How To Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths To Make A Good Impression

Last Updated on: July 15th, 2017

Have you ever needed to answer a negative question in a positive way? Has an employer ever asked you what your weaknesses are? If you have ever found yourself in a position of trying to make yourself sound “better” than you might truly be, then you need to learn how to turn your weaknesses into strengths!

painter

You can learn how to put a positive spin on your weaknesses with a bit of practice… especially if you are looking for a job.You need to make a good impression.It’s true that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. You get one shot at it, and that’s it. In a long list of potential employees, the hire-r needs to know the hire-ee is making a good choice in hiring YOU.

Oh, and let me tell you something about honesty being the best policy.

Have you ever needed to answer a negative question in a positive way? Has an employer ever asked you what your weaknesses are? If you have ever found yourself in a position of trying to make yourself sound “better” than you might truly be, then you need to learn how to turn your weaknesses into strengths!

painter

You can learn how to put a positive spin on your weaknesses with a bit of practice… especially if you are looking for a job.You need to make a good impression.It’s true that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. You get one shot at it, and that’s it. In a long list of potential employees, the hire-r needs to know the hire-ee is making a good choice in hiring YOU.

Oh, and let me tell you something about honesty being the best policy.

It’s true, most of the time. But there is always an exception to every “rule”.

For instance, take the time when I sabotaged myself during an interview. I was 15 years old. I think. (It was a long time ago.) I was applying for a job as a waitress at a restaurant called Bonanza. I submitted a résumé and was called in for an interview. The employer and I were having a fantastic talk. Things were going very well…until he asked me what my biggest weakness was. Being a headstrong individual (who was also very honest) and who also hated it when my parents told me what to do, I (naturally) replied, “I don’t like being told what to do.”

Ahem.

What???


. . . Yes, he reacted that way, too.

The look on his face was priceless. Naturally, I can laugh about this now.

He also ended the interview rather quickly after a statement like that. (Wouldn’t you?)

I kicked myself the moment the words were out of my mouth.

I must have turned fifty shades of red. (No, not grey, I was not dead… but I wished I was!)

They say that sometimes you need to learn things the hard way. I did, then and there. No doubt about that.

But…did that stop me from telling the truth?

No.

The truth will prevail, no matter what.

Employers know what they are doing. As an employee, so should you!

The truth shall set you free…

When I was interviewed for a teaching job (many years later) that required me to move to a town I had never been to, I was asked why I thought I could teach in a small town (of 9000 people) when I came from a city (of 117 000+), and I replied: “Well, you have teenagers there, don’t you?” (This was the only questionnoton my list of possible questions — and I did not have a pre-prepared answer.)

So I told the truth. I responded naturally. I was honest in my answer.

And…guess what? An hour later, they called me back and offered me the job!

Obviously, I made a good impression!

Spinning your weakness into a strength…

When I first started using Twitter (and all social media), I honestly had no idea how to be “great” at it. Gaining followers is not easy! Quality followers, I mean… not the kind who are always trying to sell you something you don’t want or need, or those who are just trying to “grow their numbers”. I remember having a conversation with author Mike Wells, who writes The Green Water Blog (a blog I first noticed after getting my new laptop). Mike Wells was also the first author I spoke to on Twitter, and it was because I responded to one of his tweets.

The conversation went something like this:

Mike: When you promote yourself, reposition all your weaknesses as strengths. Ex. impatient people get things DONE.

Me: What if your weakness is ignorance? You wouldn’t know how to….see where I’m going with this?

Mike: If your weakness is ignorance, then you have a large capacity to learn.

Hmm. And I thought I was trying to be a bit funny. I guess I failed! 🙂 On the other hand, it was pretty nice of him to help me turn a weakness into a strengthsimply by using its positive counterpart.

Find Your Weakness and Make it a Strength TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION

The key in figuring out how to turn your weaknesses into strengths is to identify your weakness and then identify its corresponding strength.

If you don’t know much, you have “a large capacity to learn”. (This was me, six months ago!)

If you are hard to please or are demanding, you have “high standards”.

If you are messy or unorganized, you have “the ability to work in any type of environment”.

If you are loud or obnoxious, you are “unforgettable” or “memorable”.

If you are quiet or shy, you are “reflective”.

If you take a lot of time to do something, you possess “attention to detail”.

What are your personal strengths and weaknesses? If you don’t know, you might be able to identify them using the charts found in Myrko Thrum’s blog post. Once you figure out what your weaknesses are, you can easily convert them into a strength! Your strengths will then help you make a good impression!

If all else fails, then lie. 🙂

(Just kidding!)

Have you ever been in a situation where you did not make a good impression? Was it due to a weakness? Share your story in the comment section!

NOTE: All pictures in this post have been used with permission fromBeauty At Its Best. Original author is Oleg Shuplyak.m>

30 thoughts on “How To Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths To Make A Good Impression

  1. Helen Jones says

    Hello there! Thanks for this great article! Finding one’s weakness doesn’t mean that they’re gonna be weak forever. You have to think of a convenient way to transform your weakness into your strength. For an instance, you feel like you dont fit in a group, then you must find another venue or group, in that way, you can be comfortable to express yourself without being discriminated. I got this idea from a blog by Moustafa Hamwi – the passion guy.

    • says

      Helen, you have to do what you have to do in order to fit in. Sometimes it’s really just a matter of speaking openly and honestly about your feelings to everyone! Good luck!

