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Job Interview: What is your biggest weakness?

A job interview can be stressful no matter what questions are being asked, but there’s one traditional job interview question that strikes fear into the heart of every job candidate: “What is your biggest weakness?”

Why is this question so terrifying? Job seekers are afraid that giving the wrong answer could ruin their chances of being offered the job. If they talk about a weakness that the interviewer sees as a liability, they’re out. If they say the same old thing about “being a perfectionist” or “working too hard,” the interviewer won’t take them seriously. If they make a joke out of it, it will seem like they’re avoiding the issue.

With all those fears that arise in every interview, it seems impossible to get this question right. What can job seekers say about their biggest weakness that will make them look like a better candidate?

The job search experts have conflicting opinions about this topic. Here are a few of the common suggestions for how to answer a question about your biggest weakness.

  • Mention a trait that is usually regarded as negative but put a positive slant on it. As one example, say that you sometimes have trouble delegating work if you think that it will be done more completely by yourself, because you have high standards for excellence.
  • Talk about an issue that you used to struggle with and describe how you’ve addressed the problem. For example, say that you used to have trouble locating important files because you weren’t very organized, but go on to explain how you revamped your systems to improve the results.
  • Tell a story about a great piece of advice you’ve received that helped you overcome your weakness.
  • Say almost anything—what matters isn’t the content of your response, just how you say it. This question is designed to put a job candidate on the spot, so a winning response is one that’s delivered in a calm, lighthearted tone. Another hint: don’t talk too long! Keep your response under 20 seconds.

Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.

Knute Rockne

Remember, in the end, this is just one question that probably won’t make or break your interview. With a little preparation, you can present your response calmly and with humor, leading your interviewer to the next question—and ultimately, if all goes well, to a job offer.

How to Catch Attention During Interview?

Job interviews are conducted by hiring managers in order to choose the best candidate for the job opening. The hiring manager’s job is to ask specific questions to determine the right fit for the company. You can improve your interview skills by understanding the process. The more interviews you go on, the better you will become at interviewing. The interview is your chance to impress and show the manager that you want the job. One way to accomplish this is to research the company before your interview. This shows that you have made the effort to learn about the company.

Dressing in professional attire will portray a professional image to the hiring manager. Women should wear a dress or skirt with a dress jacket, and men should wear dress slacks, dress shirt and a jacket. Pay special attention to your grooming because interviewers do notice the small details. Don’t arrive for your interview more than ten minutes early and don’t be late. Drive to the location before your interview date arrives to be sure you know where it’s located. If you are late, you likely will not be considered.

There are common interview questions that are consistently asked during a job interview. You can find a list of interview questions online. Study them and practice with a friend or family member. Being prepared with interview answers will help to ease your fears about the unknown. Even though you are nervous, you must appear calm and confident. If the interviewer asks you a few slightly different questions than you studied for, you will still come across confident and prepared.

Job-interviewing is just a skill. Like any skill, some people have more of a predisposition for it than others.

Dale Dauten

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will ask you if you have any questions. You should prepare ahead and memorize some questions about the company. It is considered unacceptable to ask about salary and benefits at this stage of the application process. If you are offered a job with the company, you will be told about the salary and benefits at that time. A common mistake is to say that you have no questions. Hiring managers want to know that you are eager about their company and asking questions will show your enthusiasm. Ask questions about the company that shows the hiring manager that you are interested in the position.

When the interview is over, smile and shake hands with your interviewer. The hiring manager will let you know when to expect a hiring decision to be made. You can set yourself apart by sending a thank-you note to the interviewer. A lot of people don’t do this and the interviewer will be impressed. Finding a job is a number’s game. The more interviews you go on, the more relaxed you will appear, and this will increase your hiring chances. After a few interviews, you will be surprised at how easy the process really is. Everyone gets nervous going to a job interview but appearing confident is the best way to receive the call that brings a job offer.

