How to answer what is your greatest weakness?

When an interviewer asks “What is your greatest weakness”, they want to find out:

  • Whether you have a healthy level of self-awareness
  • Whether you can be open and honest, particularly about shortcomings
  • Whether you pursue self-improvement and growth opportunities to combat these issues, as opposed to letting these weaknesses hold you back

Ultimately, you’ll want to use this question to demonstrate how you’ve used a weakness as motivation to learn a new skill or grow professionally. Everyone has weaknesses — your interviewer doesn’t expect you to be perfect.

However, it’s critical you avoid mentioning weaknesses that will prevent you from performing well in the role. For instance, if you’re applying for a accountant role, you don’t want to say, “I’m not very good at math and struggle with numbers.”

Alternatively, if you’re applying for a web content writer position with little necessity for math skills, you might admit, “I struggle with numbers. While math is not directly tied to my role as a writer, I believe it’s important I have a rudimentary understanding of Google Analytics, to ensure my work is performing well. To tackle this weakness, I’ve been taking online courses in data analytics.”

At all times express confidence in both your strengths as well as your ability to overcome your weaknesses.

Tough Sales Job Interview Questions Asked in Redmond

“Why do you want to work in sales?”

The biggest mistake you can make when answering this question is to simply say, “Because I like it,” or worse, “Because the money is good.” This doesn’t really tell the interviewer anything they couldn’t have obviously guessed—and it certainly doesn’t help to set you apart from other candidates.

Successfully answer this tough question by focusing on your sales history. Think back to when your passion first began. Was it because of a summer job? Or maybe it started as early as childhood. Briefly illustrate this passion with real-life examples and include a success story, if possible. Then tie it in to why you still want to work in sales. Employers will take note of this longstanding drive and remember your answer because of your personal story.

Bellevue Recruiter tells you how to answer a few tricky questions

What is your greatest accomplishment?”

Although the interviewer is asking you about your greatest accomplishment, you still have to choose one that is more professionally relevant. This is a good time to illustrate how you can contribute to the company if you are successfully recruited, so it will be to your advantage if you mention an achievement that applies to the position.

Let’s say you are applying for a position that requires a significant amount of problem solving and troubleshooting. You might want to talk about a time when you resolved a persistent problem that had plagued your company for years. You can explain how you initiated some research and made a useful suggestion that was eventually implemented to all departments. If possible, quantify your results in terms of savings made and increased productivity for instance.

Why did you apply for this position?”

Even if it’s true to a large extent, don’t give them the vibe that you applied for this job because you were retrenched from your previous company. Or for that matter, don’t give the impression that you are here because you need to make a living. Any company wants someone who is committed to the organization and eventually developed a sense of belonging with it. It doesn’t help claiming that you’re here for the monthly paycheck.

In fact, the best way to answer this question is to spend some time examining what you like or would like about your work and the company. It is likely you will find something, such as the culture, work environment, meaning of your work, etc. If you didn’t find anything, then you should seriously consider if this is the right job for you.

Once you know why you want this job, you can then answer them in a manner that’ll relate how well you fit with the position. For example, if you like the customer service work involved because you enjoy communicating with people, bring up that sociable personality of yours. Convince them that you’ll fit in very well here, and you’ll in turn convince the interviewer that you’ll be an asset to the company.

Why should I hire you?”

This is the part where you link your skills, experience, education and your personality to the job itself. This is why you need to be utterly familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. Remember though, it’s best to back them up with actual examples of say, how you are a good team player.

It is possible that you may not have as much skills, experience or qualifications as the other candidates. What then, will set you apart from the rest? Energy and passion might. People are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who show immense amount of energy when they talk, and who love what it is that they do. As you explain your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as that motivated, confident and energetic person, ever-ready to commit to the cause of the company.

Questions Interviewers ask to test your personality.

What was the last new task or skill you learned, and how did you go about it?

Employers ask this question to evaluate how a candidate views their own professional development.

Answer with details on how you learn new skills. Emphasize that you’re curious and continually learning new things about your profession.

