File Name: job interview strengths and weaknesses .zip
By Susan P. This single question has the power to determine in one swift blow whether you are a potential asset or a liability to a prospective employe r.
Luckily, there is a solution — prepare in advance for this dreaded question, and you will tame the monster! Today, many HR professionals consider this question old-fashioned and pointless. Who would admit to a genuine weakness in a job interview? But interviewers who do ask this question often see it as a test of the candidate's interest and preparation.
So, being ready for this question is the best strategy. Your qualifications appear to be acceptable, or they wouldn't be interviewing you. This question is to help dig out aspects of working with you that don't usually show up in a resume or LinkedIn Profile. That shows a complete lack of self-awareness, an incredible ego, or dishonesty. You may have only one weakness -- if you are very lucky or delusional or not paying attention -- but you do have a weakness. At least one! Typically, weaknesses fall into one of two categories -- "hard skills" or "soft skills" -- and hard skills are usually the best to choose for a job interview because they are the easiest to overcome.
I can't think of a job or a work environment that doesn't require both hard skills and soft skills. Either type of skill can apply to a job, but hard skills are often the best choice as a weakness in a job interview because you can learn how to overcome your hard skill deficit. When you are considering which weaknesses to share, be sure to focus on your behaviors, which can be changed, rather than your personality, which is much more difficult to change.
You want to position yourself effectively within the interview and need to match positive answers with positive tone of voice and body language. When you prepare for this question, you will want to pick a weakness that does one of four things:. Be sure that this weakness does not hinder your ability to do the job or to fit in with the employer. Be sure to present these weaknesses in terms of how they impact the employer. Stay positive. Avoid trashing anyone, particularly a former employer.
After you answer this question, you may be asked for additional weaknesses, so be prepared. Prepare a list of potential weaknesses to share in your interview.
Select a few weaknesses from the list below, or use them as starting points to develop your own list of possible weaknesses. Then, consider how you have overcome this weakness -- what strength have you developed in response? That is the core of your 2-part response. Don't pick a weakness that would disqualify you for the job, even if you have overcome it. For example, an accountant who doesn't know how to use spreadsheets or a business attorney who isn't a good negotiator would not impress a potential employer.
Be cautious about choosing a weakness that might reinforce a negative gender stereotype, like being too emotional for women and being arrogant or thoughtless for men. When you have your list of possible weaknesses, consider how to present them as done in the sample answers below.
Be prepared with more than one weakness in case you are asked for a second or third or more. Choose one from each category or focus on one type. Often, if your job search is focused on one type of job, one set of weaknesses will be sufficient. Hard skill weaknesses can be the best weaknesses to choose. What do I mean by a "hard skill weakness"? These weaknesses are pretty clear, like the inability or minimal ability to:.
Do NOT choose a weakness that is a stated job requirement. For example, if you are interviewing for an administrative job, your inability to use Excel would not be a good weakness to share if skills using Excel is a stated requirement of the job. In the examples below, notice the two part answers: 1 the Confession , and 2 the Recovery :. Confession In my job a few years ago, I worked in a large retail store, helping customers find what they wanted to purchase in a very large area with thousands of products to purchase.
Being multi-lingual was not required for the job, but many of our customers were Hispanic and did not speak English very well. So, helping them could be challenging, which cost the store some revenue. My manager and several co-workers spoke Spanish, and they could help those customers when I couldn't.
Recovery I felt like I was not able to do my job as well as some of my co-workers, so I took some classes in Spanish. At work, I practiced speaking Spanish with my multi-lingual coworkers and customers. Then, I could help all of our customers. That was both fun and satisfying, and now I can speak more than one language. I'm thinking of learning Portuguese or French because speaking more than one language is very interesting and a big advantage in many situations.
Confession I don't yet have substantial experience with the artificial intelligence languages like R or Python, but I am very interested in learning more about how they work. Recovery I am currently taking an online class in Python which has been very interesting so far. For the past few weeks, I have been working on a class project to develop a program which can hopefully predict when a retail customer is going to "jump ship" and go to a competitor.
I am hoping to become a Certified Associate in Python Programming by the end of the year. With this example, the job seeker is demonstrating initiative -- identifying a growing field of interest and finding a way to learn more about it as well as increase professional credibility with a certification.
I would be careful about sharing a completely irrelevant skill, like ice skating or race car driving. What do I mean by a "weakness that is really a strength in disguise"?
The weakness is really a good characteristic that has been taken a bit too far. These will give you an idea of the kinds of weaknesses you can confess to and the way you have overcome it. Notice the two part answers: 1 the Confession , and 2 the Recovery :. Confession Some people would consider the fact that I have never worked in this field before as a weakness. However, being fast learner and open minded, I have no pre-conceived notions on how to perform my job.
Recovery With this new work, I will have the opportunity to learn the job the way you want it done, not the way a different organization does it. I am never bored because there is always something new to learn. In addition, although I have no former on-the-job experience with this work, I do bring my love of learning new things, which can only enhance my ability to learn this process very quickly.
And, I've always been commended by my managers for my commitment to work hard. I'm always on-time and not a slacker. If you do have experience or skills relevant to the job, be sure to mention them in your recovery. Confession As a child, I was identified as an introvert, and I have considered that a weakness.
