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3 examples of how to explain your weaknesses in a job interview

One of the most difficult questions to answer in a job interview is – what are your weaknesses? The reason why this is so difficult to discuss for most is because it’s essentially being honest about possible flaws.

In a job interview you always want to be positive about your abilities, and explain to an employer what you have to offer. So talking about your weaknesses feels like you’re admitting to not being up to the task – but it doesn’t have to reflect that way if you know what to say.

Here are 3 answers you can give when asked what your weaknesses are in a job interview…

I am too critical of myself

Being overly critical and doubting your own abilities can hinder your efficiency in the workplace. This however can easily be turned into a positive, as you can explain that you’re a perfectionist and are always looking to ensure everything is done correctly.

Any weakness you give as an answer should always be explained properly, and closed out by confirming what you’re doing to improve. This example is a really good one to use in an interview because it can actually be perceived as a good trait in some instances. Accuracy is always important in any role, so the employer may favour a perfectionist over a sloppy employee, even if that means they take a little longer than others.

Are you a perfectionist and worried it may be holding you back? Here’s a great article to read and find out more to help you in your question to become the perfect employee – Why Being A Perfectionist Can Hold You Back

I try to go it solo sometimes

With this example you can talk about how you often get too engrossed into your work that you can sometimes fail to seek help when a problem arises. Maybe your pride gets in the way a little from time to time, and you’re aware that seeking help and guidance from others is far more important to ensure your targets are met.

To close this one out you could say that you are now a lot better at asking for help when things go wrong, and that you’re aware of the benefits of interacting and learning from other co-workers and managers.

A question that is often asked in an interview is – Are you a team player? Click here to find out how to answer this difficult question.

Afraid to take a risk

This example depends highly on the role and industry you are applying too. Taking risks can sometimes be deemed as reckless, whilst some careers depend on it. Try to figure out beforehand if this one is the right answer for you, as it could backfire.

A sales role will likely need you to take risks now and again to close out a deal. So this answer could fit nicely into the interview, as you could then go on to say that you are now taking more risks to get the job done. On the flip side, you could reverse this by saying you’ve taken too many risks in the past and are now a much more conservative and calculated person.

3 Ways Taking Risks Makes You Better

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The 3 things an employer looks for in a CV

Applying for a job is like entering a competition. Essentially you are taking part in a Battle Royale like Fortnite, and the last person standing is the victor. So how are you going to gain an advantage and survive until the end?

Your goal is to impress at every stage of the hiring process, and the first chance you’ll get is with your CV. To make sure you make a great first impression, here are the 3 things an employer looks for in a CV:

Skills, qualifications and experience

Starting with the most obvious, the employer wants to instantly see that you have what they’ve asked for. However, as obvious as this tip might sound you’d be surprised at how many job seekers fail to fully read and acknowledge the job advert.

The best way to ensure you write a CV that demonstrates the requirements of the job description is to tailor it. Although your current CV may already be industry and career specific, it doesn’t mean to say you should make amendments to match the new role and the company.

Find out more – The 10 Most Important Skills To Show On Your CV

Make note of the keywords which the employer has used and try to match them in your CV where possible. There can be lots of different ways of calling a skill or even job title, and you don’t have to be stubborn and lazy when it comes to re-writing your CV.

Don’t stick with the same generic CV for years and years, only ever updating it with your previous job and duties. Keep yours looking modern and fresh, and always amend your CV for each different company you apply too. With a brand new CV detailing the exact skills, qualifications and experience, you are far more likely to succeed.

Commercial awareness

An employer wants to read your CV and be able to instantly recognise that you know what you’re talking about. Your awareness and knowledge for the industry should be second to none, and should ooze off of the page.

Injecting commercial awareness into your CV can be done in many ways. Using the right technical jargon and industry recognised terms is a start. But you can also take another approach via your cover letter. This additional document sits very nicely as an introduction to your CV, and will allow you to further impress the employer.

Find out more – How to demonstrate commercial awareness to an employer

Use a cover letter to explain what attracted you to the position, what you have to offer, and your aspirations for the future (aligned with the employer). Within your letter you can also briefly touch upon current industry affairs.

Your previous performances and achievements

An employer will receive lots of applications which all demonstrate the right skills, qualifications and experience. So to stand out amongst other qualified candidates you need to show how well you’ve performed in previous roles.

