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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.

Unemployment Can Be Unattractive. And Unemployment of men is repellent.

Even though it may only be subconscious, many women find men who do not have a job repellent. When a man is interested in maintaining a solid and mutually caring relationship, it is important for him to not only be kind, considerate and romantic, but also stable. One of the best ways to present a stable image is to have a steady job or career path.

In the past, dating all the way back to primitive humans, it was mainly a man’s duty to provide for his family. In modern times, both men and women are equally active in the work force. However, a man without a job or solid career path does not come across as stable. Women may think that a man without a job is not driven or passionate enough. Women may associate these traits not only with the man’s life and ability to provide, but also with the relationship itself.

In situations when a woman does feel comfortable being with a man who has no job, the woman’s family may still be uncomfortable. She may feel pressure from her relatives or friends, and this can strain a relationship. Even though the man’s partner or significant other may have a steady job, a man who cannot land or hold onto a job does not present a secure, comfortable image.

It can be difficult to secure a great job, even if you have many skills in your chosen field. It is important to seek a job that you can excel at. Think about what your personal skills are, and also what you may have studied or trained for. You may need to be somewhat flexible about exactly what you want in a job. Sometimes simply getting your foot in the door and gaining experience can lead to more lucrative or desirable opportunities in the future.

When large numbers of men are unable to find work, unemployment results.

Calvin Coolidge

A professional resume is also a true benefit when you are looking for a job. Even if you do not have a great deal of experience to add to the resume, the simple act of preparing a professional document that outlines your qualities can make you shine in the eyes of a future employer. Keep your resume concise and to the point, but make sure to highlight the traits and skills that will make you an asset to the company you are applying for. A clean, professional looking resume shows that you can be organized and are well prepared.

Once a man has a secure job and has set his foot on a career path where he can reach his potential, potential partners are sure to be more attracted. Remember that if you are passionate about life and what you do for a living, other people will find you passionate and enjoyable to be around.

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.

Is Nursery at Work a Good Thing?

Just like any supposedly cure-all for a social problem, on-site nursery for employees does not necessarily always work. It does, however, solve some problems for both employers and employees. Depending on the individual employers and employees involved, an onsite child care facility may be an answer that solves many problems associated with an out of balance work-family balance.

On-site day care reduces anxiety many parents have about putting their children in child care centers where they are not nearby. Being able to visit during lunch hours or breaks can be a significant relief to a parent. Nursing mothers are also able to return to work sooner and still be close to their infants. On-site nurseries are also often licensed by a governmental authority, which further eases parents’ worries that their children are not receiving age-appropriate care and safe supervision.

Employers also benefit from on-site nurseries in many cases. While it is not feasible or practical in all cases, those employers who do offer child care at work have typically seen a significant reduction in the amount of money they spend on labor each year. In the book Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers by Rachel Connelly, Deborah S. DeGraff, and Rachel A. Willis, two companies included in an approximately 1,000-strong employee survey that offered on-site nursery saved $150,000 and $250,000 per year in wages.

Moreover, employers with on-site nursery report reduced absenteeism and turnover. They are also able to recruit and retain workers they may not have otherwise been able to entice to work for them.

The most important part of education is proper training in the nursery.

Plato

Furthermore, employees were very willing to help subsidize childcare costs out of their paychecks, even those without children. They understood that on-site nursery would improve morale and productivity among workers with children. That would make the work environment generally more enjoyable for everyone. Furthermore, they were willing to help pay for on-site child care because they liked that the employer was willing to help its employees. Workers were willing to pay between $125 and $225 per year, on average, to help pay for work site child care.

On the other hand, it is true that in American society, about 27 percent of women work in blue collar jobs, and many of their employers would not consider on-site child care. Also, child care responsibilities in American society typically fall to women. Employers are also not offering health care services as often as they used to. Asking them to provide child care on-site is not likely to happen.

Perhaps a better alternative would be to provide longer maternity and paternity leave for parents. Flexible work schedules would also be a good option for many employers compared to providing on-site nursery. Nursery workers cannot take children to the doctor or care for them when they are ill, and school-aged children still require care between 3 and 6 p.m.

So, depending on a particular employer’s situation and the attitudes and financial situations of the people it hires, on-site child care may offer a good solution to labor problems like absenteeism and tardiness. Still, other employers may find similar benefits in more flexible work schedules and paid leave for both male and female new parents.

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