Do you have any blind spots

Interview Question: Do you Have Any Blind Spots?

Do you have any blind spots? Strengths and weaknesses are two sides of a coin; just as you have areas of strengths that you are proud of, there are areas where you aren’t too good. However, you may have some weaknesses that you might not be aware of, these are called blind spots. Blind spots may or may not affect your productivity, output, and growth. Coming to terms with your blind spots and working hard to improve them is thus encouraged. Importantly, having blind spots shouldn’t be a dent in your personality or professionalism; in fact, it is how you manage to positively turn those spots into fortes that make you a standout employee or job candidate.

The question- do you have any blind spots? Can be asked in several ways including what are your weaknesses? What limits or inhibits your productivity at work? Do you have any flaws that can affect your relationship and growth at work? What are your blind spots? How do you recognize your blind spots? How do you find your blind spots and turn them into strengths? Either way, the question requires you to employ your critical thinking and analytical skills. Simply put, you need to be smart and careful when answering the question.

Interviewers and hiring managers ask questions about blind spots to find out if job candidates have any weaknesses. However, when responding to the question, refrain or avoid giving a list of weaknesses. Rather, elaborate and emphasize your ability to identify and develop an area that needs improvement. In addition, stress that you are a lifelong learner who is proactive enough to search for areas in your career that require development. Remember, weaknesses are no longer blind spots if you know about them. When you are conversant with areas you need to improve on, you can work on them; this will subsequently lead to career advancement and boost your industry knowledge.

Similarly, it is advisable to let the employers or hiring managers’ figure out your weaknesses themselves. Also, your response to the question should be framed in a way that shifts the focus to how you identify blind spots and use them to enhance professional development. Relatively, the phrase “blind spots” is used by the interviewer when they want to find out about sector knowledge levels. Thus, blind spots are missing knowledge or experience. Therefore, this article will focus on why interviewers ask questions about blind spots and provide a guide on how to answer the question.


Why Do Interviewers Ask the Question- Do You Have Any Blind Spots?  

Employers ask questions about blind spots or weaknesses because of the following reasons;

  • To evaluate the level of self-awareness of job applicants.
  • The interviewer wants to discover the limitations and deficiencies that might affect your work in the role you applied for.
  • The hiring manager wants to find out gaps in your self-knowledge that affect your relationship with others at work.
  • The employer looks to check your willingness and ability to improve and compensate for your weaknesses and shortcomings.
  • The employer wants to measure your readiness to learn and grow as an employee.

How to Answer the Question- Do You Have Any Blind Spots?

Whether you see and know them or not, your blind spots are always visible to others. It is hard to acknowledge your blind spots; regardless of how well you believe you know yourself, you are clueless about some of your traits and attributes. However, an increased level of self-awareness can help you see the entire picture. Consider the following tips to help you think of blind spots from previous work, school, or extracurricular activities when answering the question;

  • Mention how you managed to balance your workload and get things done.
  • Describe how you learned something new during an activity or project.
  • Discuss how your self-awareness was of benefit to you and the organization.
  • Explain how you handled a situation of not getting along with others.
  • Emphasize how you employed your skills to learn self-control.

Mention how you managed to balance your workload and get things done: Sometimes, you can have difficulties turning people down; this can adversely affect your work and productivity. Therefore if you have trouble saying no to people and it put you in stressful situations, mention how you managed to balance your responsibilities and get things done. Additionally, be precise and provide details of a time or situation where you were able to combine your work with the orientation of new employees for example. Remember, the hiring manager is interested in learning your motivation and ability to grow as an employee. For instance, the example above showed how you transformed a blind spot or weakness into strength.

Describe how you learned something new during an activity or project: Now, you might lack the required experience for a job, an activity, or a project. That can be a blind spot. However, it can become useful if you acknowledge it and strive to learn on the job. Hence, when you are inexperienced on a particular project or role, describe to the interviewer how you admitted it and learned something new along the way. This will help convince the interview that you can identify gaps in your knowledge and work on them for your and the organization’s growth.

Discuss how your self-awareness was of benefit to you and the organization: Being self-aware means being able to recognize how other people see you. Self-aware job candidates can acknowledge their strengths and challenges. This is an example of desirable trait employers look for. However, when answering the question, try and relate how you used your self-awareness to help the organization at large. For example, you can talk about a time where you had trouble asking for help from your coworkers; and how you learned and discovered that accepting the help of the team was of benefit to you and the company.

Explain how you handled a situation of not getting along with others: At work and in life, you will need to work with others as part of a team. However, some employees tend to have trouble getting along and forming cordial relationships with others at work. Although you can get some tasks done individually, not getting along with others can be a blind spot. Therefore, if you’ve ever had trouble getting along with a coworker or colleague, explain how you dealt with the issue and how that made you a better and great employee.

Emphasize how you employed your skills to learn self-control: Self-control is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in the face of temptation and impulses. Having a detail-oriented work ethic can get in the way of the big picture. Hence, give the hiring manager an example of how you learned self-control with your skills. Being detail-oriented can be a blind spot since you might be required to think outside the box at times. When you focus on just your assigned responsibilities and duties, it shows a lack of flexibility; you might be robbing yourself or the team of the opportunity to grow further.


Tips to Consider When Preparing to Answer the Question

The following strategy is recommended when preparing to answer questions about blind spots before the interview;

  1. Make a list of the attributes you think the job you are applying for needs. These might be in form of skills, qualifications, or experience.
  2. Compare and contrast your level of preparedness against the attributes required for the job.
  3. Do not use personal things like “I hate hypocrites and liars”.
  4. Tap into the power of positivity and be confident.
  5. When talking about blind spots, always follow up with the actions you took to combat your weaknesses.
  6. Do not avoid the question by saying “I don’t have one”; it sounds dishonest and arrogant.
  7. Keep your responses work-related and focus on less-than-ideal situations that you found a way to handle responsibly.


Sample Answers to the Question

Throughout my professional career, I actively look for areas of development. An example of this was when I started my last role as a research assistant in a Pharmaceutical firm. I have worked in the sector for several years and thought that I was highly specialized. In the new role, they specialized in a rare niche that I had limited knowledge of. By recognizing a lack of expertise, I immediately took action and enrolled in a course and asked a senior practitioner to be my mentor. This allowed me to quickly build up my knowledge base. Whenever I identify any type of weakness, I always take action to gain the required intelligence and strength.

My biggest blind spot is making assumptions. I’ve worked in retail before and thought I could judge a person’s needs just by looking. After being wrong and missing key details a few times, I abandoned that as a strategy. Now, I ask questions and pay close attention to what customers say so I can effectively assist them. It is a much more rewarding interaction. Once I notice a problem, I work hard to resolve it.

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