Weaknesses are basically personal character traits-strengths-that are carried out inappropriately or to extreme levels. The key is, understanding and communicating how you have compensated for those perceived weaknesses, managed to turn them to your advantage, and realized positive results. This can be stated in three or four concise sentences. The way to do this is:
- Acknowledge the weakness in terms of an excess of a particular strength
- Give an example of how it manifests
- State how you try to turn it into a benefit
- State positive results that have been realized
In acknowledging the weakness in terms of an excess of a particular strength, first state the strength.For example, if having a strong ambition is a strength, state how you have a tendency to drive too hard or get too intense, or expect and demand too much from others you rely upon (some employers may actually like this behavior). Then you might state how you have been working on this weakness by trying to be more patient with others, communicate better and manage expectations more appropriately.
Next, cite a particular situation where applying these attitudes and efforts has resulted in a specific benefit realized, ie. stronger team spirit with associates, less stress in the work area, etc.
We all have specific strengths and weaknesses. The key is:
- Being acutely aware of how both, your strengths and weaknesses, work to your advantage
- Learning how to position weaknesses as strengths
- Communicating the benefits of those strengths