When you’ve been at a job interview, have you ever dreaded the question, “What do you consider your weaknesses?” Yes, sometimes it is a difficult one to answer. It’s safe to say that even the most confident people have some sort of weakness, but this does not have to impede your job search. Irrespective of the time and energy you have spent in researching an organization or getting ready for an interview, it only takes one question to ruin an interview.

Most job seekers dread candidacy weakness questions because they do not want to attract attention to their negative attributes and spoil their chances for the job. A weakness is normally viewed as an area of unexploited potential or as a personal deficiency. For this reason, several approaches can be taken in answering questions about your weaknesses.

Here are 4 ways you can put a positive spin on job candidacy weaknesses:

  1. I am assertive
    A number of people view assertive people as arrogant and dominating. Assertive people tend to exude self-assurance and confidence that may be misconstrued as being bossy. You may want to tell your prospective employer that you consider your assertiveness as a desirable communication skill where you interact with your co-workers with honesty and respect. When you assert your views, you solve problems and take responsibility. Assertiveness is a healthy alternative to submission and aggression.


  1. Inexperience
    Lack of experience is a top weakness among job seekers. If you’re lacking experience for a job, you should major on your skills and attributes that prove that you are a fast learner. Everyone starts as a beginner at some point in life. It is important to list your accomplishments on your resume. Point out the projects that you have successfully implemented. Inexperience is common, particularly for people seeking to change careers. In such instances, you can look for your takeaway skills that can be customized to suit your new job. Lack of experience can also be an advantage because skills can be taught.


  1. Disparity in your work experience
    In today’s unpredictable employment climate, you may find yourself without a job for longer than you expect. If the recession left you without a job, you should be able to account for what you did during this period. You may have volunteered or taken classes to keep you busy. Most employers will look for this information because by being engaged in different endeavors, you show your commitment to your career. Therefore, it is important to indicate this on your resume.


  1. Job hopping
    It is undeniable that employers prefer job seekers with a stable work history, however, people change jobs for a myriad of reasons. Employers may be uncertain that you will not be with them for long. You could have changed jobs because your spouse was transferred or you relocated to assist your elderly parents. It is appropriate to indicate this on your cover letter. No one expects you to work with one employer from internship to retirement, but changing jobs quickly can make employers think that you fear commitment. You can spin this by focusing on the prevalent themes of your work and these can be categorized under a common heading. This is bound to make you look more experienced rather than the hit-and-run type. Pointing out your accomplishments and successes along the way can help you job search process.


Don’t allow common perceived weaknesses to keep you down when it comes to a job interview. Go ahead and look for the silver lining in any weakness you may have and boldly declare the positive spin during an interview. Be confident, as confidence goes a long way when it comes to landing a job.

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Written: January 2015