Q. I’m job-hunting and am dreading the question that a lot of employers ask, “What is your greatest weakness?” How do I answer this question honestly without ruining my chances of getting hired?
A. The key to giving a good answer to this question is to focus on what you bring to the table and what you hope to learn from the company. Initiative is a valuable asset to employers and you need to show that you have it. If you show a prospective employer that you have the desire to learn as well as that you have a strong work ethic, you can win a spot on the team even if you don’t have all the credentials at the beginning.
It’s important not to confuse a “weakness” with being weak. For instance, you may not be brilliant at Excel spreadsheets for instance, but that doesn’t make you a ‘weak’ person, employee or candidate for the job. In fact, it can be helpful for an employer to know what you aren’t strong at so they can give you appropriate mentorship.
Caird Urquhart is a MoneySense columnist and founder of New Road Coaching in Toronto.
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