Having all the right credentials doesn’t mean to say that you are still good at what you do, and proving that on your CV is the key to gaining an interview. Most job seekers fail to realise this important point and will struggle to convince the employer.

But how do you demonstrate performance on a CV?

It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds, and can be done in many different ways depending on the role you’re applying for. Remember, your examples of performance and achievements need to closely relate to the role, with the exception of unique and outstanding achievements which should always be present on your CV.

Find out more – How to write Achievements in your CV

You need to show how you made an impact in your previous roles, and not just list all of the designated tasks and responsibilities. Again, this will not show the employer how well you did, and most of the time they could guess what you did based on the job title anyway.

Here’s an example of how you can demonstrate performance:

‘Made 12 sales per week on average from outbound calls’

Using numbers, revenue, sales figures, graphs, charts, and anything else you can think of to show how well you performed will be well appreciated by the hiring manager. There is a huge difference in writing this kind of CV when comparing it to a generically written one that simply lists the candidate’s life story.

BONUS TIP : CV design is important, especially with the prevalence of ATS software. Here’s a smart free CV template you can use that will make a great impression.

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4 ways to use your personality to ace a job interview

If you’ve been asked to attend a job interview it obviously means that the employer is clearly happy with your credentials. Your professionally written CV has gotten you to the most important stage of the process, and now it’s time for your personality to take over.

You must be polite and respectful, whilst remaining positive and passionate about the role. In addition, here are 4 ways to use your personality to ace a job interview…

1. Be confident

Using confident body language will not only project a positive attitude, it will also make you feel more confident. It’s a bit like telling someone to smile but don’t feel happy at the same time – it’s quite hard to do.

You will of course be feeling very nervous and anxious, but you have to ensure that doesn’t show through. Acting confident will instantly help you get over those expected nerves, and help the interview go much smoother.

Breathing is one of the best ways to shake off some of the interview nerves. Take lots of deep breaths before you go in and greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake. Sit straight and don’t slump or lean back. Slouching in your chair will show that you are not interested in being there, whilst leaning back will look overconfident to the point of arrogance.

Look everyone in the eye when you are engaging in conversation, and when there is more than one interviewer you should ensure you address everyone during your answers. This will show that you respect everyone in the room, and not just for the person who asked the question.

Find out more : Why is Confidence Important in a Job Interview?

2. Show respect to everyone

No matter who you come into contact with on your way to the interview room, you should treat everyone with respect. You never know who might be reporting back to the interviewer, and every opinion of you could affect your chances of success.

You could be greeted by another member of the team you could be working with, so making a good impression with them could pay dividends. They are likely to be questioned by the manager or could even volunteer their thoughts on you. Make sure it’s a positive review that they give!

Don’t forget that simple things like arriving on time also show your respect for your interviewer, according to Delvin Jones at Wikihow. The folks at Job Coconut also remind us that dressing well shows respect.

3. Tell a tale

When discussing a previous role you may want to grab the opportunity to recall a funny story that happened at work. Try to keep it appropriate for obvious reasons, and consider planning it in advance so you don’t have to improvise.

Having a couple of funny stories up your sleeve ready to pull out at any moment is a great way to bring out your personality in the interview. It will help to relieve some tension in the room, and if you’re a great story teller you could dramatically increase your chances of being hired. Personality is everything in a job interview, so try to get them eating out of the palm of your hand.

“Try out your story with a friend or partner to see how they react beforehand,” recommends Martin Carline at CV Template Master. This will give you confirmation that your story is appropriate and actually funny.

4. Thank them for the opportunity

At the end of the interview you should thank them for their time and the opportunity. The end of an interview is a little bit like listening to a live band. If the guitar player caught a few bum notes or the drummer skipped a beat during the song, it can all be forgotten if the ending of the song is spectacular.

You are bound to make a few mistakes during the interview, or at the very least think you have, so closing out with a couple of your own questions is also a good idea. Make the interviewer realise that you are passionate and very interested in the role, which means you should not hesitate to ask your own questions at the end.

After you’ve thanked them you should also send a thank you email or letter directly to the hiring manager to again thank them for the opportunity. This will further backup your interest in the role and keep your name at the top of their thoughts.

You may like : 11 Perfect Questions to Ask at an Interview