Posts Tagged: interview tips

How to Answer the “What is Your Weakness” Question Effectively?

Interviews are stressful – you want to be organized and appear to be fully qualified for each job you apply to.  When getting ready and prepared for a job interview, it is important to think of the questions you may be asked and be ready with great responses.

One of the most common questions that still gets asked is some variation of “tell me about your weaknesses”.

Let’s get ready for this one together!

First, let’s consider why interviewers ask questions about your weaknesses.

They ask about weaknesses to see how and if candidates will fit into their organization when it comes to taking ownership.  They also want to see if a candidate has the ability to recognize their imperfections and then be able to implement strategies to learn and grow to overcome them. Employers care about the process of coming back from errors, more so than the mistake itself.

Do not reply with “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”.

It can be tricky to identify weaknesses.

One way to communicate positively about a weakness is to identify a skill or a trait that you are learning or have learned to overcome and that has now become a strength.

When asked “what is your weakness”, this is a great time to tell a story about yourself of how you have learned to improve yourself.  This can be done by identifying a hard or soft skill you wanted to improve and then telling you interviewer the steps you took to actually do it.

Show that you are ready for self-improvement and growth.

Here are a few examples of good responses:

EXAMPLE ONE

I am still learning to set boundaries. I have a tendency to people please and in the past, took on too much I don’t like giving up projects and can get caught up in the details.  To help with this, I have learned to give myself deadlines to stay on deadline. I also ensure I prioritize and delegate when needed.

EXAMPLE TWO

A weakness of mine is that I don’t speak a second language.  In my last job at ABC Company, most of our clients were from Mexico or Southern USA and spoke Spanish.  I took it upon myself to buy a Rosetta Stone (Audio Book) to learn conversational Spanish in my car to show my clients that I acknowledged my weakness and that I was committed to making a change.

EXAMPLE THREE

We also found a great response from Hubspot, about delegating.  “I’m incredibly self-motivated, and I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. However, when I became manager in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project management system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently.”

Remember that the common “what is your weakness” question can take many forms.

Interview questions can be straight forward or geared towards behavioral questions such as:

  • How has this weakness negatively affected you?
  • What would you like to improve in the next year?
  • What would your pas manager say you need to improve on?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

This is a great time for self-reflection.  It’s not only helping you rock your next job interview; it will also be a really good opportunity to check yourself and see what improvements you can make to eliminate an answer from the roster.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.

Informational Interviews – Here is What They Are and What They Can Do For You

As a person looking for a job or doing research to find out more about a new career, informational interviews are great places to start learning.

According to Wikipedia, an informational interview is a meeting in which potential job seekers seek advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future work place.  An informational interview is not a job interview; it is a meeting where a job seeker is given the opportunity to learn about a specific job from a person who is working in that field.

It is an excellent source of information about an occupation and career opportunities.

The benefits of an informational interview include job seekers:

  • gain information about an industry or a specialized field
  • find out about jobs and career paths
  • are given tips about a job, how and when to apply and even the name of best person to speak with
  • learn about the culture and information of a specific company
  • can ask questions for feedback about skills and education that are beneficial

A great benefit of an informational interview is that they are not job interviews, so they are less stressful. An employee can casually discuss the daily activities of a job and learn more about an industry.

Arranging an informational interview may be tricky if you are new to the industry.  A couple of great sources to professionals in an industry are LinkedIn, as well as Google. Asking for a referral from friends, family, alumni or a past instructor are also great ways to expand your network.

People are busy so don’t be upset if a person doesn’t have time to speak to you.  It is a numbers game so arrange for several informational interviews to get the face time you are seeking.

As the person looking for the inside edge on a company or job, be organized and prepared for the meeting.

Here are a few tips to conduct a professional Informational Interview:

  • Be prompt and keep the conversation brief – 15 – 30 minutes
  • Dress as you would in a job interview
  • Research the person as well as company you are meeting with
  • Arrive with questions and a pen and paper to make notes
  • Always be polite and thank the person you are meeting with

At an informational interview, job seekers learn about qualifications and skills required to know if they are heading down the right career path.

Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  1. Tell me about your daily activities?
  2. Tell me about your career journey and how it has led to your current position?
  3. What are a couple of tips that you would offer someone starting their career?
  4. What education or classes are most valuable in your job?
  5. What opportunities are there for advancement?
  6. What are the most important skills for a successful employee to have?
  7. What are the typical salaries and benefits in this industry?
  8. How often does your firm hire?
  9. Is there anyone else you think would be a good person to meet?

 

Informational interviews are a great source of information so that you can up your game.

Now that you have this, we wish you success!

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