What You Shouldn’t Do When Writing Your Resume

Ideally, a job seeker’s resume should be a comprehensive, accurate account of that person’s skills, education, and work experience. However, it appears people are increasingly being tempted to fudge key resume details or concoct outright fabrications to embellish their personal stories. Some experts put the instance of inaccuracies on executive’s resumes at upwards of 20%, while the FBI is on record stating that approximately 500,000 Americans claim college degrees they have not earned. A recent high-profile technology company CEO was abruptly terminated for the transgression of lying on his resume. Here are some examples of resume falsehoods that are under increasing scrutiny from employers:

Education

Job seekers often lie about the level of education they have attained, perhaps stretching a Bachelor’s degree into a Master’s, or even claiming a college degree where none exists. While it is possible a prospective employer will not verify the accuracy of educational achievements, it is extremely risky to make that assumption. Another common example of educational truth stretching is dressing up one’s grade point average, or claiming honors (Dean’s List, etc.) that the individual didn’t achieve.

Job Responsibilities

There is often a fine line between putting oneself in the most favorable light and fudging past achievements. Certainly, the job seeker should be willing to market themselves aggressively via their resume, but falsifying skills and experience levels can come back to haunt an individual if they wind up getting hired and can’t deliver against the job requirements. The unethical job seeker may win in the short term by getting hired, but ultimately their long-term employment marketability will be diminished if they’re terminated quickly for poor performance.

Salary

Lying about compensation at previous jobs is also common among job seekers. People are tempted to embellish previous salaries in the hope that the inflated numbers will provide them with leverage when negotiating pay levels with their prospective employers. However, an increasing number of employers are now requiring that job seekers back up their salary history claims by providing W-2 copies.

Duties and Achievements

Don’t write about your duties, mention achievements. Achievements are individual accomplishments that stand out and tell your future employer about your skills. Duties, on the other hand, merely rehash day-to-day minutiae; all the low-level activities that every person holding a similar job title deals with every day. To give an example: If you are a sales professional with a $5,000 per month quota, reaching that quota is your duty. Reaching $10,000 a month is an achievement and represents the kind of information that makes a difference.

Professional Licenses

Some unscrupulous job seekers try and claim professional licenses they have not attained, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), nursing board certification, and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). There are also a myriad of certifications for special skills within disciplines that are erroneously claimed by unethical job seekers. The bad news for these dishonest applicants is it’s relatively easy for employers to check with the accrediting agencies to ensure the veracity of their claims.

Your value lies not in status or title, but in the roots of your character and depth of your compassion.”

Mollie MartI

Avoiding the temptation to take liberties with a professional resume is clearly in the best long-term interests of the job seeker. Today’s employers are doing much more due diligence on applicants by verifying resume information data. Taking the high road and maintaining your personal integrity is more important than attempting to exploit a short-term employment opportunity.

A well-written resume is important for any job seeker. Too many people think that for example senior citizens are not able to contribute to the economy just as much as anyone else. The truth of the matter is that there are now more seniors on the job hunt than there ever has been. Considering this, those who do fall in this age group are going to want to learn how to write a resume for the modern economy jobs they seek.

I Hate My Boss!

I should have known my job wasn’t the right fit when, during the interview with my soon-to-be boss, it became obvious he hadn’t even glanced at my resume. Although I have years of experience in both writing and finance, he asked me questions that made his ignorance of these facts clear. It also didn’t help that he had no idea what to ask me and kept asking pointed questions about my future plans for a family. At one point, he stated that the two previous women he’d hired had left as soon as they became pregnant. I had no idea how to respond.

He called me immediately after the interview and offered me the position. When I requested an offer letter, he brushed it aside and asked me to come in the next morning! I had to explain that I needed to give my current employer notice and renegotiate a start date. He also couldn’t tell me the precise starting salary. Instead, he provided me with the name and number of a man who worked in accounting.

When I arrived for orientation, I was dumbfounded by the tasks I was being shown how to perform. For several hours, I was shown how to code in photos onto the company website. The person assigned to instruct me seemed dumbfounded that I wasn’t familiar with this process whatsoever. After conferring with my boss, the man who had interviewed me, it was discovered that he had hired the wrong person entirely.

Before I started a company, I was an employee with a bad attitude. I was always felt like, bosses are stupid, and people weren’t well treated.

Mitch Kapor

Amazingly, I was transferred to another job within the same company that he believed was more suited to my considerable experience. My boss has never lived down his huge mistake and has taken every opportunity available to remind me that he hired me accidentally. He schedules me to work every weekend and major holiday. He also hands me the worst, most tedious projects available, none of which require much writing or financial acumen.

Hopefully, I will not be saddled with my boss for much longer. While he didn’t bother to read my resume and confirm my identity, I have much more faith in other companies. My perfectly polished resume is making the rounds and I am praying for another offer to come my way.

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