Behind the Interview Questions - Part 2

Name three strengths and three weaknesses of your character

This question requires advance preparation. Interviewers not only want to see if your strengths align with the job profile, but they also want to gauge your maturity and confidence.

Listing your strengths might be straightforward, but what about your weaknesses?

Avoid claiming that you can't remember any weaknesses. This suggests a lack of self-awareness, slow thinking, and poor communication skills.

It’s common to find advice online suggesting you turn a negative into a positive, such as claiming you spend extra time on important tasks to ensure management receives the most relevant information.

However, this can sound contrived.

Remember, this isn't a confession or therapy session. The real question is how well you know yourself and can objectively identify and work on improving weaker areas of your skills and character.

Choose a weakness that isn't critical to the job you’re applying for, and discuss what you’ve done to improve it. For example, if you're applying to be an accountant, it's probably not crucial that you excel at public speaking.

Tell me three things I do not know about you

This unconventional question might prompt you to share something you haven’t rehearsed. Your response will reveal your values and what’s truly important to you.

Avoid lengthy explanations, overly personal details, or portraying yourself as a victim. Keep your answer positive, demonstrating optimism and a drive for growth and development.

What are you mostly proud of in your career so far?

This question allows you to present your achievements briefly, accurately, and enthusiastically. It's important to provide a broad context of your interests and skills, as focusing too narrowly might lead interviewers to assume you only want to continue in the same vein, which could be different from the role you're applying for.

This is also a chance to showcase your presentation skills, so prepare your answer in advance.

What types of people can you work with, and who are difficult for you?

This question is essentially asking if you're prone to conflict.

Respond positively, explaining that you can work with a variety of people and manage conflicts effectively. Acknowledge that no work environment is perfect, but emphasize your willingness to contribute to positive change rather than exacerbate tensions.

Your most serious failure?

This question tests your ability to evaluate situations objectively and whether you can take responsibility and learn from your experiences.

Blaming others, downplaying your failures, or offering excuses will reflect poorly on you. Instead, succinctly describe a situation and share what you learned and how you've changed as a result.

Which is better - to perform a task perfectly but with a delay, or to do it averagely well and on time?

Most people might say "well and on time," as this typically aligns with most companies' expectations. Interviewers generally prefer candidates who can meet deadlines without succumbing to perfectionism.

However, consider if there are exceptions where a perfect completion might outweigh timeliness. Discuss the importance of the task, its relevance to clients, and whether deadlines are flexible.

Regardless, emphasize that you strive to perform tasks to the best of your ability while respecting deadlines.
Next Up: Behind the Interview Questions - Part 3 
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