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During interviews, employers generally ask a number of questions designed to get a better sense of the individual applicant's character and qualifications for the position. Employer often ask the potential employee to describe his worst quality or, alternately, his greatest weakness personally or professionally. A candidate must answer this question carefully.
Don't Take It Literally
A person should not take the weakness question literally. The interviewee shouldn't lie in his response, but he should not provide a soul-searching answer into his psychological deficiencies or cite a flaw that would make the employer uncomfortable. Instead, he should provide a quick, superficial answer that indicates a deficiency in a particular task or skill. The answer should directly relate to the person's professional life rather than he interpersonal relationships.
Turn It Into A Positive
If possible, the job applicant should phrase the "worst" quality as a positive. Some negative qualities can be described as having positive benefits. For example, a person may be inclined to work too had. While this may be a negative for the person's personal life, it can be a positive for the person's employer. Before going into the interview, the person should identify a negative in his character that the employer might benefit from.
If the negative quality cannot be phrased in a positive light, the person should emphasize that he is attempting to improve his performance. For example, a person may state that he has a tendency to keep a messy desk. When he does so, the person should indicate that he is trying hard to keep his desk clean. This will suggest to the employer that the person takes criticism well and is willing to improve himself.
Think About Your Employer
When considering how to answer the question, the person should give some thought as to the qualities that the employer is looking for in a candidate. He should then avoid citing a weak quality that the employer would frown upon. For example, if the person is applying for a position as a docent in a museum, in which he leads tour groups, he should not say that his worst quality is his inability co communicate well.
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- "Winning Job Interviews"; Paul Powers; 2008
- H.B. Staffing: The 25 Worst Job Interview Mistakes