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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.

5 Tips for a Successful Career

The politics and the requirements for having a successful career are changing in the wake of the Internet revolution. Certain things such as privacy and separation of the work and home life are not as important any more. Many more people are performing well in careers that have less to do with their college degree and more to do with their personal skill set.

Below are five tips for a successful career in the modern era.

1) Love what you do

In times of recession, employers want to know that you want to be there working that job. The worst hire is the person who is doing it for the money.

If you limit yourself to apply only to jobs that you truly enjoy, you will find that your selectivity will pay off with a much more positive response. Even if you do not get the first job that you apply for, this positive response will keep you going until you actually land one.

2) Specificity in your skill set is an asset

In past generations, people had to wear many hats. However, now your resume should detail your specific certifications and skill sets, especially when you are dealing with the IT industry.

Employers do not want to train employees any more. They want to know that you can step right into the position and do the job at hand immediately. In order to make yourself the most attractive to employers, be specific in your presentation of what you can do.

There are direct paths to a successful career. But there are plenty of indirect paths, too.

Clayton M. Christensen

3) Do not expect long term employment

You should begin looking for your next job from the second that you get your first one. No matter how good your performance is, the very task-oriented nature of the business market today means that an employer may let you go after a superb performance because they simply have no more need for your skill set.

4) Learn on the job

If you like a company and want to stay there, take it upon yourself to learn other aspects of the job and make yourself irreplaceable. You will need a great deal of self-discipline to do this.

The boss will not necessarily want to take the time to teach you other skills, but if he or she sees you taking this responsibility on your own, it will definitely be rewarded. This is really like looking for another job (tip 3) within the same company.

5) Learn the politics

The bottom line is that people want to work with people they like, especially in times of recession. Learn the internal politics as quickly as you can and find your place within it. Make it a point to make yourself likable.

Benefits and Disadvantages When Running a Family Business

Running a family business can be a rewarding experience. It allows several relatives or family members to pool their financial resources towards a central business goal. While family businesses can be good for entrepreneurs in certain fields, there are some disadvantages. The following guide explains some benefits and disadvantages when starting a family business.

It can be challenging to raise funds to start a business. A new business requires capital and human resources. Capital can come from existing funds or a credit line. Human resources can come from friends, families, or strangers.

Families share a bond of trust that can be damaged by a business relationship. Family bonds can be a great way to start a business, but business interests may damage relationships over time. Different people may hold different interests in a business. In addition, some family members may choose to compensate themselves in different ways. This can create a sense of anger, resentment, and hatred among family members. In addition, family relationships may lead to poor business decisions in the future. A relative may believe that a business venture is a good idea, while in reality it is a poor idea. The family member’s clout as a relative may lead to a poor business venture. This can result in bankruptcy, loss of capital, and damaged relationships.

According to the Small Business Administration, more than 70 percent of all family businesses do not survive though the second generation, and 8 percent do not make it to a third.

It’s important to approach a family business from an objective point of view. While it’s always good to maintain friendly relationships with family members, business decisions may require ideas to be rejected. It can be challenging to turn down a family member’s business idea, but it’s essential to maintain the integrity of a business.

An excellent way to maintain a family business is through a non-relative. It’s a good idea to hire an accountant or attorney to assist in business decisions. He or she can help the family decide what is a best for a business. An outsider can provide several advantages for a family business. An outsider can be brutally honest about what is good and bad for a business, while a family member may not be willing to provide that information. In addition, an outsider can provide a point of view that can be beneficial for future business decisions.

It’s important to hire a non-relative who has solid experience in one’s field. His or her resume should reflect a successful past in related business ventures.

A larger family business should provide shares that can be sold to family members and outsiders. While a small business does not need to go public, shares in a business can be a great way to ensure that everyone has an interest in the performance of a company. An outsider who receives shares in a family business will work to make sure that the business performs to the best of its ability. In addition, involvement of a non-relative will help ensure financial and business integrity into the future.

People Are More Afraid of Losing Their Jobs

When someone says, “I don’t want to be unemployed,” that person joins millions of other workers who are worried about the future. Losing a job can be a difficult experience even in a good economy, but when the economy struggles, so does the job market. Millions of long-term unemployed workers testify to the fact they can’t find a job after losing the one they had. Therefore, many people should make keeping their current job a priority.

Even a great resume is no guarantee of getting a job, because a long record of experience and education can be something of a disadvantage. With so many people out of work, industry veterans are at a disadvantage to younger workers who can start at a lower salary. With so many students it’s an added problem when it comes to finding a job.

There are some things workers can do now to make them less vulnerable to a layoff.

Become more valuable. Workers who offer the most value to their company are most likely to keep their job. Any employee should evaluate his or her position and find ways to become essential to their company’s mission. This could mean developing new skills. A wise employee will find out what skills their employer needs and then learn them. This works well, especially if the needed skills are in short supply in the current workforce.

Building skills may mean taking some college classes or doing some self-study, but the extra time spent in personal and professional development will pay off when layoff time comes. Those with fewer skills have less value and will be the first ones out the door.

When people under the age of 30 are applying for jobs, it is common to see resumes that touch on education but emphasize experience – both in life and in the workplace. The job market has changed so much over the years that it is now quite common for young adults to have already worked for a variety of different companies and to even have held multiple positions of the type that would have occupied a person’s entire career a few decades ago. In fact, aside from those who work in family businesses or dedicate themselves to certain fields, such as teaching, law enforcement and a variety of jobs typically falling into the blue-collar category, it is now perfectly normal for people to make multiple career changes throughout their working years.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with another hello.

Paulo Coelho

Employment experience and job duties are essential to any resume, and life experiences that show you are a well-rounded person with diverse interests and an interesting life can certainly help you stand out as a unique applicant in a large pool of resumes. At the same time, it is essential to keep in mind that older generations generally place a higher importance on education. This means that you must ensure you have included a strong, well-written education section on your resume that spells out your areas of study, academic achievements, and degrees, diplomas or certificates earned.

Improving skills is another way to boost survivability in the workplace. Anyone with a commitment to excellence will be the last to go. Anyone can do average work and produce average results, but those who produce exceptional results will keep their jobs while others are in the unemployment line.

More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts.

Travis Bradberry

There’s an old saying that says, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Knowing the right people in a company can make the difference between beans and steak at supper. Those who want to keep their jobs will make a concerted, planned effort to set goals for meeting and pleasing the right people at the office. When the decision makers start making the lay-off list, the workers who they don’t know will be at the top.

Finally, a worker who doesn’t want to be unemployed should make his boss look good. When a worker finds ways to help the boss by taking on new responsibilities, completing special projects and providing useful ideas; that worker will have a job for a long time.

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