Career Essentials Newsletter May 2006 - Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths

[Career Essentials] Newsletter May 1, 2021 - Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths


Hello, loyal readers and new subscribers!

We spent a fun weekend in the Catskill Mountains with our wonderful friends Bonnie and Mike. We saw gorgeous waterfalls and had a yummy picnic in a meadow with an airy view for miles around. Here’s a photo of Stan and me on top of the meadow.

If you’re near New Paltz, New York, I recommend a great restaurant called Beso, on Main Street. There, I experienced one of the best meals I’ve ever had. And the dessert, coconut bread pudding, put me in 7th Heaven!

If you’ve had a tough time coming up with your answer to an interviewer’s question: “what are your weaknesses?” read on for tips on how to get more comfortable with your response.

Finally, Bonnie Mincu, ADD coach extraordinaire, offers a one of a kind resource to help ADD adults thrive at work. If you suspect you have ADD, you owe it to yourself to read more in the recommended resource section below.

Have a fabulous May!

To Your Success,

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Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths

The question every job applicant dreads is “what are your weaknesses?” If you’re uncomfortable answering this question, join the club. Most job candidates struggle to develop a plausible response.

Here are tips and examples to help you effectively answer this question:

  • First, forget about saying you’re a perfectionist. This response is over used and interviewers don’t buy it.

  • Better to cite a weakness that you’ve worked to improve. Example: “I am a hard driving manager but I’ve learned to solicit and incorporate feedback from my staff to make the team more effective.” Or, “I tend to want to do everything myself but I’ve realized I can be more effective if I delegate certain tasks.”

  • If you lack a required skill, don’t try to hide it. Before the interviewer has a chance to eliminate you, develop a strategy to compensate for your knowledge gap. And use it to respond to the weaknesses question. Example: a compensation specialist lacked technical knowledge in one of six required areas. Before she interviewed, she researched certificate programs. During her interview, she mentioned this “weakness” by saying she was prepared to take the program to get up to speed as soon as possible.

  • Cite a weakness that’s not a deal breaker. For instance, if you are applying for a copywriter’s position, you could say that you’re not a great public speaker. Copywriters typically aren’t called upon to give speeches. Make sure you carefully review the job requirements before you cite a weakness that might be buried in the fourth paragraph of the job description!

  • Don’t say you have no weaknesses! This is a dead giveaway that you’re ill prepared or hiding something.

Finally, the employer is aware that nobody is perfect. Admitting that you have faults is okay. What’s key is how aware you are of your weaknesses and what you’ve done to improve upon them.

Recommended Resource

Bonnie Mincu, seasoned ADD coach, author and speaker, offers a one of a kind resource to help adults with ADD thrive in organizations. If you are challenged by tendencies to disorganization, procrastination, poor follow-through, inability to prioritize, lateness, poor time-management and feel overwhelmed, you may have adult ADD. Learn specific solutions to cope at work with "ADD at Work" downloadable audio and notes. Click here for more details.

About Dale:

Dale Kurow, M.S. is an author and a career and executive coach in NYC. She works with clients across the U.S. and internationally, helping them to become better managers, figure out their next career moves and thrive despite office politics. Click here for more information about her services.

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