February 13, 2012

Strengths & Weaknesses

What are your strengths & Weaknesses?

Strengths: This is your chance to sell yourself. As soon as you get an interview call you should start making a list of your strengths or “USPs” (Unique Selling Points) – anything which makes you a strong applicant: Leadership skills, Team Player or Dedication for work are good examples of strengths. You need to back up these points with relavant examples of where you have demonstrated these in your previous jobs, college or extracurricular. This question may be phrased in different ways such as “How would your best friend describe you?”, “Why should we take you rather than the other applicants?” or “why we should select you”. Whichever way it is phrased, this is a golden opportunity to convince the selector that you are the right person for the job: don’t waste it!

Weaknesses: The classic answer is to state strength disguised as a weakness, e.g. “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I push myself too hard”. This has been used so often that, even if true it sounds cliched and false. Interviewers know this trick. If you use it, give examples: you could say that your desire for perfection makes you very single-minded, often blotting out others to get the task done. A better strategy, is to choose a weakness that you’re working to improve and describe what action you are taking to remedy it.
For example: I used to find it hard to talk to people I didn’t know well, but my job meant that I had to help people with all kinds of queries. Now I’m happy talking to anybody one-to-one and I’ve joined the debating society to give me experience of speaking in front of an audience.” Everyone has weaknesses and if you refuse to admit to any the interviewer will mark you down as arrogant, untruthful or lacking in self-awareness.
Lets refine your answers in our Interview clinic..

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