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


I’ve read forums started by people wanting to get a job in the call center and I have noticed one common reason for failure – applicants responding to questions blindly, mostly because they are either too nervous and have failed to prepare for the interview.  Case in point: Enumerate three of your weaknesses?” I recall a TVC where the applicant answered “Chocolates, tattoos, and boys.” I laughed at it but also contemplated on the fact that such a clueless response can break your slim chance of bagging the job.

Think before you respond is always the best route. Better yet, do your homework, just 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. Simply 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 apparently the most difficult question to respond to. People who have visited my blog in the past always tend to look for this question first (the second one is going on AWOL). So, how do we respond to this question then?

Here is a sample:

“Last year, my manager gave me an 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 in perfecting the report to make sure that it served its purpose by coordinating with my managers and my 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 to their scorecard. We would track and trend a specific metric with the goal of passing it and I would not give up on my teammate until he or she is able to succeed. Many of my teammates were immensely helped by this short program and my managers commended me for it”

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

I’ve always 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 this 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 completely bull. Instead, turn a strength into weakness. 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 to go to 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 a 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?

 

Hope this helps. Leave a comment if you have questions.

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One thought on “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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