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By Sarah Landrum – theLadders

It’s the interview question everyone dreads: What are your weaknesses? It’s a tough one to answer well. You don’t want to point out flaws that could prevent you from getting the job, but you don’t want to give a generic response. You also can’t avoid answering the question altogether, as much as you’d like to.

Instead, you should prepare ahead of time so you can answer this question well. With the right response, you can reframe your negatives into positives and show that you’re willing to improve yourself in order to succeed. What employer wouldn’t want a team member like that? Now, that’s an easy question to answer.

Here some common weakness cited in interviews — and how to reframe them in the most favorable light possible.

Time management

Many professionals struggle with time management. If you find it challenging to complete your to-do list within the eight-hour workday, you can tell your potential employer this. Just make sure you follow that up by sharing the ways in which you’re working to improve things.

Of course, this response is dependent upon the fact that you’re taking those positive strides. There are plenty of methods to overcome your poor time-management skills. Pinpointing the most critical tasks of the day and tackling those first or keeping your workspace organized to avoid delays are two ways to do it. Implement a tactic and let your potential employer know — they’ll be impressed by your efforts to change.

Shyness

Another con to point to — as long as your job doesn’t depend on your charisma — your inherent shyness. It’s not your fault you’re timid, since everyone’s personalities are programmed differently. However, in your line of work, it might be a flaw to be a bit shy, especially if your colleagues are all outspoken and confident.

It’s easy to turn this one into a positive, though. Simply tell your interviewer that you’ve been taking strides to boost your self-esteem, which has made you more confident to speak up and step out of your shell. You can make friends as an introvert, of course, so long as you take things slow and bond with one person at a time. Learning how to do that will make you less shy and therefore more prepared for the job ahead.

Perfectionism

Another workplace weakness you might experience is the fact that you’re never happy with the work you finish. Instead, you’re incredibly critical of yourself and strive for perfection, although you never feel like you reach it. This is a routine answer to the question, and some interviewees might think they’re good to stop with that answer. However, “I’m a perfectionist” doesn’t entirely cut it.

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