by Seth McCain, Marketing Specialist
Your interview couldn’t be going better. You talk about your attributes and strengths as a medical assistant with confidence. But just when you think you’ve got it in the bag, the interviewer asks the question everyone dreads: What’s your biggest weakness?
Andrew G. Rosen, founder and editor of a popular career advice blog jobacle.com describes this question as, “the Hail Mary of the interview; a final last-ditch attempt to trip you up and send you in the other direction.”
To no surprise, this is one of the hardest questions for people to answer in an interview. Your response to the question holds a lot of weight and tells the interviewer a lot about your character, so make it good.
With some thought and planning, you can easily neutralize this question and even use it to promote yourself even more. Here are 5 ways to handle the question:
1. Think about your weakness beforehand. The interviewer is going to ask the question, so expect it. It’s important to give this question some thought before the interview. If you have a hard time thinking about your weaknesses, take a personality type quiz online at keirsey.com and the results will show you. If you do not have a clear understanding of what your weaknesses are, then you will not have a clear understanding of what your strengths are.
2. Be Honest. You don’t want answer the question with something like, “I’m not a strong communicator” or “I get overwhelmed by a lot of details”. That’s actually a terrible answer especially if you’re applying for a leasing consultant or a medical assistant position. The best way to answer the question is when you tell them an honest answer, because it’s very unlikely you will be hired for the thing you are most weak at doing. For instance, someone who is interviewing for a computer engineering job, could say his weakness is finance. Who cares if he’s weak in finance? He is not getting hired to do that.
To avoid ruining your chances of landing the job, review the job description to see what exactly the employer is hiring for.
3. Explain how you have dealt with your weakness. Sharing how you have previously overcome a weakness and turned it into a strength will speak volumes to your interviewer. However, be careful to discuss areas that you are still working on or have not found solutions for.
For example, if you say that you used to have a hard time closing deals when leasing, but overcame this weakness by the mentorship of a manager, share this example.
4. Don’t script your response. It’s a no brainer that you should be prepared for this question. Think about your weaknesses beforehand, but do not script a response. Your answer may have to change during the interview based on the conversation, and you do not want the response to appear rehearsed or staged.
5. Discuss only work-related weaknesses. As an interviewee, you want to keep it professional and business appropriate. Use discretion when mentioning personal weaknesses. In fact, try to steer away from it. What your interviewer is really looking for is what your professional weaknesses are and how you’ve overcome them.
Remember, everyone has weaknesses. We hope this helps you communicate them effectively in an interview. Understanding what your weaknesses are is a good sign. It communicates that you know where your boundaries are and that you aren’t suffering from them. Happy interviewing leasing and medical professionals!
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