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Finding Your Job Interview Weakness

We all have shortcomings. Your job interview weakness could be the way you lost your last job, a long stretch of unemployment, too many job changes, or no college degree.

Perhaps you struggle with a personal appearance issue like weight, height, gray hair, no hair, too much hair in the wrong places...whatever.

Other job interview weaknesses could include anxiety, lack of self-confidence, talking too much, being too honest, being overqualified, not enough experience, or...

simply an acute dislike for the whole stinking job interview process!

Regardless of your interview weakness, they all fall within 2 broad categories:

  • Things beyond your control
  • Things you can change

Let's discuss the best way to find your job interview weakness within the context of what you can control.

No one wants to be turned down for a job...especially one you are excited about. In fact, you may be experiencing a lot of turn downs lately, and your self-confidence is just about shot.

Special Tip: Look at each job interview rejection as feedback. Try not to take it personally. The company is not rejecting you as a person. After all, you are not your job. Always try and get as much feedback as possible from those who interviewed you. Feedback is a gift.

True Story

Jon was a product engineer with a leading Automotive Tier 1 supplier. He lost his job in the wake of the recession. Jobs in his field were scarce.

Despite a well written resume and countless hours of interview counseling and preparation, Jon always seemed to get the thumbs down after each and every job interview.

If you wrote down a checklist of Jon's strengths, the list would be long and distinguished. His resume was well written and he had no problems getting interviews.

But he wasn't getting offers.

Jon decided to take action to figure out once and for all what job interview weakness was holding him back. So he called his close friend, Matt, who just happened to be a corporate HR manager.

Matt had interviewed, hired, and fired a lot of people over the years.

Jon asked Matt if he would meet with in person and do a mock interview. Most importantly, he asked Matt to please give him brutally honest feedback with no holds barred.

They met at Matt's office instead of a restaurant or someone's living room to make this mock interview more real.

Jon asked Matt not only to challenge him with the standard top 10 interview questions, but also ask him some tough behavioral interview questions. Jon then expected no-holds-barred honest feedback.

Matt was only too happy to oblige.

Jon's job interview weakness quickly became apparent.

He talked too much...

...or as Matt put it, He over-explained things.

Special Tip: One of the secrets to effectively answering interview questions is to keep your responses short and sweet...30 to 60 seconds max. If your interviewer wants more information, they'll ask you. Providing too much information, or talking in circles, puts you at risk of being rejected. The 2 reasons candidates talk too much are nervousness and lack of preparation.

So you're probably asking yourself, how did Jon take this feedback...and did it help?

Soon thereafter, Jon got an interview with a very stable, profitable company located near some of his extended family. Jon called his manager friend, Matt, and told him about it. Matt suggested they meet again and do another mock interview.

This time Jon nailed the mock interview. And..he nailed the real job interview, too.

Despite being unemployed for several months, Jon was offered a position as a product engineer for 10% more than what he was earning at his last job. Six months later he got a raise.

More importantly, Jon loves his job.

If your job interviews are resulting in no offers, or your job weakness is not apparent, follow Jon's example. Ask a trusted associate or friend to do a mock interview with you.

You can even provide the job interview questions.

Ask your friend not to pull any punches. Simply tell it like it is. Then, work hard to turn this job interview weakness into a strength.

Pearl of Wisdom: It's not a good idea to ask your spouse or best friend to go through this with you. People who are too emotionally invested in you will either tell you how wonderful you are, or they will hand you your head by revealing to you your every flaw. Not good. Neither of these viewpoints will help you. Find someone who will be objective, open, and honest with you.

I've created a short Mock Job Interview Quiz to assess your interview readiness. Just one small improvement could tip the scales in your favor.

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