Remember I said that finding a job can be likened to a highly competitive sport? And just like any game you’re playing, if you don’t know the rules or how to outwit your opponent, your chances of winning are dramatically reduced.
What if you knew the rules? What if you understood how your opponent plays the game? Or better still, what if you knew your opponents likes, dislikes and weaknesses? Would that place the advantage on your side? YOU BET!
Ok, so let’s get started.
One of the hardest stage of the game (and I refer to it as a game so that you start to ease your mental approach slightly towards what can be a very nerve wrecking experience) is when the tough questions get asked. You know the ones;
What are your weaknesses?
What do think will be a challenge for you whilst working here?
How do you not show frustration when dealing with a complaining customer? What stresses you when you’re under pressure?
We have other candidates who have more and experience and better qualified, why should we employ you?
Let me ask you … What is wrong with this picture?
What’s wrong with these questions????
Can you see that there is a presupposition (an assumption) in the questions? It assumes you have weaknesses, challenges, stress etc. Your brain hears this and looks to answer the question, literally.
I can hear you ask…so what should I do Al, lie? NO! We all have weaknesses, challenges and stresses (so do I).
Three ways to answer…ready?
- It’s all relative! A weakness to one person can be another’s strength. Pick a weakness that may be an advantage to your employer. For example, one of my weakness is that I’m a perfectionist, I cross the ‘Ts’ and dot every single ‘I’s’. So, yes, I will look over an article many times before publishing it. Some people find this annoying.
- If you get caught out, then 90% of the answer should explain what you are doing to overcome your weakness. For example, time management may not be your strong point, no problem, now you keep a diary and allocate time next to each activity, or youâ€™re taking an online course to help you improve etc.
- Last resort, use the role you are applying for as a platform to help you improve. For example, you may be shy and find it hard to socialise until you get to know people. No problem, being employed in a bigger company will force you out of your comfort zone and allow you to grow and overcome the weakness. You will be grateful for this opportunity and will work even harder.
Turn it around to your advantage. Employers love to know you are willing to grow, face challenges, learn, and that you may have a personality trait that will benefit the company.
Enough for today, want to become an interview master? Join our free Employ ME Master Class, It’s Free!
Employ ME Coach