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Owning Our Weaknesses During the Interview Process

January 20, 2020 

Make your weaknesses opportunities for growth when discussing them in the context of an interview.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of it. We have all heard the words, “tell me about how you have failed,” or some version of it, during an interview process. Being critical of ourselves, at least initially, goes against why we think we are at the interview. As the ideal candidate, the obvious first choice, the unblemished future addition to this prospective team, we want to seem perfect. The simple fact is that we are not, a neither are those people asking the question. So, relax and, more importantly, prepare for this topic. If you know something is going to be on the exam, why wouldn’t you study for it? 

Owning It

We all make mistakes. Every one of us, no matter how much we prepare, no matter how much talent we possess, we will make mistakes, or circumstances are out of our control and the desired result doesn’t happen. The most important thing we can do when asked about these moments is acknowledging they exist. Don’t try to spin them and don’t shift blame. If we reflect on a situation, generally, we know the moment things went wrong and from that point, we can discern which factors were present during the failure. What did we do? What could we have done? What didn’t we pay enough attention to that could have ultimately been the difference? 

Taking an Account

Claim ownership of the mistake and move on to what you learned from it. Show growth by referencing another instance when you were presented with a similar problem and made a more appropriate decision based on that past failure. During the interview process, present yourself moving towards a mistake like a guidepost, acknowledging your weakness and showing a desire to grow. Building soft skills take time and require risk, and accountability is a soft skill where this might be most applicable. To make any substantials gains, there is always a substantial risk. A company culture with open leadership, which provides an environment interested in the professional and personal growth of their assets, will understand that failure is part of the process. They will expect you to know the same.  

Practice Your Imperfections

This subject is another opportunity for a candidate to illustrate their ability to show they have the ability to communicate effectively. It is a chance to tell a potential employer about your success despite a stumbling block.It shows the ability to recover and to communicate how you recover effectively.. A mistake we do not learn from is a missed opportunity. Communicating that acknowledgment shows a degree of humility, confidence to share an instance of vulnerability and the critical thinking skills necessary to process real-world  events into teachable moments. Each one of those individually is a soft-skill of an increasing rarity in the workforce today. 

At Method Recruiting, we don’t want you to be afraid of failure. Developing the skills necessary to recognize our errors and build substantial careers and companies is essential to achieving a level of resilience necessary for success in this or any industry. Together we contribute to a culture of advanced communication and enhanced decision-making processes. 


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