Job interview

....the right answers

1 to 20 of 79 messages
14/08/2005 at 20:08
I hate the questions 'what are your strengths' and 'what are you weaknesses'. I never really know what to say. How do you guys answer?

Also if you've got any other good interview questions that I can practice with before tomorrow night, let me know.

14/08/2005 at 20:11
tell 'em what your stregths are and pick a weakness that will not be job related and how you are working on it:O)

"What makes you the right person for the job?" ( commonish one).

good luck xx
14/08/2005 at 20:21
You can say that you are friendly,outgoing and a good comminicator, get on with all sorts of people and are happy to listen to others points of view and are a good recommender of albums:-)

Weaknesses not sure:-)
M...eldy    pirate
14/08/2005 at 20:24
you can turn the weakness into a positive

14/08/2005 at 20:29
Ooh, that sounds very good BB! Actually, tis very much me :-)

I never know what to say for weakness (I don't mean that in a big headed way). I'm crap at filing - is that a weakness :-S
14/08/2005 at 20:31
what job is it Sezz?
14/08/2005 at 20:31
I know sezz, that is why I said it.

You could say I am working on my filing skills, using my cd collection as practice.
14/08/2005 at 20:32
For weaknesses, say something like "I sometimes get frustrated if I feel others aren't working to the right standard/speed"
or "sometimes i am too self-critical"
14/08/2005 at 20:32
Sezz good luck with the interview.

At the end of the interview and they ask you if there is anything you would like to ask, ask about pension plans or the companies provision of them.
14/08/2005 at 20:35
i always start interview by asking why the candidate applied for the job. please note "the agency told me to" is the wrong answer.

what are your strengths - look for things that you believe not only are you genuinely good at but also really added value in the job you've been doing. think why would your current employer be sorry to see you go.

what are your weaknesses - its a tough question and from an interviewers point of view its one you can only get wrong. go for something reasonably bland and minor or totally irrelevant to the job. people often suggest using the weaknesses that are really strengths (eg "i'm a perfectionist and that can really annoy people that aren't as good as me" etc) but frankly it tends to make you come across as a bit arrogant.
14/08/2005 at 20:41
re weaknesses-one I tried was "sometimes I forget, due to enthusiasm, that certain tasks can wait a while":O)
14/08/2005 at 22:43
Best of luck Sezz. has some good suggestions. Make sure you have some good questions to ask them too - re job and also about company. Show you have done your research about the company too.
14/08/2005 at 22:47
"Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time"

"Tell me one really positive thing you've done recently and one negative one" - make sure you explain what you learned from both and how it relates to necessary skills for the job
14/08/2005 at 23:17
There's a book - pretty sure Waterstone's stock it, called "Great answers to tough interview questions".

I hate the weaknesses one - I tend to go for the perfectionist angle M mentioned, but rather than slag off other peeps say that it means I have to be aware of time constraints.

I tend to play it as something that I've become aware of and now know how to address, rather than leave it as a present weakness.

I guess someone could say "and what weaknesses do you still have?" but I've never had that happen.

I guess you could go for the weakness is that I'm not familiar with your systems at the moment, however I am a quick learner and blah bla blah (how you quickly adapted to the requirements in your previous job)
14/08/2005 at 23:20
good luck BTW!!

I think you should have a good think about the strengths - you're trying to show what a good match they are for their job - so hopefully you know enough about the job to be able to say how your skills match what they need.
15/08/2005 at 09:04
Thanks everyone for some good advice.

I shall spend today swotting up seeing as I have no other work to do!

Bear, I like your perfectionist answer. I feel like that but it always comes out sounding the way M put it!

I rarely get nervous for interviews but feel a bit sick today, must be coz I really want this one and don't want to feck up.
15/08/2005 at 09:15
When I was first job hunting and had no idea what to expect at interviews I got asked the weaknesses question and I said "my backhand smash!" everyone laughed and I did get offered the job.
15/08/2005 at 09:18
I know, Sezz, why don't you say "I can't sing" and treat them to a demonstration :-))

Good luck x
<fingers crossed>
15/08/2005 at 09:32
from my experience of interviewing loads of peeps over the years - this question stumps most and you can see the face go blank.............although many will say they have strengths; few will admit to weaknesses as they either haven't thought about the question, or they wish not to admit to any in case it jeopardises their job prospects..........

BUT - be true to yourself - we all have strengths & weaknesses........and knowing what these are means you have a good level of self analysis to recognise them, and imrprtantly know what to do work on the strengths and bury the weaknesses...........and all these should relate to the job you are after, and not too general (backhand smash - LOL!)

so - before you go for interview, look at what the job entails and see which of your stengths could be critical for the job; which of your weaknesses can be admitted and should be minor in relation to the job.........

too many people go for jobs without a single clue as to why they are going and not researched the job or company - and it's these people who fail at interview........
15/08/2005 at 09:41
The best interview question I've heard was recently, during a telephone interview for teaching English overseas, and the interviewer asked 'why do you think we should invite you to our assessment centre?'. Trouble was, I was at work (open plan) so had to answer carefully due to one of those sudden office-wide silences. So, I scheduled the next telephone interview for a time when I'd be at home and anticipated similar questions - then got totally thrown by a bunch of questions about my likes/dislikes, hobbies, etc. P'raps the second was more of a 'getting to know you' chat to see if I'd be a 'fit' for that particular language school.

So, while it's worth trying to predict the likely questions, be prepared for the interviewer to ask something totally random and unexpected.

Also, after the interview, could you post a full transcript here ;-)

Good luck.
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