I also have strong attention to detail and a commitment to doing a project well. I consistently receive recognition from my superiors for the quality of my work.

Lastly, I take initiative, when appropriate. When working on the departmental manual, for example, I noticed that it was missing information on working with certain vendors. I pointed this out to my manager. He said it was a major oversight, and was very glad I had said something."

What are your greatest areas of weaknesses? The strategy in answering this question is to think of job-related weaknesses that are genuine, but that will not eliminate you as a candidate. Weaknesses can be in terms of skills, knowledge areas or personal qualities. Always talk about how you are working on this weakness. Be prepared with at least two or three examples. If you only prepare one example, you might be caught off-guard in an interview if you are asked to give "a couple of examples of weaknesses."

Bad answers:

"I really don't think I have any!" (No one is perfect. This answer shows either a lack of self-knowledge or a lack of humility!)

"I'm short-tempered with my kids, and my house is usually a mess!" (Talk only about work-related weaknesses; do not talk about personal shortcomings!)

"I resent having to be at work right at 9:00 a.m. I'm usually at least 10-15 minutes late." (If this has been true in past positions, the job candidate definitely needs to correct this attitude and behavior! And, even if true, this would not be something to share in an interview unless the person did not want the job!)

Good answers:

(Weakness in skill area): "I have not worked on this type of phone system before, but I have used several other systems and am confident that I could quickly get up to speed."

(Weakness in knowledge area): "I am not yet very familiar with your product line, but I have been studying your catalog so that I would be able to talk intelligently with your customers."

(Weakness in personal skill area): "Paper work and record keeping are weaker areas for me, but I understand that I must keep accurate records of my billable hours. I would make it a priority to set aside time during each day to keep my records current."

The Winning Edge

In a job search, there are often only slight differences between the candidate who is hired for the position, and those who are not. Sometimes they are factors that are outside of your control. There are, however, many factors you can control, including the amount of research and preparation you do for each interview.

March 29, 2010

Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, are the authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life. Their websites, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com, www.ChurchJobsOnline.com, and www.ChristianJobFair.com, feature hundreds of job listings from churches, ministries, and Christian employers; a resume bank; and many other career/job search resources and articles. They also offer career coaching and testing to help you discover work that fits your God-given design, as well as assistance with writing a powerful resume, interviewing effectively, finding job openings, and other aspects of a successful job search. You can schedule a free consultation session today!