During a job interview, we have all been asked:
“What would you say is your biggest weakness and conversely, what is your biggest strength?”
I have been giving these questions a lot of thought lately. Specifically, the weakness question. I firmly believe people can be too hard on themselves. I have worked with many team members who excelled in areas where they thought they were weak (and vice-versa). Don’t get me wrong, self-reflection is good, it helps us evaluate ourselves and can provide motivation to change and grow. Self-criticism on the other hand, can be paralyzing and debilitating.
So I ask, do we really have weaknesses when it comes to skill-sets, or are they simply things we have yet to master? If something is not a strength is it automatically a weakness?
Mastering skills (communication, martial arts, hitting a ball, coding, typing, teaching, parenting, leading, etc.) is a life-long pursuit. Even professional athletes, at the pinnacle of their sport, will say they are constantly working to get better. The weakest part of Michael Jordan’s game was still better than 99% of the rest of the league (I’m still not sure if he had a “weakness”).
My point is, weakness is a mindset not a skill-set. It’s more about character than anything else. If we dedicate the time and apply discipline, we can master virtually anything.
So the next time you are asked to divulge a weakness during an interview, consider this:
“I am focused on continually improving myself to help achieve my goals and become a better overall person. I don’t view the areas in which I need to grow as weaknesses, but simpy things I have yet to master.”
I welcome your feedback.