Thursday, 7 June 2012

How to Identify your Strengths and Weaknesses

Muovo knows how much most of our candidates (including ourselves perhaps), dread the question - 'What are you strengths and weaknesses?'

Although we know that you are well aware of the plus and minuses that you possess, we also know that the task of having to articulate these traits into tangible forms, or words, could be rather difficult.

That's why it is crucial to do your homework before the interview, and prepare some points that could help you go about and answer this question effectively. Interviewers, of course, are typically looking for applicants who have strengths from which their company is likely to benefit.

Similarly, certain attributes or traits may be considered weaknesses by a potential employer. Overall, what they are really asking is, ‘How will you bring value to this organisation, and show me how you’ve learnt from your mistakes?’

The following article, first published by webrecruit, offers an incisive tips helping you to identify your strengths and weaknesses for a job interview.

...how do I identify my strengths?
First, you need to be honest with yourself. Boasting about strengths you can’t actually demonstrate will not win over any potential employers.

Look over the job description and make a list of the personal strengths that will probably be required for this job. If the role is looking after customers, they’ll be looking for someone who is personable, patient and empathetic. If it’s sales, then the right candidate will be someone who’s tenacious, driven and persuasive.

For each of the personal strengths necessary for the position, think of an anecdote that illustrates your strength in this regard. For example, you may have noticed a typo in a client newsletter and from then on were responsible for proofreading.

Sometimes it is hard for people to do an accurate self assessment. If you’re struggling, why not take a personality test? There are numerous personality and career aptitude tests  online that will help you research the honest truth about your interests and abilities.
                                  
...how do I identify my weaknesses?
Nothing is more suspicious than a flawless candidate. Show that you’ve already learnt a few important lessons and you’ll instantly sound more experienced, hardworking, and above all else – human.

Hiring managers look for candidates who have demonstrated an ability to learn and recover from mistakes.

All applicants have some weaknesses, but a successful job hunter will usually adapt them to something that the interviewer regards more favourably.

Demonstrate your weaknesses as something that is a problem which you have solved. For example, you might be a bit of an organisational freak, but you have learnt that by delegating tasks, you can ensure all work is completed on time.

When composing your answer, be aware of giving too much information and make sure you keep it work-related. Prospective employers are not interested about how you learnt the hard way not to date your co-workers or what life taught you when your grandmother passed away. Be sure that lessons learned are relevant to the position you’re interviewing for.

During an interview, it is imperative to make a good impression, and there is no better opportunity than when you have a direct invitation to identify your strengths and weaknesses.  By preparing your interview answers in advance, you’ll have a much easier time responding when employers ask the inevitable question

Good luck!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

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