In job interviews, the weaknesses in our profile can quickly become show-stoppers. A skilled hiring manager will discover them quickly. Without a good approach to handling our weaknesses in an interview, they can prevent you from getting the job.
Here are four simple steps to overcoming your greatest profile weaknesses so that you can win the job!
Step 1: Identify your greatest weaknesses
No one knows your greatest profile weaknesses better than you. Review the deliverables for the job you’re targeting. What are the biggest gaps between your profile and the results required for the job? What would prevent you from getting hired?
Here are some typical examples:
- Lack experience
- Too long in a role without advancement
- Job hopping
You might consider these issues to be your achilles heel. However, by identifying your weaknesses BEFORE a hiring manager does, you have the opportunity to steer the perception of your profile. Now let’s look at how to turn your weakness into a positive.
Step 2: Create a counter-argument
Part of positioning yourself effectively in an interview is addressing the counter-arguments BEFORE the other side does. What this means is bring up your weakness (aka. hiring objection) before the interviewer does.
Consider the consequences if you don’t. Any unaddressed concerns in an interview equates to risk for a hiring manager. This opens the door for other candidates who are more adept at positioning themselves as a risk-free option.
By addressing your weaknesses before they become an issue, you can steer the hiring manager’s perception favorably. It also demonstrates professionalism on your part.
Step 3: Build a benefit
In my hometown, the local gym used to brag about it’s greatest weakness – its high fees. They were 2-4 times higher than other local gyms. The way they turned their high fees into a benefit was by telling prospects that their fees prevented overcrowding. The high fees also deterred muscle-heads and riffraff that might make it uncomfortable other members.
How can you turn your weakness into a benefit? Identify what you gained from the experience and how it relates to the job’s deliverables.
- “The three short-term jobs I’ve had helped me establish an extensive industry network…”
- “My lengthy experience in this role will speed my time to value….”
- “My 2 years work experience is what motivates me more than other candidates…”
List all the reasons your weaknesses makes you a better candidate for the role.
Step 4: No benefit, without a ‘so benefit’
Benefits aren’t benefits without using the word ‘so’ in the sentence. The simple use of the word ‘so’ is what makes a benefit personal and meaningful for a hiring manager. Here’s some examples:
- “My three short-term jobs created an extensive industry network so I can fill my sales pipeline with opportunities within weeks.”
- “My 10 years experience in this role will speed my time to value so I can spend time helping other new hires get up to speed faster.”
- “My limited experience is what motivates me more than other candidates so I can put in extra hours and travel as needed.”
Tackling your weaknesses in an interview and turning them into ‘so benefits’ is the best tip I’ve ever gotten for interviews.
What’s the best interview advice you’ve ever gotten? Please share in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
– Ian Jenkins