© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Everyone has some inherent job interview weaknesses. Good interviewees just learn how to overcome them. Whatever the job you are applying for, there are no doubt some areas where you fall slightly short of the ideal of the perfect candidate. Perhaps your experience is a little bit less, or is of a slightly different kind than the target job requires. Maybe your personality is more introverted or extroverted than the interviewer is hoping for. Perhaps your grades or other academic indicators are a bit lower than the hiring manager would ideally like to see. These background weaknesses are only a problem, however, if they are allowed to become job interview weaknesses that you reveal during your interview. Though you shouldn't lie in an interview, the art of interviewing is to respond to questions in ways that downplay your shortcomings and accentuate your strengths.
The first and most effective thing you can do to overcome your job interview weaknesses is to discover ahead of time what the interviewer is looking for. This requires that you do a fair and focused bit of research before you ever walk into the target hiring manager's office. As a general rule, your research should consist of an effort to discover what the formal, official requirements of the job are as well as the unofficial or informal desires of the organization. The formal job requirements are the specific kinds of experience and credentials the organization's management team has determined must be present in a candidate. The job description and job advertisement are two places where you can see these requirements in black and white.
The other kinds of job interview weaknesses to avoid exposing are the informal job requirements. These may not be written down, but are the kind of informal preferences many organizations have. To get a good sense of them, start with your social network of people who work in that industry or with that company. Once you know what the company is looking for, you should be finding ways to accentuate your strengths with stories of your success in those areas. Just as important, you should think of ways to minimize your job interview weaknesses.
Other job interview weaknesses are not as much a product of the content of your job interview answers as the way those answers are delivered. Maintaining proper eye contact, and a polite, relaxed demeanor is important to conveying the impression you want, as is speaking as clearly and completely as possible. Giving your answers in a generalized or abstract way is also less effective than responding in the form of complete, specific examples that include a description of your actions and results. And finally, a job interview weakness that many people exhibit is neglecting to tell the interviewer when the meeting is over that they are interested in the job, and then expressing a continued desire to move forward with the interviewing process.
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