Talking About Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview

You know the topic will come up in almost every job interview.  Weaknesses can be one of the most stressful things for a candidate to address.  Are you too hard on yourself? Or do have trouble identifying your weaknesses? The weakness question is a presumably innocent one, but has the possibility to expose shortcomings if not answered carefully.  There is no right answer, but hiring managers are looking for some specifics in your response.  They are basically looking to find out how a candidate faces obstacles with this question.  With some planning, job candidates can neutralize this query and even use it to their advantage.  With that in mind, set aside some time to go through these planning steps:

Why Weakness Questions Matter

Hiring managers ask about weaknesses to learn more about your self-awareness, confidence, and integrity. Your preparation will show, even if you are a bit nervous. Pay attention to how the question is asked and the response you receive. This information helps you to learn about a prospective employer.

  • Did the interviewer make notes after you responded?
  • Listen for an affirmative comment or non-verbal sign approving your response.
  • These seemingly small actions offer you insights about personnel interactions and performance expectations.

Select Weakness Scenarios to Discuss

Choose a couple of scenarios to use when you are asked about weaknesses. Use these tips as a guide:

  • Weakness or limitations come in a couple of varieties:
    • Personality traits or style, like being shy, or too loud.
    • Habits and abilities, such as procrastinating or having writing challenges.
  • Select those identified by past supervisors and coworkers.
    • These are relevant as they are associated with work.
    • Go with any you have heard about more often.
  • Make notes including steps you have taken to improve.
    • Be concrete.
    • Acknowledge help you received from others.
  • Pay attention to the outcomes of your improvement actions.
    • Recall what worked.
    • Describe what you’ll do differently in the future.
    • Discussing these points reveals your self-awareness and critical thinking skills.
  • Include strengths in your reply as these aid in overcoming limitations.

Practice Your Weaknesses Reply

Chances are you are friends with a trusted professional who wants you to land the right job. Ask this person to do a mock interview with you, focusing on the challenging question about weakness.

  • Be sure not to know the question beforehand.
  • Request tips from your trusted friend.

For more job interview tips, check out Interview Etiquette: During Your Job Interview


common interview questions

Common Interview Questions

It is always important to prepare for your interview. If you’ve made it this far into the process, you are a serious candidate for the position, and this is one of the last chances you’ll have to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. Focusing on questions that you might be asked during the interview process can help you be on the top of your game as questions come your way.  Preparing for a response in advance can lead to a thorough and thoughtful response that will leave your interviewers impressed.  Here are some of the most common interview questions.

Common Interview Questions #1: Can you tell me a little about yourself?

This question is commonly used as an icebreaker. Make sure not to give your entire history, but instead, focus on two to three specific achievements that demonstrate something about your character and work ethic. This answer should be thorough but concise, so it is essential to practice giving a brief pitch about yourself.

Common Interview Questions #2: How did you hear about the position?

This question might seem very basic on the surface, but it is really a chance to show your passion for the position.  Don’t say you don’t remember, you’ll seem scatterbrained.  Instead, if you were referred by a friend or colleague, use their name. If you referred by a specific job board, make sure that you recall the correct one.  This shows your ability to be organized and and leverage your personality into gains for the company. Additionally, you can also discuss how hearing about the position really got you excited.

Common Interview Questions #3: What do you know about the company?

Just about any prospective employee should know the basics of the company. This is your chance to shine and show that you’ve done the research. Demonstrate your understanding of the company’s mission by tailoring your experience to that mission.  This will show the employer that if they hire you, they will get somebody invested in the success of the business.

Common Interview Questions #3: Why should we hire you?

This question stumps most job candidates, but this is a golden opportunity. Your answer should cover three fundamental issues. You should demonstrate that you can effectively perform the functions of the position, that you can work well with a team, and that your results are going to be innovative and effective.

Preparing for your interview doesn’t have to be a scary process. Most prepared candidates often find that they are more excited about the prospect of working with a company when they have properly prepared.


For more interview tips, check out:  Interview Etiquette: During Your Job Interview



Four Words to Help You Ace That Job Interview

There are many things to prepare for when heading to a job interview; the right questions to ask, how to present your accomplishments professionally, talk enough but not too much.

Recent research shows that job candidates underestimate the importance of sharing the value of what motivates them.  Being able to honestly state the four words,  “I love my work,” shows the recruiter that you won’t be showing up just for a paycheck.

Why is This Statement Valuable in an Interview?

o Job satisfaction, productivity, and retention are linked to motivation.
o External or extrinsic motivation is prompted by outside forces. It can be another’s praise, promise of a promotion, or vacation benefits.
o Internal or intrinsic motivation comes from within. Your inner drive is related to your values, beliefs, or creative abilities on a special project.
o Loving something for what it is, beyond any form of reward, means that your internal motivation is at work.
o A person who states a love for their work, is functioning from inner personal drive and desire.

What Do Recruiters Really Want to Learn about Candidates?

Recruiters want to hear, see, and feel a candidate’s enthusiasm and love for their work. This is expressed through words, actions, facial expression, and tone of voice. Think of people you know who become animated when talking about something they love. Witnessing that excitement is uplifting and infectious. This is what recruiters want candidates to express in a professional setting.

4 Steps to Take to Prepare for Showing Your Inner Drive

  1. Identify two or three work factors that you love and why you care about each.
  2. Find words that express your genuine feelings.
  3. Ask friends to conduct a mock interview with you. Listen to their feedback.
  4. Notice what made you feel awkward and what felt authentic.
    Now you’re ready…go for it!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Former CEO & Co-Founder of Apple Inc.

Now that you know more about what words will separate you from your competition, you’ll be armed with an additional weapon for that interview. To start your journey, contact one of the leading financial headhunters in the industry at Beacon Resources today.

skype job interview

7 Tips to Nail a Skype Job Interview

In a world that has grown increasingly reliant on technology, Skype job interviews are becoming more common. Here are the top Skype job interview tips to make sure you’re ready to succeed.

  1. Look at your camera instead of your screen

Your first instinct is probably to look at the interviewer on your screen. However, you should look at the camera. This will make you look more engaged with the person on the other end.

  1. Prepare your surroundings

Choose a quiet place to be interviewed in with a professional backdrop. You don’t want the background to be distracting. De-clutter your space and find a spot with the best lighting.

  1. Use Notes

One of the best parts of the Skype interview process is that you can help yourself with handy notes. Have a copy of your resume ready and some post-it notes with things you want to bring up.

  1. Update Your Profile

The first impression during a Skype interview is your profile. Make sure you have a professional username, bio, and picture. You could even create a separate Skype profile for business purposes.

  1. Close Other Programs

Make sure other windows are closed before your interview. Not only will this help your computer run at full capacity, but it will also avoid any noisy notifications or ads going off in the background.

  1. Dress Well Even For a Skype Job Interview

If you’re wondering what to wear for a Skype interview, treat it like any other interview. Wear professional clothing from head to toe, just to be safe.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Body Language

Make sure you relax your shoulders and keep a good posture. You don’t want to look too stiff or slouchy.
For more help, check out our other job interview tips. If you’re a new manager, read our post on interview tips for new managers. Contact a Beacon Resources recruiter for personalized help in finding a job and nailing interviews.