In a couple past jobs I used to sit on the hiring committees.
One question that is usually asked in interviews is, “Tell me about your weakness”.
It always amazed me how people would use this question to tear themselves down.
Hint…not a good thing to do in a job interview.
The point of this question is to take a trait of yours that appears negative on the surface and spin it into a positive.
Take me, for example.
I am a competitive person.
In all aspects of life, I turn everything into a competition, but I don’t compete against others. I compete against myself.
I have no desire to tear anyone down by ‘beating’ them in something.
Instead, I use whatever they are good at as motivation to make myself better.
On the ice, if the other goalie is better than me. I watch what they do, how they play their angles, what tools they use to stop the puck in given situations, and add a trick or two that they are good at to my skill set to make me better.
If they are playing great, I am the first person to cheer on a save they made or go over between periods and tell them how great of a game they are having.
I genuinely support and am happy for their success, but inside my head I’m watching them, learning from them, and saying to myself ‘whatever you are doing, I can do better’
This inner drive is not just limited to sports.
In the business world I apply the same competitive focus.
I don’t view other real estate agents as my competition.
If there is another, more successful agent in my marketplace, I don’t fret over how I can ‘beat’ them, but instead I watch, study, and learn what they are doing to be successful, then figure out how I can do it better.
I learn how to take their strengths and use them to make myself a better agent.
I also will never talk down another agent to a colleague, a client, or in trying to earn the business of a potential client.
That is an amateur move.
In competition, a true professional focuses on, and uses their own strengths, and doesn’t need to try to ‘injure’ their competition in order to gain a competitive edge.
In a job interview, saying that I am a competitive person can be viewed as a negative trait.
To some that might mean I am not a team player and that I won’t ‘play nice’ in order to advance my career.
Instead, I can take that negative preconception and turn it into a positive by explaining how the competitive drive in me forces me to look within, be aware of my weaknesses, and take the strengths of others to make me a better person in whatever I do.
There is nothing someone can do that I can’t do, or even do better.