  2. ikechi says

    Hi Lorraine,

    I love the advice in this post. Turning weakness to strength is very important. I agree saying the truth does help create a first impression. Great tips

  3. Judy says

    Hi Lorraine,
    terrific post. We need to write a recommendation for a great friend and good worker and were bit puzzle what to write.

  4. Anne says

    Hi Lorraine,

    First, thanks for posting this article. It’s really helpful. I have a question though. I came across this blog because i’m trying to figure out how i can make my weakness into a strength (obviously) .

    I know that my strength is public speaking. I’ve been invited speak in several inspirational/motivational speaking engagements (which i enjoyed a lot and which i plan to do more of). But i also know that my what my weakness is… spelling. I believe im suffering from a spelling disorder as i would usually type words that sounds the same but different in meaning. For example, i would type plain when i meant plane. Although, if i will be asked for the meanings of these words, i would be able to define it correctly, it’s just when i type that i would commit mistakes. Sometimes even when i proof read what i wrote, i would still over look the misspelled words.

    Right now, i just finished my masters degree with honor, so i’m pretty sure it’s not because i’m dumb (although at times i feel like one) . I want to teach in a university and i also want to be a blogger but this problem is really getting in the way.

    I would really love to hear what you think about this.

    Thanks Lorraine,

    • says

      It’s great that you know where your strengths lie. To improve your weaknesses, you could complete exercises that would strengthen them. Search Google for writing and editing exercises!

  5. says

    hahaha, you just made my day, Lorraine! I am one of those with “high demands” 😉 Excellent piece on turning weaknesses into strengths by putting a positive spin on it. Great attitude, a predicament for success i would say. Sharing your post on social media right away!

  6. Hi Lorraine,

    I use to hate that question in interviews and it’s been so long since I’ve been asked that question I couldn’t tell you how I responded.

    Since coming online I have still remained honest although most people will tell me to fudge it a little. I just can’t but I’ve found that my honesty has worked in my favor instead of against me so there ya have it. Their advice isn’t always the best.

    Thanks for this post and loved your story about the job interview at 15. My brother use to work for Bonanza, oh those were the days so very long ago.

    ~Adrienne

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Yes, those days were those of many moons ago. I really liked that restaurant! I used to go there with my Nana Kay. They had, I think, an all-you-can-eat salad bar, and really good food. It’s too bad that they closed down.

      Hmmm. Remember Ponderosa? That was another great place. Now I’m thinking about food! 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Adrienne!

  7. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind the, “What is your weakness?” question in interviews. It begs the recipient of the question to say something corny like, “I’m a workaholic.” Most experienced HR people don’t ask that any more because it forces such a strange dynamic and of course so many people have prepared themselves by reading articles just like this one. 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I’ve never understood it, either, Debra, but if employers continue to ask such questions, then knowing that you can use your weakness’ positive counterpart will definitely come in handy! 🙂

  8. Anytime you can find a way to turn a negative into a positive it is a good thing. That is especially true of our own personal weaknesses. Looking at in a different way and a different POV is a great skill to learn that can serve you well in life and in work. Now I’m off the visit your mentions. 🙂

    PS: I think I am now subscribed.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Yes, you are subscribed now, Susan! Thanks!

      I hope you liked the links I provided. They were the most helpful ones I could find. 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      You sound like me, Donna! 🙂

      I’m willing to bet that you didn’t tell any other potential employers that ever again! 🙂

  9. says

    Hi Lorraine,

    This is a very interesting read. Thank you for sharing your teenager interview story and other personal experiences.

    I totally agree with you that we can turn our weaknesses into strengths. Loving Mike Wells’ response Mike on ignorance! Have “a large capacity to learn”! How true!

    The sad part is, for people who are ignorant, he or she simply may not be able to recognise that they need to learn. I believe that awareness is the first step to personal development. First, recognise that there is a weakness or challenge. Then do something or not do something to turn the weakness into a strength.

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Awareness is, indeed, necessary! We all have weaknesses and strengths, and most of us know what they are.

      Thanks for your comment, and for visiting my blog, Viola!

  10. Arleen says

    Lorraine- When I interview a potential employee I have never asked what their weaknesses are. My one big question is what do you want to work for my company, what can you contribute. I try to look at things in a positive light. We all have weaknesses in some form or another. I think when you ask someone what are their weakness you put them on the defensive.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Interesting. I like people who focus on the positives, too. However, isn’t it good to learn as much as you can about a person who’ll be working for you?

  11. says

    I find the whole “what are your weaknesses” question a bit crazy anyway. The ones who are not prepared do often get caught out, but the rest – it’s just a joke. I once saw a way of interviewing with scenarios that in the end pose the same kinds of questions and expose your weaknesses without you realising. Now they are smart interviewers!!

  12. says

    Hi Lorraine,
    Awesome article and I love the story you shared of you at 15 in your job interview. That is priceless. As someone who has interviewed many people for jobs I have heard some amazing things so you are not alone.

    Great advice to put a positive spin on what we perceive as weaknesses.

    Sue

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Hi, Sue! (Why does it say Sie? Typo?)

      It’s kind of a funny story, NOW. It sure wasn’t funny, THEN. 🙂

      I think you just added a new dimension to this; what we PERCEIVE as weaknesses may not necessarily be weaknesses. It may be our perception that is faulty. Hmm. Interesting. I didn’t consider one’s perception in depth when I wrote this. Thanks for making a good point!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thank you, Jo Ann. Your words are very kind. I love getting compliments on my writing!

      I hope all is well with you, too! 🙂

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