I tend to prefer to work alone or with a very small group of people whom I know I can trust. I prefer working in a very quiet environment which is not always possible in a busy office with people working and talking in cubicles all around me. Recovery I realized as an adult that being an introvert definitely has advantages. I am motivated to work based more on thought and reason than on emotion. Typically, I don't usually require close management -- give me a project, and I'll dig into it.
I'll ask questions to be sure I understand what is needed and when I need more information, but I will get the job done, on-time, and without a lot of fuss. I do make an effort to reach out to my co-workers, to be friendly and cooperative, and to have a good relationship with everyone I work with, but I'm happiest when I have work to do.
If the office is too noisy for me, I have earplugs that block background noise so I can focus on my work when the noise is too great, which doesn't usually happen very often. Naturally, if the job required you to be a good listener in some way customer service, for example , you wouldn't mention how noisy environments bother you or that you use earplugs to block that noise.
Confession I've been told by both managers and co-workers that I can be very impatient. When something has been identified as important to do, I want to work on it NOW and finish it as soon as possible. I expect that of myself, and I expect it of my co-workers and subordinates. Recovery I have learned to recognize that there are always more things to be done than any of us have time to do, and that we all often have different priorities.
So, I have focused on prioritizing my own work -- either by myself or with my manager or team. I actually keep a list, and share the top 5 items on that list with my boss and my team.
I find I can get more done this way, am focused on what is most important to my manager, and also have a better relationship with my co-workers and subordinates. Consider how or why you developed a particular strength or achieved an accomplishment? Tell that narrative in two parts, as usual about how you converted a weakness into something positive. See the sample strengths for some options to consider. Frame this description as how you have overcome a weakness you have.
For example, if one of your strengths is expert usage of Microsoft Office and that is relevant to this job , you could confess a weakness like this confession and recovery :. Confession In my last job, we used the same medical transcription software for many years. It ran on the old technology we used, so my software skills became out of date.
Recovery Then I learned that we were converting to the new version of our medical transcription, and I learned it is based on current Microsoft Office products. So, over a 6-month period, I took hours of training in the relevant Microsoft Office products -- Excel, Word, and Outlook -- practicing on my own time. As a result, I became proficient enough to help when we finally made the transition to the new software. In helping my colleagues learn the new software, I realized that I must continue to pay attention to what is happening with technology in this field and keep my skills up-to-date, even if my employer isn't staying current.
When you use this "greatest weakness" it may eliminate one of your answers to the greatest-strengths question or it could answer both questions. If one of your strengths is expert knowledge in the use of current technology, like smart phones and computers, you could use this again, in two parts: confession and recovery :.
Confession I have had a hard time disconnecting from technology. I always have my smart phone with me and, of course, I have both a Mac and a PC at home.
The receptionist interview questions you can expect are likely to be a challenging mix of behavioral-based interview questions, questions that explore your skills and experience and questions that evaluate your motivational fit with the company and co-workers. Use our sample interview answers and guidelines to impress as the right receptionist job candidate. How many calls did you take on an average day in your last job? What sort of people did you interact with on a daily basis? Highlight your ability to handle multiple calls and diverse customers while remaining professional and composed. What sort of inquiries did you have to handle? What were your primary responsibilities?
Get our "What Are Your Strengths & Weaknesses Cheat Sheet" that gives you DO's This handy (and FREE!!) pdf contains everything you need to answer this tricky If this were a dating interview and not a job interview, an answer like that.
When hiring a security guard, employers seek individuals who are trustworthy and attentive to security procedures. If you're applying to a security position, you should show employers that you can keep their employees, facilities and equipment safe and secure with your conflict-resolution skills and safety expertise. One way to display these skills is during an interview for a security job, so it's important to prepare ahead of time in order to show employers you're a qualified candidate. In this article, we share common security interview questions and give tips and example answers to help you prepare.
There are also a few things they really do NOT want to hear. Being put on the spot and asked to brag about yourself in the interview is never easy. However, there are a few steps you can follow to make sure you give a solid answer that interviewers will like.
Following a recent study that reported on entry-level job interviews in ninety seven different corporations in the United States, we put together a list of fifteen most common interview questions, for the first rounds of interviews. We analyzed each question. We looked at it from the perspective of an employer, and a perspective of a job seeker. Short hint explains what the interviewers try to find out with the question, and how you should answer it. Sample answers follow each hint.
In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. In preparation for an interview, candidates should consider how best to answer this question so that the information is useful to employers while not damaging your chances of being hired.
By Susan P. This single question has the power to determine in one swift blow whether you are a potential asset or a liability to a prospective employe r. Luckily, there is a solution — prepare in advance for this dreaded question, and you will tame the monster! Today, many HR professionals consider this question old-fashioned and pointless. Who would admit to a genuine weakness in a job interview? But interviewers who do ask this question often see it as a test of the candidate's interest and preparation.
The objective of this article is to help you prepare and answer one of the trickiest questions in an HR interview,i. The way in which you answer this question matters to them, because it help them analyze the person you are. Let us have a look at different examples of strengths and weaknesses, which will help you answer this question better. I always try to help others without understanding whether that will be good or bad for me.
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