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New Weaknesses

May 2, 2010

You know the common interview question: “What’s your biggest weakness?”

It’s a standard question that gets asked a lot. If you’re honest in giving your answer, I think it’s a good gauge of your learning.

I went through a series of interviews this past month, and I gave an answer that I feel describes me well at the moment. Right now, I think my biggest weakness is my difficulty or hesitance in delegating tasks. Don’t take this as a shot against anyone else though. It’s just that I have a strong belief and confidence in my own abilities. I also like to hold on to a lot of responsibility and be able to make a difference in the outcome. Though it’s a weakness, it’s an area I’ve been recently working on improving.

Around this time last year, when I was going through a round of interviews, my response to this weakness question was different. My answer revolved around my fear of public speaking. I had a really tough time speaking in front of groups and avoided it whenever possible. But after saying this weakness out loud over and over again in interviews, it kind of nudged me to want to make a change.

So, I did. I took a leadership communication course for a semester, and tried to volunteer for opportunities to speak to crowds. I also filled in as emcee at a large fundraising event for the first time. Over time and with experience through trial and error, my fear has subsided. I now feel comfortable speaking in front of groups, no matter the size, and no matter if I have a  prepared speech or not. This time around, it felt really great to not have the same “biggest weakness.”

Looking back, it reminded me of how much I learned over the past year, though in just one skill. Of course, I have plenty of other flaws in parts of my life, and those will be new things I’m looking forward to learning.

If you go through interviews in different parts of life, try to remember how you answered certain questions the last time around. They might show you the leap you’ve made. Or perhaps if you’re not satisfied, then there’s still time. Make a change moving forward.

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