Tell me about a time that you did more than what was required on the job

Your interviewer wants to make sure that you’re committed to excelling.

Give an example of a time where you went above and beyond the call of duty. This will also help show that you care about the quality of your work.

If your best friend was sitting here, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?

The purpose of this question is to bring out a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate.

Learning about what makes an applicant a good friend allows employers to get a better feel for whether or not they would fit in with the company culture.

If you could change one thing about the way you approach challenges, what would it be?

This question puts candidates on the spot, and allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit there are some aspects of their professional life they would like to improve.

Since humility is an important quality to many employers, a response to this question is something they listen closely to.

Wrong Answers to “Why Do You Want This Job?”

1. A flippant or meaningless answer.

“Because I really need money” [wink wink].

“Because, um, yeah, this seems like a great place to work.”

Not the response of a competent, committed candidate, right? A better answer would be to explain how the position will fit your skills and allow you to advance your career — a win-win for you and the employer.

2. A generic answer.

It’s not a good idea to memorize one answer and use it every place you apply. The hiring professional will recognize that it’s just pre-programmed interview-speak, and will have learned nothing about your suitability for the job. Since you are researching the company beforehand anyway (we certainly hope), take a couple of minutes to figure out why this specific position and/or employer is perfect for you.

3. A 10-minute dissertation.

OK, maybe not really 10 minutes, but do resist the tendency to babble on that happens to many of us when we’re nervous. Don’t list every little reason you’d like to work there, just the most important one or two. You especially don’t need to mention factors that only benefit you, not the company, such as its location close to your home.

As with any other interview question, the secret to a successful answer is to be prepared, and even more importantly, be yourself. That way, both you and the interviewer will know when you have truly found the right job.

Job Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Read More on Forbes

Getting ready for an interview

Get Ready to Interview

An important step in landing a job is acing your interview. You may have several rounds of interviews, usually starting with a phone interview, then followed by in-person interviews. You should never risk an interview by “just winging it.” Take your interview preparation seriously, and be sure to:

  • Carefully read the job description, focusing on the responsibilities and requirements. Be prepared to explain, with tangible examples, how you fit the requirements and how you can fulfill the responsibilities.
  • Research the company, including their mission statement and any recent or notable achievements, or changes in strategy or positioning.
  • Practice answering interview questions specific to your desired position and industry.

Prepare for a Phone Interview

For a phone interview, set aside at least 45 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time. Have your resume and cover letter printed or open on your computer for reference. Be sure to take the call somewhere with excellent cell service. If you have one, a landline is preferable for optimal audio quality.

Prepare for an In-Person Interview

For an in-person interview, arrive 10 minutes early with a printed cover letter and resume. Be sure to dress to impress, and express polite and professional enthusiasm about the position and the company.

Take the Time to Say Thanks

Be sure to take the time to follow-up after the interview with a thank you note or email message reiterating your interest in the job and the company.

Powerful words to use in Interviews

Word choice during an interview can make the difference between getting the job and being just another ho-hum candidate. These powerful ideas will help you standout as a candidate.

Responsibility: During an interview, it’s always good to demonstrate that you’re responsible—you want to show interviewers that if you’re set to a task, you’ll not only accomplish it, you’ll do it on time and to the standards laid out. Example words,

  • Accomplish
  • Coordinate
  • Detail-oriented
  • Effective
  • Efficient

Words Reflecting Company Values:  Want to show a company you’re a good fit? Mirror the words the company uses to describe itself. Very likely, these same catchphrases are used frequently in internal communications and company-wide meetings. Even if interviewers don’t consciously realize that you’re reflecting their own words back, it’ll make a subtle, positive impression. Examine the language on the company’s “About Me” page on their website, on social media pages, and within the job advertisement. You can also choose synonyms to avoid sounding too much like you’ve memorized the company’s own copy. This will help interviewers know that you understand what they’re looking for.

