Friday, 10 June 2011

Job interview questions: your weaknesses or weakness

Job interview questions: your weaknesses or weakness

‘What would you consider your weaknesses?’ you should keep in mind your target job profile:

1. How you have handled a weakness: Nobody is perfect (even the interviewer in front of you) you may describe any kind of a weakness AND describe the way you have overcome this weakness and learned from this experience.

A. A leader: You could say that your weakness is that you are more of a leader than a follower. This will represent that you have ambitious and dominant behavior.

B. A supervisor: You may also indicate that you do not like to work on your own and like to delegate work and get it done rather than actually sit down to do it yourself.

The last two weaknesses are what makes some workers around you unhappy..

Keep in mind that the weaknesses should not be something that comes off the top of your head. Weaknesses should be a rational description of some concepts that you have experienced in your professional day to day life.

Make sure that the weaknesses that you share are related to your professional life and not your personal life. For example, your overeating is your own personal weakness, however, your failure to talk, interact and communicate with your colleagues is your professional weakness.

Job interview questions: strengths or strength

‘What would you consider your strengths?’ In the same manner, one of the best ways to gauge the answers that the interviewer wants is to keep in mind your target job profile:
If you are aiming for the post of a manager or a director/supervisor, the strengths should be something like this:

A. A leader: If you are seeking the post of a leader, you can always tell them that one of your strengths is that you are a born leader. This will clarify that you have no intention or inclination to work under someone else.

B. A supervisor: Another strength that you may put forward is the ability to delegate, coordinate and supervise work. This will give the interviewee a firm idea that you are not looking to work as a subordinate or seeking to work under a certain number of individuals.

Describing your strengths is an important part of your professional interview. Frankly speaking, it is not important what strengths (and weaknesses) you provide about yourself, but the very fact that you are brave enough to answer this question in a proper manner is one of the most important aspects of your job interview. If the company really wishes to know any of your strengths and weaknesses, it will perform a thorough background check on you.

Simply put, to answer this question is a landmine. Job interview questions: weaknesses & strengths might be tricky questions. A true answer will put your job candidacy at risk, while a false answer will quickly come across as either self depreciating or highly exaggerated. Therefore, as described above, there are very few ways of actually answering these interview questions in a highly profitable way in order to proceed to the second interview phase.

Job Interview Questions – Weakness and Strength question and Answers

We all have a varied job experience and job profiles, but we all will agree that not everything about is noteworthy and some aspects of our professional lives are better not discussed – like the humble beginnings we had as a door to door salesman.

Answer the question honestly and to the point

When it comes to answering questions, the best bet is to answer the question honestly and to the point providing a real personality character. Many interviewees tend to make up an answer using a ‘well-known answer’ as their weakness or strength. The interviewer easily notice these type of answers, as he had probably heard that answers hundreds of times before..

Avoid using scripted weaknesses and strengths

As explained before, make sure that you do not provide the interviewer with any kind of answers that it will be noticed as cheesy weaknesses and strengths. The interviewer should be convinced that you genuinely have that particular strength and weakness.

Do not avoid answering the question

The worst mistake that one can do while the weakness and strengths question is going on is to evade the question. The moment the interviewer understands that the question is being evaded, they may bring the interview to such a situation that the interview will not go further at all, unless and until the interviewee has answered the question about the weakness.
Therefore, being well prepared and knowing how to answer the question before the interview, will probably save you troubles during your job interview.

The steps taken to solve the weakness

The best way to discuss your weakness is to speak about it and also discuss at the same moment the steps that you have taken to solve the weakness. This tells the interviewer that you carry an ongoing self analysis, which helps you know more about yourself and therefore enhance yourself on your own.

Do not blame anyone

In case you are giving a reason to the weakness, make sure that it does not implicate or blame anybody. Weaknesses are like any organ of our body. How it looks does not depend or cannot be blamed on anyone.

Focus on your strength

The experienced interviewers know to judge the skills of their interviewees. Therefore, they try to assess the way an individual works and to use their strength for achieving the best company’s success. Therefore, tell about your best strengths and the interviewer will note it.

Answering strength – You should not get carried away

While answering about weaknesses is a problem, answering about strengths is comparatively easy. The interviewee should only remember that they should not get carried away about discussing their strengths with the interviewer.

Some common answers – avoid using these

1. I’m a perfectionist
2. My biggest weakness is actually my biggest strength
3. Planning and prioritization as a weakness – this is the worst answer for managers or project managers.
4. I like to take control of groups or dominating discussions – this will “drive you” out of the desired job if not explained properly.

Provide a case

For an experienced interviewer, the second question after getting your answer is – provide a case/example for the same. So, you want to be prepared providing this.

It is on the basis of this knowledge that the interviewer will decide whether or not you will work for the company.

Therefore, do your best to answer these questions correctly and in any case avoid making up a weakness that is not really a weakness.

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