As we approach the New Year it is time to reflect on what went well and what needs to be improved. According to a study conducted by Fidelity Investments, 37% of Americans polled are considering making a New Year’s Resolution related to their finances. If you are in this category, there are two things that you need to do to free up cash to move towards your financial goals: earn more money and spend less money.

There are many ways to earn more money, but I want to focus on two today – earning more by changing jobs or getting a raise at your current job. Under both scenarios you will probably be asked a question about your biggest weakness. I don’t know about you, but that question always scared me. If I don’t give an answer, would it make me seem uninformed, unprepared, or egotistical? However, if I answer would it make me seem weak and unable to contribute to the organization?

The weakness question is a question that could cause some to stumble.  As a part of a campaign to educate people on how to answer the dreaded weakness question, our friends over at The Ladder asked me to provide advice on how I have successfully navigated that question in the past. Be sure to also check out their post here.

Have you ever been asked about your greatest weakness in a job interview? If so, how did you respond?

I have been asked about my greatest weakness quite often in job interviews. When I was asked the first time it really scared me because I thought that if I told them my weakness then I would seem uncompetitive. However once I knew how to answer the question it wasn’t as intimidating as I initially thought. I responded to the weakness question by being honest but appropriate.  I discussed a weakness that was relevant to the job. For example, don’t mention something totally irrelevant to the job like an inability to cook or a fear of commitment. Answer the question in a manner that shows that you are aware of the job responsibilities and that you are taking clear action steps to overcome that weakness. For example, if you have struggled with time management then say that you have had a weakness in time management. However, to combat that you have become more diligent about keeping track of all deadlines in a calendar and you define and negotiate all deadlines upfront so you stay on track. Then you can mention the results of your actions and how this has improved your work outcomes. This shows the interviewer that you are self aware enough to understand that you are human and have weaknesses and that you are being proactive in mitigating them.

Would you have responded differently with the knowledge you have now? 

I responded by showing how I was able to mitigate my weakness and turn it into a strength. Answer the question by showing your weakness, how this has impacted your performance in certain situations, and what exactly you did to overcome that weakness. Then show your understanding of the organization by letting them know how this newfound strength will allow you to be a major contributor to their organization.

What general advice would you give to your readers about how to approach this question?

Stay calm. Be transparent, but professionally appropriate. Pick a weakness that is relevant to the position that you are interviewing for and remember to turn your weakness into a strength.

If you want more tips and resources, download your FREE Hotsheet that will show you the best online savings sites and apps!  Click here to download!

Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), and creator of The Live Phenomenal Program. The Live Phenomenal Program is a program designed to give you the tools that you need to totally transform your finances, and stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal! Book your complimentary 20-minute financial clarity session with Aisha here.

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