One of most frequently asked questions during an interview: What are your weaknesses? seems to have scared the hell out of many applicants. Some people would dread facing this type of question fearing that something they say or not say may jeopardize the chances of landing a job. Typically, when the stakes are high, so is the stress level. And the stress comes from the need to be perceived a strong person at all times. When I last came across this question in 2013, I gave a very short answer: I don’t like talking about too many negative things. Luckily, I did win over the interview’s heart and got the job eventually but now, more than 4 years later, I have gained a better perspective on weaknesses and found a close correlation between weaknesses and strengths.
Of course, questions along the same lines aren’t just about weaknesses, they are about self-awareness and what action has been taken to address or improve the imperfections. For a while, I’ve noticed that people who didn’t shy away from talking about their weaknesses exhibited a great deal of courage and confidence in themselves. Looking more closely, our strengths really lie in our weaknesses and that’s why there’s a such fine line between them. For long we’ve labeled weaknesses as a black mark or a shameful trait with a stigma attached to it. The list can go but after all is said, what is to be done? Where do I go from here? If I can start by saying I need to improve my time management and I’m working on it, I’m proud of myself for having the guts to say it. That’s a strength! Now, over to you!