Job interview expert Carole Martin has been a prime contributor to our Veteran Jobs blog, and now she’s offering her advice to veterans and servicemembers who have questions, general or specific, about tackling the civilian job interview process. Send Carole your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, and moving forward, we’ll feature her answers in this blog.
Hello. I was wondering what is a good answer when an employer asks, “What are your weaknesses?” I don’t want to sound cocky but don’t want the answer to make me look bad during the interview. (If this makes sense.) Thank you for your time.
The Most Dreaded Question of All: What is your greatest weakness?
There is a formula for difficult questions called the Sandwich Technique.
(+) Begin with a positive statement
(-) Slip in the negative (or weakness)
(+) End with a positive statement
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
A: (+) My strengths are my energy and enthusiasm. I have a proven track record for working above and beyond what is asked of me.
(-) My weakness is that I get impatient when I don’t get the data I need to do my job because someone else didn’t meet a deadline.
(+) I continue to work on stronger communication skills so that I can deal with and understand people who don’t have the same work ethic.
This answer works because we can all work on our communication skills, particularly when it comes to being understanding of someone who is not pulling his/her weight. This is not the time to reveal a time-management or planning problem. Think of something you would like to improve about yourself. Be careful of sounding like a workaholic or a perfectionist – and always have a story ready to back up your statements.
The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. She is also a contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. You can download her free worksheet for determining your Values Exercise at the Interview Coach website. Follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to learn about current workshops and seminars Carole is offering.