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What Are Your

Weaknesses?
(Learn how to answer this job interview
question)

What Are Your


Weaknesses?

Let me start by
saying your greatest
weakness is your
greatest weakness.
Its not your greatest
strength taken to an
extreme and
portrayed as a
weakness

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First things first,


let me introduce
myself.

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

Lets continue

I have come across


way too many HR
professionals
recommending that
you should just take
your greatest strength,
take it to extreme, and
then say that its your
weakness to the
interviewer.

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They suggest you say things like these;


I am a perfectionist
I dont delegate as much as I should

I work too hard (Right)

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seriously! What
are you are trying
to do?

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

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all this great


education, years of
experience were so
you could be known
as a bullshitter?

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

This question is not about your


weaknesses. Interviewer is smart enough
to know that you wouldnt shoot yourself
in the foot. But

Its all about honesty. They want to see if


you can honestly share your weaknesses
with them. It doesnt take a genius to
figure out someone who lies in an
interview will continue to lie when she
gets the job

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I hope I am being
clear here when I say
how honesty plays an
integral role in your
application

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

I have a mental checklist when I interview


candidates, and it goes like this;
Is she honest and trustworthy?
Does she have self-entitlement? Can she say sorry when
she messes up?

Is she committed? Or is she just looking to park here until the


next best offer comes in?

If a candidate passes these questions,


then only I carry on to evaluate the hard
skills.

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then, how do you


answer this question?

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

I cant know your own weaknesses. So,


you have to figure them out. But, let me
help you by sharing my very own
weaknesses (I feel vulnerable!)

Here you go
Although I am very good with applications of PowerPoint, its tools
and functions, I am not the best when it comes to designing the
slides.

I am confrontational. A bit too much perhaps. This has given me


many problems in the past, especially with clients from regions where
confrontations are discouraged, such as; Japan, and Philippines.
Although I mastered the art of confrontation, in certain cultures,
confrontation itself is frowned upon. So, there isnt really anything I
can do about it other than being honest with the partner and
excusing myself from those projects, and not including those ubersensitive people in my own teams. Its rare to find consultants who
run away from confrontation but hey they are out there

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want more?
Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

Here you go contd.


We have a strategy development tool at work called Transform. I
am just not good at using it. Prior to PwC, I used different
methodologies and frameworks to develop strategies and
somehow I cant get rid of the thought-processes I developed
earlier. That doesnt mean I am bad at strategy development but I
am just not very good at following Transform
I get bored very quickly. My motivation peaks at 1st day of a new
engagement, stays at peak for about a month or two. Then drops very
quickly after 6th month. As a result, I try to get projects that are
shorter than 6 months in duration. This is not a problem as 95% of
our projects are less than 6 months in duration.

What am I doing? I am giving


you the weakness but then
explaining that its really no big
deal. Its not something that is so
great that you will fail me.

One simple suggestion I have for


you is that you state your
weaknesses, then talk about what
you are doing to be better at them.
Remember, they are still work in
progress. They are still indeed your
weaknesses.

So, now get to work. And start writing


down all your weaknesses in an excel list
like below;

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Now filter those weaknesses based on below


criteria;
Does mentioning this weakness hurt your
chances?
Is it something vital to your performance at
work?

Is it something not fixable if you work on it?


Certain weakness cannot be easily fixed

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eliminate all those


that you answered Yes

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

Lets say you really thought long


and hard and still couldnt find
anything and you feel your best
bet is to lie
After all, if you are a fresh
graduate, you may have very
little relatable experience.
Understandable.

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then, why dont you


say it that way to the
interviewer?
Like this

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

If you are a fresh graduate, then go ahead


and say the following;

Well, here is the thing. As much as I want to


share my professional weaknesses, I still
havent accumulated enough work experience
to share with you a list of my weaknesses. Its
not that I wont have. I am sure I will have
many of those. But I guarantee you that
whatever they will be, I will work on them. If
you are interested in my weaknesses related
to my personal life, Id be happy to share with
you all. How much time do you have?

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I have 1 more
awesomeness for
you today!

Deniz Sasal
PwC Consulting Manager
MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP, CMA

If you want to take your career to the next


level and find jobs with multinationals,
then you should definitely join my
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