What’s the best answer to “Enumerate three of your weaknesses.”

I’ve read online forums started by people looking for work in a call center. I’ve noticed one common reason for failure: applicants responding to questions blindly, owing to either being too nervous or failing to prepare for the interview.

Many people fail to correctly answer the question “enumerate three of your weaknesses.” This reminds me of a funny TV commercial in which the applicant said, “Chocolates, tattoos, and boys.” I laughed at it, thinking about how such an inept response could jeopardize your slim chances of getting the job. Funny as that TV commercial may sound, you’d be surprised to know that it actually happens in real life.

Think before you respond is always the best route. Better yet, do your homework; follow these simple steps:

  1. Research possible questions.
  2. Research ideal answers.
  3. Using the ideal answers, you found as a model, write your answers.
  4. Don’t memorize. Understand.
  5. Rehearse with someone who can help.
  6. Ask for feedback on how to improve your responses.

Trivia: In my years of responding to questions, “Enumerate three of your weaknesses” is the most challenging question to answer. People who have visited my blog always tend to look for this question first (the second one is AWOL). So, how do we respond to this question then?

Here is a sample:

“Last year, my manager gave me the assignment to become a cluster leader for our team. She observed three things: I was obsessive-compulsive; two, I tend to become a perfectionist; and three, I was autocratic as a leader.

Being the cluster leader, it was my duty to send my cluster-mates our daily stats for tracking purposes. I spent time perfecting the report to make sure that it served its purpose by coordinating with my managers and colleagues to make the dashboard more effective.  This is why my manager observed that I was both OC and a perfectionist. Regarding autocracy, being the man at the helm, it was also my duty to help my teammates recover from any negative impact on their scorecard. We would track and trend a specific metric to pass it, and I would not give up on my teammate until they can succeed. This program immensely helped my teammates, and I received a commendation for it. “

If you noticed, the applicant’s response here is comprehensive; not only did he answer the question, he also took advantage of the chance to “sell himself” by way of a personal experience.

I’ve constantly reminded applicants who ask for help to remember where they are and what they are doing – they are in a job interview, and the goal is to get the job. Therefore, each question is an opportunity to sell yourself by way of “making kwento.”

Here are a few rules I follow when responding to these questions:

  1. Don’t avoid it by saying you have no weaknesses. That’s impossible and ridiculous.
  2. Do not turn a weakness into a strength; the recruiter knows that’s complete bull. Instead, turn power into a liability; this is usually very effective.
  3. Relate how you are working on improving yourself.
  4. Give that weakness a deadline.

Finally, please prepare a response to this question. Seriously. Remember that almost all call centers will ask you this, so there is no point going there hoping to “wing it.” As I’ve mentioned in the past, getting a job in the call center isn’t about hoping and praying that you can bag the job; it’s as simple as you having the skill or not. If you don’t have the skill, why? What are you doing to improve yourself? If you do have the skill, how can you flaunt it as you respond to interview questions?

I hope this helps. Leave a comment if you have questions.

One response to “What’s the best answer to “Enumerate three of your weaknesses.””

  1. As for me personally, if I were an interviewer and a candidate gave me an answer to this question that was a weakness that was a strength in disguise, I would think that the person in question had a severe lack of humility and was severely conceited.

    To me, the ideal way of answering this question would be to state weaknesses that have nothing to do with the job you are applying for. For instance, if one were applying for a job on the trading floor, maybe one would say that one found it easy to get irritated by whining children (obviously, if you are working on a trading floor, you probably won’t deal much with children).

    Alternatively, there is another answer one could give to this question. When asked to enumerate three weaknesses, one could say, “Right, weakness number one: – counting……………………………………………………………………………………..”

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