Interviewing 101: Positive Spinning
There is no shortage of advice online for interviewing– you can find articles for everything from what to wear to the top 100 most-asked questions during an interview. No one wants to be under-prepared when entering an interview, but there is such a thing as over-preparing. Practicing your answers to one-hundred questions you may or may not be asked definitely qualifies as “over-preparing,” and it also is not a great use of your time.
In her article “The Best Way to Answer ‘What Are Your Weaknesses,'” career coach and author Elana Konstant describes what she refers to as “always staying on the sunny side” when interviewing. To put it simply, the best way to prepare for an interview is to practice putting a positive spin on every answer. Here are a few of our favorite tips when answering the question “what is your biggest weakness?” from Konstant:
- Avoid using phrases from the job description. If you are interviewing for a managerial role and tell your future potential employer that one of your weaknesses is delegating tasks and tracking progress, you’re basically saying you can’t perform one of the main responsibilities of the job for which you’re interviewing.
- Talk about a past weakness that you resolved. Konstant gives the example of struggling with the technical aspects of a project in a previous job, but taking a few coding classes on the side to better understand and grasp the technology. You want to convey that you can both identify and improve upon your own weaknesses– conveying this to a future employer makes you an attractive candidate for any position.
- Talk about a weakness that you are currently resolving. Similarly to the example described above, demonstrating your ability to identify areas that need improvement and subsequently executing a plan to resolve the weaknesses will leave a more memorable impression on your interviewer.
These are just a few ways to put a positive spin on a question that is characteristically given a negative context. Answering interview questions “on the sunny side” leaves an overall positive impression on your interviewer.