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Interviewing:WhatToDoWhenAskedToDescribeYourStrengthsAndWeaknesses

Jodi Hill
Jodi Hill Influencer
over 1 year Pittsburgh, PA, United States Story
Interviewing: What To Do When Asked To Describe Your Strengths And Weaknesses

It is common knowledge that one needs to take the time and prepare for an upcoming interview.  An applicant must prepare ahead of time for the inevitable questions that come up, such as, 'tell me about yourself", or, 'what do/did you like about you current/last position'?

No matter how much an applicant feels that they have done their due diligence and painstakingly practiced answering as many interview questions that they can think of, there almost always are one or two questions that an interviewer will ask or a completely different line of questions that the applicant isn’t prepared for.

Your strengths and weaknesses are two of the toughest things to answer about yourself during the face-to-face interrogation.  Okay, maybe describing the interview as an interrogation is a tad bit harsh, but let’s be realistic and call it what it really is at times. 

So what is the best way to answer these two grueling questions you ask? Well, let’s start with strengths.

When a hiring professional is asking about your strengths, she/he is assessing how you will answer and how it will relate to the position being discussed. For example, if you are interviewing for a sales position, then the answer should be that position, such as, your strength with increasing sales, customer retention, new customer acquisition, and so on. According to Gill Lambert, in her article on Linkedin, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/talking-strengths-weaknesses-interviews-g..., it is a good idea to have two to three separate strengths just in case the interviewer is persistent and wanting more information. Also, make sure that you can back those strengths up with cold hard facts or proof.

Now for the really tough one...the dreaded weaknesses question. How should you answer a question that feels a lot like you are being asked to downright criticize yourself? Well, actually, this type of question will actually benefit you. The hiring professional wants to know how candid you can be, but also, how you handle yourself when faced with a challenge. For this type of question, the answer may relate to a task or software program that you are unfamiliar with, but are eager to learn. Law offices typically use some type of Practice Management Software such as PCLaw, or Timeslips, with which an applicant may be highly proficient using, however, maybe a weakness is lack of knowledge in Microsoft PowerPoint. Try to use an example of a weakness that is not essential to the job, but is a task or skill that may be used on occasion and a skill that can be learned quickly. Another example may be in the retail industry. A retail sales clerk may be highly experienced in Point of Sale (POS) programs; however, she/he may reference using Excel Spreadsheets as a weakness. The reason being, the job might not require using Excel initially upon hiring; however, it the applicant is ever up for promotion to store manager or sales manager, then Excel will come into play due to having to prepare monthly, quarterly, yearly sales reports for example.

In summary, use the strengths/weaknesses question to your advantage and turn it into a positive by showcasing your poise, control, quick-thinking, desire to learn and grow to your advantage.

Happy Career Hunting.

The Resume Studio

724-651-6272


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Jodi Hill
Influencer

I am a writer and also a contributor for Influencing Entrepreneur Magazine. I am, and have been, a small business owner since 2008 striving to help those job seekers who need to amp up their pre-employment documents such as Cover Letters and Resumes, provide interview tips and tricks, interview [...]

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