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Strengths And Weaknesses – Interview Tips

Interview Tips – Explaining Your Strengths And Weaknesses

If you’re in the process for applying for jobs whether it’s in person or during a video interview, you will have heard this question over and over again…

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

Despite this sounding incredibly broad, it’s still a valid question and it’s important that you remain honest when describing what you are good at, and not so good at.

Many recruiters will agree that when this question is asked, the majority of candidates will reply in the same, monotonous way.

“My strengths include the fact that I work hard, focus on the task at hand and I work equally well in teams and individually. My main weakness is that I’m a perfectionist”.

This is a somewhat valid answer but this kind of response will be unlikely to impress any kind of recruiter or interviewer. It’s renowned that the majority of people will believe they are hard working individuals. In this statement, the weaknesses could be defined as a strength but again, it’s an answer that appears all too often in the interview rooms.

For a better perspective, another common answer recruiters often hear is something along the lines of;

“My main strength would be that I’m a good people person, whether that’s with other employees or customers and I don’t get stressed easily. My weakness would be that I could improve my level of focus from time to time”.

All the points in this response are extremely common and are not going to make any kind of applicant stand out to a potential employer. When referring to the weakness, the use of the word ‘could’ gives a very vague impression and can conceive the impression of doubt in the recruiter.

So how should you respond to this question in your next interview?

Assess Yourself

The majority of people will find it harder to express their weaknesses than their strengths.  In most cases, this is the question most applicants dread to hear and can invoked some feeling of panic. But, in these situations, the best way to handle this is to stay calm and professional.

Some great examples of weaknesses you can mention include;

  • Being too critical of yourself in the workplace from time to time
  • Trying too hard to make sure everybody is happy
  • Being uncertain when using some applications in a business, such as their systems or technologies

If you do panic and cannot think of anything to say, try to remember to minimize the negative in what you are saying and say something that can be easily overcome or, in some respects, can be seen as a positive. Before your interview, conduct a mock interview with yourself or with a friend or family member. Write down traits that are part of your character and then brainstorm ways to resolve them.

An example of this would be to say something along the lines of;

“I am always able to see the bigger picture when it comes to a project but I have to admit, occasionally I do miss small details. I have always ensured that there is a detail-oriented individual on my team to counteract this.”

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Understand Your Own Strength!

In comparison to the above, many people take it in their stride when it comes to listing their strengths. Besides, these does mean listing the things you are good at!  When answering this question in an interview situation, it’s important that you remain specific and stick to the point.

As with your weaknesses, a great idea is to write down a list of traits you possess before your interview and categorize them into one of three categories.

These categories are;

Transferable Skills

These are skills that are relevant in any job role and can cross from company to company.  These type of skills include communication and people skills to planning and problem solving skills.

Personality Traits

These are traits that are personal to you and your specific character. These traits could include anything from being flexible with good timekeeping skills to having a professional manner and the ability to work well within a team.

Knowledgable Skills

These category refers to any skill or knowledge you have acquired through training or education. This can cover skills such as computer skills, any languages you may know and qualifications you have earned throughout your life.

When it comes to describing your personality traits, it’s easy to get caught up and say something simple but in interviews, you really have a chance to shine out against other applicants.

Some great examples of personality traits may include;

  • Enthusiasm
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Determination
  • Honesty
  • Respectfulness

When preparing for your upcoming interview, research what kind of qualities the job entails and match your traits so they are suitable for the role.  If, for example, you are applying for a customer focused position, patience, honesty and respectfulness would be the perfect traits for you to describe.

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Be Prepared!

Make sure that when you are talking about your strengths and weaknesses that you do so with confidence.

When this now not so dreaded questions arises in your interview, always keep in mind that the recruiter is looking for someone to fit their requirements. Everything you say and the way you act is building an image of you in their minds and they are constantly asking themselves if you are a suitable candidate.

The best tip we can give you is to really sell yourself. Give this interview everything you’ve got and make it one to remember!

Back up every statement you make with energy and passion, let the interviewer know what you have to offer this company.

Let them know through your weaknesses that you’re only human but you have the willpower to succeed!

Good luck with your next interview!


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Will Video Interviewing Replace The Traditional CV?

Will Video Interviewing Replace The Traditional CV?

In today’s world, the most forward-thinking businesses are the ones who are exploring ways to enable their employees to feel more confident in the workplace, ensure they think for themselves with their own brand of business sense.