Passion: One of the things interviewers try to uncover is if you’re just going to show up and do the job, or if you genuinely care about your work. Will you go above and beyond your job description? Example Words

  • Energized
  • Enthusiastic
  • Interested
  • Love
  • Motivated
  • Priority
  • Win

Leadership: Are you interviewing for a leadership role? If so, it’s particularly important to use strong, active verbs. Show how you’ve led teams and projects, and take ownership of results and accomplishments. Example Words

  • Accelerate
  • Accomplish
  • Build
  • Coordinate
  • Deliver
  • Develop

Industry Buzzwords and Jargon: Each industry comes with its own buzzwords. When you’re outside of the field, this jargon can be off-putting—like a secret code keeping you from following the conversation. Once you’re in the know, and the jargon is familiar, using it during conversations is a bit like a secret handshake—it lets interviewers know you really get it. To use jargon, of course, you’ll have to understand it, so if you’re new to it, read up, get familiar. Follow people in the industry on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, and seek out relevant blogs and videos.

Etiquette Tips for insurance job seekers in Lynnwood

Be courteous to everyone, everywhere all the time. Of course it should go without saying that you need to be polite to everyone when you are being interviewed. But you never know what cameras record in the reception area, or if your muttering in the restroom is unknowingly addressed to the hiring manager you are about to formally meet for the first time.

Hiring managers, human resources professionals and recruiters are all busy. Don’t be the person who keeps applying to the same job multiple times in the same week in order to keep popping up on the radar. When you are in an interview, keep your answers short, focused and to the point. Sometimes searches take longer than anyone anticipated. You can be sure that if you are the No. 1 candidate, you’ll be getting called along the way. Don’t allow yourself to be seen as a pest by overly frequent or demanding communications. Recognize that sometimes no news is simply that: no news.

Listen carefully to what people say. For example, it is typical for a hiring manager to describe the job or how the company goes about things at the beginning of an interview. It is the kiss of death when, later in the same conversation, you ask for information  you’ve already been given. Of course, you can ask for a clarification or an expansion of an earlier subject, but don’t do so in a way that suggests you never even heard the information that a person has just conveyed to you!

Turn off your phone. When you are in a business meeting, nothing conveys a sense of “you’re not worth paying attention to” or “you aren’t my highest priority at this moment” than fidgeting with or answering your cell phone. Make a point of leaving your phone home, in the car or at least entirely turned off. Your interviewer deserves and expects your undivided attention.

Extend your appreciation, and promptly follow up all interviews. A thank you note is expected generally by email the same day as the interview, and certainly not longer than the next day. If you promise other information, such as references for samples of your work product, be prompt in supplying them. It is simply rude not to follow up and recognize the courtesies that have been extended to you.

Best last question to ask in an Interview when looking for jobs in Redmond

We’ve all been there: It’s the end of the interview, and after nearly an hour of pouring your heart (and work experience) out to a potential employer, the hiring manager asks if you have any last questions before wrapping up.

It’s meant to be a formality, of course—a way to end the conversation without kicking you out right then and there. But it’s also an opportunity, intentional or not, to make one final impression and give your interviewer something to remember you by.

This final remark is actually a moment to “add value to the conversation” before you both head your separate ways. It’s especially noteworthy when you do manage to pull that off, since so many other candidates, having already asked many questions throughout the session, mindlessly shrug off this little last thing at the end.

But if you play your cards right, he says, it can turn a completely lost cause into a foot in the door.

“Actually yeah, I was wondering what your best moment so far at [Company Name] was?”

This simple ask, cleverly masked as innocent curiosity, can give you many important insights—on your interviewer’s values, the company, and how well you might fit in with a position there. Think about it: There’s no higher note to end on than with your interviewer’s fondest memory of the company, a feeling that can now be subconsciously associated with your prospects as a future employee.

And aside from being an emotional plus for you, it’ll also give you an idea of what your future co-workers might value, and the kind of culture that company cultivates for its team members. If your interviewer struggles to come up with a meaningful memory, that’s a helpful red flag for you to keep in mind if you end up with an offer.

So, the next time you’re hard-pressed for something to say in those awkward few moments before the door closes with you on the other side, give this question a shot. Odds are, it can only help.