What Do You Say When The Interviewer Says “Tell Me Your Drawbacks?”
You are at the Final Interview when suddenly the Interviewer asks you that…. ….
- incorrigible and
- unforgivable question
“Tell me about your drawbacks”
What do you say?
Do you tell him…
- The Truth?
- The Truth 2.0?
- Modified version of the Truth — i.e. Truth 1.25?
- Something diplomatic like Truth but not the Truth?
- Or just the Un-truth?
Just some basic believable Bullshit
After all — who exposes themselves naked?
Well if you are like most, you would most probably give your Hidden Strengths camouflaged as a weakness. After all, is this what everyone does all the time — market their hidden strengths as a “THE weakness”?
The typical cliche answers like….
- I work so hard that I end up staying up late in the office and that affects my personal life.
- *You smile and then….*
You would not believe this but…..I am so super-duper obsessed about my work so much that my colleagues hate me for it.
- *after wiping the tears from your eyes*
Sir…you will not believe this……but I have never seen my son for 3 years….. because I never took a day off from work
- Hahahaha….you may find this funny….. But I ask too many questions especially when I do not know something (and then you keep quiet to see his reaction)
- *keeping a cold poker face like James Bond*
I am very straight-forward and to the point — so much so that people consider me blunt, honest & truthful
- *Looking up to the heavens as a light shines on your face and illuminates the room….*
My integrity my life. I would never lie or sell-off on my values. That leads me sometimes to be considered as an Inflexible person.
*As all the people in the interview room stand up to give you a standing ovation……*
But here is my question to you —
Do you seriously think the Interviewer is so dumb?
Yes, you get a standing ovation & an Oscar for Best Performance.
But do you seriously think you can get away with such answers?
So now the million dollar question
So then…what exactly to say?
In my personal experience after having worked with quite a number of candidates as a Personal Branding Strategist — both as an Interviewer & Trainer for potential job seekers — I have come to believe that you need to be honest, truthful and upfront about your weaknesses but while remaining intelligent & mature about it.
I think the right word here using ‘right judgement’.
Now if there is something serious like you are applying for Sales and you are not that confident about your Sales ability — then that is more like career suicide. You might as well just change your career path.
However, if it is something like a personality drawback like being restless or talkative or being an office clown — you can choose to say it in a diplomatic manner like “I’m always hyper and full of energy. And though that is great while doing work and pursuing targets, I am told by my close friends it can be over-bearing where one-to-one interaction in the office is concerned”.
Remember it is not only what you say, it is how you say it. And if you say it intelligently with the feel of truth in it — the interviewer will appreciate your honesty.
One thing I do want you to keep in mind.
There is no assurance that if you are honest, upfront, truthful, diplomatic and genuine you will land the job. There are many instances where doing so has resulted in a person not getting the job. But my response to this circumstance is simply this — It is better you are authentic and real than if you position yourself as someone who is fake & inauthentic. The only exception to this rule being is if you are one of those individuals who can manage to successfully fool just about anyone and that too for the long run (I know a few). If you can do this, hats off to you.
However, if you are like most of us then you need to really think, evaluate and decide:
- what are you going to say
- how you are going to say it.
Like I tell my clients at the end of the day — it is your life. You have to decide what is best for you, your brand, and your values. Yes, there are moments where you can tell a lie and get away with it. But that is being overly optimistic.
I for one prefer to be honest and realistic because at the end of the day — I prefer being the real deal even if it displeases people while delivering results than a puppet dancing to someone else’s tunes and stressing how I can keep everyone happy.
Oh by the way… that is what I normally answer as my drawback.