Interviews are stressful no matter how qualified or confident you are. Interviews are filled with questions that can catch you off guard or trick you into providing information that you did not wish to divulge.
How to Remember Your Key Strengths
An interview also has a way of leaving people with a case of temporary amnesia. It is not uncommon for a person to walk out of an interview only to remember an important strength that they can bring to the company or an exciting accomplishment that they are particularly proud of. Unfortunately, the only person they can tell it to now would be the person standing next to them in the elevator or the parking garage attendant!
It is easy to forget something important that you wish to convey.
There is a simple trick to help alleviate this problem: write it down. As you prepare for an interview, think of your 10 best strengths. Next, write each strength down on a piece of paper, and come up with examples of why it’s a strength and how it can benefit the new company.
With the added stress of the interview, it is easy to forget something important that you wish to convey. By writing down these 10 strengths, even if you can only remember seven during the interview, think about how much stronger you will look when being compared to another person applying for the same job who has difficulty coming up with only two strengths.
Your Accomplishments Matter
In addition to writing down 10 strengths, write down 5 things you have done in your career for which you are particularly proud. These accomplishments don’t have to be big. They can be anything that helps you get through a bad day. It can be something that gives you a purpose and meaning for doing your job. An accomplishment is something you are proud of. It can be as large as saving a child’s life or as simple as conducting a presentation that went well.
All you need to do is verbalize why the accomplishment was important to you. This will go a long way toward demonstrating that you are a strong, qualified, and capable individual.
Confronting Your Weaknesses
Even in this day and age, an interviewer might ask you about your biggest weakness. In truth, it is a straightforward question to answer, but tends to get people tongue-tied and flustered. In our experience, we have found that this question is usually used as a stress test. It is designed to see how someone reacts under pressure.
The best way for you to answer this question is by making one of your strengths sound like a weakness. Sounds complicated, but it’s not: “I think my greatest weakness is that I’m dedicated to doing my job well and usually lose track of time until I have finished what I have started.” It’s a reasonable answer to a difficult question, and although this might seem like a weakness to someone’s spouse, it tells the interviewer that you are a hard worker who doesn’t mind putting in long hours if needed.
By answering this question in a calm manner, you have shown that you react well under pressure, and the interview can move onto something more important. Don’t forget, you also provided another reason to be hired!