many people aren’t, its pretty old school-pen and paper. However, I enjoy seeing things in writing. I also use my list to show that I am actually achieving or completing things on days or weeks that it seems I’m not. Crossing items off of my list is a terrific way to encourage me and show myself I am achieving.
Before skipping off to the next interview take a moment to list character flaws. These are chinks in the armor which are real or imagined. Generally, at some point and time others pointed out some things to recognize as flaws.
Make a list of these little items which tend to go ignored or never owned up to. There are small things and larger ones for all of us. Conceding the matter is the first step in the right direction. Whether our list is several items or quite extensive, this is the starting point for the question of what are your weaknesses.
Avoid a beating
When crafting items, from a parent or even a first grade teacher, take a breath. Avoid beating down confidence and self esteem. Remember, these are truly not character flaws which are a lost cause.
Try to be as honest as possible without defeating the purposes and bruising the confidence needed to walk into a interview with optimism.
Altering a negative into a positive
List the top five. If unable to discover five character items in need of improvement or repair, everyone has at least three. Working with three is okay for the purpose of making a weakness a strength.
Great examples on average disclosed as in need of repair;
Everything is not as bad as it seems at first glance. A negative characteristic quickly becomes a positive one.
Never give up
Really not certain if this is being stubborn or something else. In actuality look at this one as an advantage because it displays when and if an issue or problem does occur, a person with this kind of personality traits works relentlessly to find a solution to the issue. It is attacked with due diligence and perseverance. An attack dog is a good thing to have on any individual's side.
Compromising is a solution which is rarely admitted. Everyone wants to acknowledge a win. Sometimes those persons never giving up are led to a compromise. This is really a win/win for both or all sides. Discussing the possibility of one puts a job hunter in a good light. The goal is finding an answer to the concern or issue. This includes negotiating and conceding, compromising.
Those striving for perfection will achieve excellence. This is where the charm of the perfectionist comes into play. This is a quote used the the infamous football coach for the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi. Admission is the right road to take. This has the possibility of getting in the way of production. Never allow it to.
Dismiss holding personal work up to the standards of others. Holding them to the company standards and our own benefits us tremendously. Remember in reality there is no perfection. Even in nature, no two of anything are exactly alike.
Putting it off and putting it off is difficult to show in a charming light. Tough situations like letting a sub contractor go or accepting a client project which in hindsight is better off dead. Yet, some good things are actually there.
By procrastinating on some projects, better ideas came along or with conflict a better compromise has been the outcome. These were only realized because time was allowed to pass between receiving the task and performing the task.
This one is rarely a benefit. Stay away from it when at all possible. Though if in a corner and stuck for an answer, take it and run.
Forgetfulness when it comes to names
Tons of individuals are horrible at remembering names. Eventually it comes to mind, but if we have only met once it will take me some time to get there. The face is familiar in lots of circumstances. Wracking the brain works few and far between. For those squeezing the reserves to discover a name, it rarely works out.
Ever have one of those times where the name comes to mind 2-3 hours later when the mind is relaxed and it seems as if a person is thinking or doing something totally unrelated? That happens to us all. Maybe this type of forgetfulness is providing an individual with more brain juice to work on other things. This is certainly perceivable and hopefully true.
The capability to forget names is certainly not on purpose. The mind is filled with countless thoughts. When at work, work occupies the matter. Other things are irrelevant for the time being. Forgetting a name is possibly remembering something else.
This is not always listed correctly as a flaw for a person's character. Lots of workers are interested in sports. This is one of the most competitive venues.
Whether its soccer, football or even track. Being competitive serves lots of people quite well in a work arena. Getting the article out ahead of the rest of the team. Making the next blog better than the first. The one after that even better and the pattern continues. Self competition is even a healthy endeavor.
It is never a bad thing to take a little self inventory.
These are only a few of the responses to give when the dreaded question shows its ugly head. There are hundreds more in the chamber waiting for a spin or a twist.
There are lots of people who find a flaw twisted into an advantage charming and appealing for a personality trait. Do not let this atmosphere drive a potential great fit away. Recall the type and kind of behaviors which are positive in nature when it comes to this job seeker.
Individual qualities make up the whole of a person and the attributes shown are a plus, not a minus to a business venture. Let attributes stand out and tall against other qualities which are more readily apparent.
This is a wonderful exercise to answer the question during a job interview which is supposed to drive a sweat from the brow. Additionally, it gives everyone a pat on the back in for some things which at first glance appear bad in nature.