One of my main goals with Tandem Powered is to provide people with credible, honest, and actionable advice based directly on my extensive experience working on both sides of the table. So I've formalized this Q&A series and – as I always have – welcome your questions. Don't hesitate to get in touch; you may just find your question addressed right here in the Tandem Powered blog.
Q: I recently had an interview that I felt went well. The only problem is that I was asked the dreaded "what are your biggest weaknesses?" question and I was not prepared. Of course, I have weaknesses, but I drew a complete blank when it came to talking about them in a professional setting. What's the best way to approach this question?
A: First off, let's talk about why this question even exists. Despite how it may feel at times, interviewers are not looking for you to self disclose information that will disqualify you. They are also not expecting that you don't have any weaknesses, which would be crazy. Leaders in healthy work environments know all too well that we are all human; that each of us has unique abilities in addition to things that we are working on.
Essentially, this question exists to see how you handle answering this question: How effective you are at addressing uncomfortable information. I think that knowing the intent of the question makes it much less challenging.
So, what do you do when you are asked this question? It's best to acknowledge the fact that an important part of professional development is being aware of limitations and areas that might need some attention. So, simply respond succinctly about what you are doing to develop professionally. It's ultimately a positive thing. Outside of that, though, remain laser-focused on your strengths and the value that you bring.