Friday, October 21, 2011

Reframe Your Weaknesses

This continues our series on answering interview questions
Question Guy 4Everyone possesses Weaknesses
Everyone possesses one or more weaknesses. Weaknesses include those things that you hope the interviewers don’t enquire about. Interviewers perceive some weaknesses easily: obesity, age, inexperience, and others. Many weaknesses remain hidden until exposed: prison records, termination for cause, lack of skills, some health problems and others.
Frequently, you hope they won’t notice or discover your weaknesses. In fact, some people leave an interview grateful that the interviewer did not mention the weakness, thinking the interviewer did not notice it. This fallacy prevents you from influencing how they perceive the weakness. You need to reframe how they perceive your weaknesses. Attempt to help them see them differently.
Identify How People Perceive Your Weakness & Reframe it
Step one: list why people may perceive your weakness as negative. For example, people worry that an obese employee may
  • Generate health problems and costs
    • Fail to produce effectively
      • Lack discipline and self-motivation
        • Lack the energy to put in a full-day's work.
              Step two: prepare home run statements that will counter each negative perception. Plan when you will introduce them into the interview if your weakness is obvious. I use home run statement about
              • Good health as part of the answer to “Tell me about yourself?”
              • Increased productivity and profits to describe my work experiences
              • My discipline and motivation to answer “What is your biggest weakness?”
              • Exude a lot of energy during the interview so they do not doubt I have it
              Step Three: some questions obviously require you to reframe their thinking:
              • “What’s your biggest weakness?”
              • '”Why did you leave your last (or any other) job?”
              • “Tell me about a time you made a mistake on the job, and how you corrected it?”
              • “I’ve interviewed people with more experience than you. Why should I hire you?”
              You need to reframe the interviewers thinking about your weaknesses, rather than let them form their own opinions. Identifying the negative perceptions and preparing home statements to counter them reframes their perceptions. Avoid the trap of ignoring your weaknesses.
              Join me next Monday when we outline steps to effective follow-up on interviews
              What interview experiences have you had to deal with?

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