Choose An Irrelevant Skill When Asked 'What Are Your Weaknesses?'

If you've been in a job interview before, you've likely been asked about your weaknesses. The common advice is to pick a weakness that really isn't one at all, but that doesn't necessarily come across as genuine. It can even make you look a little full of yourself. The folks over at Stepcase Lifehack have a better alternative.

Photo by bpsusf.

They suggest picking a weakness that really isn't all that relevant to the job. Here's their example:

For example, "Well, accounting really isn't my thing. I understand the basic idea behind book keeping, but I don't really get the nitty-gritty details. Of course, that's also why I'm applying for this job in human resources. I think it leverages my strengths and steers clear of the technical skills that I haven't learned yet…like accounting."

Using this method you get to be completely honest without really hurting your chances of getting the job. Nobody expects you to be perfect, especially with skills that you don't need to do the job, and honesty can be really refreshing.

3 Things People Hate Most About Job Interviews [Stepcase Lifehack]


Comments

    Yeah, I'm pretty bad at flying and my x-ray vision ain't what it used to be...

      I agree with Johann, it's advice if you were going for a job with a politician.. But if I were an interviewer, I'd pick the deliberate sidestepping of the question.
      I actually answer honestly and relevancy, but then back it up with a line about how because I'm aware of the shortcoming, it's always at the forefront of my mind and I'm working hard to improve my performance in that area..
      You get a tick for actually answering the question, a tick for being honest and a tick for showing you're still growing and developing your professional skills!

    I heard some advice about this question, that i think is even better.

    Choose a weekness that is legitimate, but one that most people have. I like "public speaking". Then give concrete examples of how you have been actively trying to improve upon your weekness.

    You can even subtly suggest to the interviewer into thinking that while it was a weekness, it's improved so much it's actually become a strength. Verbal slight of hand ;)

      This is also good advice. I have been told that it's a good idea to answer this question with, "I used to have a problem with [insert thing here] but I [performed certain action] and it's no longer an issue for me."

      Your other weakness is spelling the word "weakness"

    Who asks this question still? My greatest weakness is I work to hard. Yeah right

    Its the most BS question to ask

      I think you're missing the point, Mark. The question's not there to help the employer find reasons to say no. It's there so the interviewee can expose something they're uncomfortable about, just how uncomfortable they are, and why. This allows the employer to make a judgement about the candidate and their competency to things they're uncertain of.

      It's really a very clever question.

        No, it's there to give the candidate a chance to demonstrate self-awareness. Would you want to work with someone who thinks they have no weaknesses? Or would you rather work with someone who knows exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are, and works accordingly?

    kryptonite?

    "I have no weaknesses and if necessary I will prove this by obliterating your office's best candidate in an academic and physical decathlon."

    or

    "I spend several hours each day pretending to work, I am known to show up to work hungover and I have an excessively dry sense of humour."

    I'd say I'm not good at sales pitches which is to the detriment of my interview technique.
    This answers the question honestly and may put the interviewer in mind of how other applicants could use sales techniques to potentially mislead.

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