How to do well in your interview

February 13th, 2009

During a recruitment consultant interview, it seems that a ton of interrogations flying all around – and most of the time they do not mean anything to you. But, the replies may be more crucial than you first imagine. One of my most unforgettable jobs also had a very memorable recruitment interview.

I had gone for a teacher’s job at a local preschool, and now sat across a table, being questioned by my future headteacher – the manager of the school. “What would you consider your weakness?” she asked, once the introductions were made. “I am an extremely shy person when I initially encounter other people,” I responded, smiling a little. “It becomes a bit damaging, because it gets misconstrued as haughty, or a better-than-thou attitude.” She agreed and laughed. “I have had that identical trouble!” She responded. “I have had a ton of people tell me that they thought I was a witch when they initially met me!” Of course, the “witch” word she was talking about had actually started with a “B”.

Don’t be frightened of your weaknesses at your ST interviews, but don’t make them up, or use one that you may have heard before. The most jaded and exploited “weakness” must be the expression, “I am too much of a people-pleaser!” You will certainly have to wipe the brown off your nose after that one! In addition, it probably just made you seem counterfeit and implausible to the interviewer.

What clinched my interview for the teaching position was a lot more unexpected than I considered. I was asked an torturously elementary question that almost made me marvel, “What is this lady getting at?” The director gazed at me seriously, cocked her head to one side, and enquired, “If I wanted to send you into a room by yourself for a few minutes, and you were not used to the classroom or the kids, what would your first response be?” I laughed and answered, “Probably try to pacify them and keep them engaged by playing the Hokey Pokey, or another sort of game.”

Amazingly, I was told later on – after I had been employed as a teacher there for a few months – that the response I had given to that specific query was what had landed me the job. Evidently, my strength was the insane, unashamed manner I could embarrass myself in front of a bunch of kids! Who knew?

Once again, asking co-workers and household members for advice on distinguishing your strengths and weaknesses, will give you great perceptiveness into yourself. Commonly, you can have to put up with a little bit of teasing from them – especially when it comes to your weaknesses. Just laugh, and tell them to get sensible – it is for a job you are looking into. Be sure, even so, to restrict your strengths and weaknesses to the job you are applying for. An interviewer at the local department store is not interested in your strength to withstand tickling under your arms, just as much as they are in all probability not too interested in your weakness for cheese!

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