COMMON JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
I remember speaking to a grad student who was getting ready to enter the job market. She began to tell me that she wasn’t quite sure about how she should go about preparing for an interview or even how to answer some basic interview questions. In an attempt to put her at ease I began to tell her that she has what it takes to get hired. I then told her, okay; let’s play a game. I will ask you some simple questions, then I want you to respond to me the best that you can.
My first question was, describe one of your weaknesses? A blank look came upon her face. It was at that moment that I realized that the process of answering interview questions is not as straight forward as it may seem. I will show you three ways in which you can approach the question; “describe a weakness that you have?”. By the end of this read, I am certain that you will have gained a solid understanding of the psychology behind a question like this. Let’ get started.
1. Never say “I have no weaknesses”
What I’m saying may seem obvious to you, however I think it’s important that we set the ground rules from the offset and distinguish the difference between confidence versus arrogance. A confident person has no problem highlighting their shortcomings, as supposed to an arrogant person who tries to guise their insecurities as being confident.
It is critical to understand that saying that you have a weakness makes you human and more approachable. We all have things that we need to improve upon on one level or another.
For example, one of the things that I do that helps me to eliminate some of my weaknesses is to simple acknowledge them. I have found that whenever I am honest about my shortcomings, it allows to then focus on finding ways to turn my weaknesses into strengths. This process only begins when you get honest with yourself.
2. Give an example of a weakness that you turned into a strength.
This second tip builds off of my first suggestion. A great way to handle a question like this at a job interview is to show the interviewer that you are constantly striving for improvement. Describe a weakness that you have that may be work related that you managed to turn into a strength. A simple example could be that you struggle with getting to work on time for maybe commuting issues or what have you.
You can then highlight the fact that for the past three months, you made a concerted effort to wake up an extra hour early in the morning to assure that you get to work on time. If you answer this question this way, it will highlight your level of self-awareness. The interviewer will be impressed with your honesty, but more importantly your willingness to improve a weakness you had to perform better at the workplace.
3. They aren’t out to get you
With all of this being said, one of the reasons amongst others that people feel a heightened level of stress when they think about answering questions like this is because they feel like the interviewer is out to get them. In some cases, they are. Most times they are just doing their jobs. But the important takeaway here is that, the person interviewing you really wants to see if you will be honest with them if they ask you a question like the one we have been discussing.
The reason why companies have so many different positions is primarily due to the fact that some people are better at doing certain things, while others aren’t. When they ask you this question, they really want to know how you can best fit in with what they are already doing as an organization. Understand that it’s perfectly fine to have weaknesses, just make sure that you work on them.
To learn how to improve your active listening skills, body language, tone and increase your chances for getting the job want. Download our FREE LEARNING GUIDE today and start preparing for your next big interview!
Success! Now check your email to get your free learning guide