As an ever-increasing trend, this means that in the future jobs will be aimed towards bright, independent thinkers that are resourceful, creative and take their own initiative.

Whilst previous job experience and educational qualifications are still somewhat important, they are renowned for not being the best certification of character and skill.

Personality traits such as attitude, behaviour and competence is increasingly becoming more and more important in the workplace, especially recruitment departments.

Due to this increase in considerations when seeking to employ someone, the entire recruitment process will become harder to balance and maintain. If management is looking for complicated people, the process to find those people will be complicated in itself.

This will not be made easier by the ever-growing amount of applications recruitment departments receive per vacancy.

Always Be Thorough

When you’re an active team member in a recruitment department, handling large volumes of job applications, it can take days and even weeks in some cases to sort through and organise all the resumes, constantly attempting to maintain a level of focus when selecting applicants for the next interview stage.

Although it’s proven that personality tests and character assessments are useful during recruitment processes, they cannot be used during the initial stages of the application process as they take time and resources that are not usually available.

Consequently, recruiters will have to make their first decisions based on resumes alone or, if in doubt, can invite applicants to attend screening interviews which again, depends on a companies available resources.

All in all, this is a rather inefficient process.

Too much time is used up and it goes without saying that a large number of talented and worthwhile applicants will slip through the net when using this recruitment method, simply because they didn’t make the grade on paper.

On the other hand, many applicants who are not suitable for the job, may make it to the interview stage when they really shouldn’t have.

Utilizing Automated Video Interviews

When considering what tools are available to recruitment departments, the answer becomes simple. Video interviews.

Imagine the following…

Candidates are able to record themselves in video format, stating facts or answering predetermined questions that compliment their resumes. Applicants would be able record themselves using any type of camera, such as a smartphone camera, webcam or portable camera and recruiters would be able to analyse the information in a couple of minutes.

This is roughly the same amount of time recruiters would analyse a resume, but they would receive a sample of character and personality, like you would if in a screening interview.

Powerful stuff right!

It goes without saying that this method of pre-screening candidates can save countless man hours by minimising phone conversations as the videos would answer all the questions a recruiter has requested, eliminating the need for them to repeat themselves 100+ times.

As every applicant would be in the same position under the same circumstances and answering the same questions, video interviews would allow the first stages of a the recruitment process to be completely fair and unbiased.

The pre-screening process would be the perfect balance between efficiency and accuracy for recruiters and HR Managers

Looking To The Future

As technology improves, so does the ability to handle large amounts of data alongside the means to analyse that information.

When used in the right way, technology would help recruiters build an accurate yet complicated profile of an applicant, easily created using specialized software.

As far as the software is concerned, all the data it needs comes straight from the candidates.

Even in the present day, Human Resources departments are implementing facial recognition technology to analyse video interviews, reading facial expressions of the applicants, allowing the software to determine personality traits.

Some companies have already been known to hire individuals based on this data.

In laymen terms, the future of the recruitment sector is fast approaching. Specialised computer programs will be streamlined, allowing them to create complex yet accurate candidate profiles, simply by analysing primary video interviews to see how they respond to and answer predetermined questions.

In conclusion, the entire process exists to take as much information as possible from the potential candidates in the shortest amount of time, simply to understand their characters clearer.

Regardless of whether this is done through computer systems or through a recruiter analysing a video, the result remains the same.

Personality is a key factor when it comes to recruiting the right person and not about what is written on a resume or CV.

It’s time for companies to start hiring individuals based on who they are and using the simple method of video interviewing to help with this challenge.


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recruitment tips for recruiters and human resource managers

7 Ways To Excel In Recruitment Today

7 Ways To Excel In Recruitment Today

The recruitment industry has always been a difficult industry to master.

Every business has its own methods when it comes to the recruitment process, each one designed to fit their individual circumstances

However, at its core, the majority of recruitment drives work in a similar way and there are a number of things you can do to streamline these processes, ensuring you find the perfect candidate for your vacancy.

Here is a list of our top seven tips that guarantee to help you save time and make the best decision possible.

Know What You’re Looking For

Firstly, the most important tip to consider. It’s impossible to write an advert or actually employ someone if you’re not sure what type of person you’re looking for.

It’s highly recommended that instead of seeking out the perfect skill match for your vacancy, focus on applicants personalities and behaviours.

Despite it being true that some jobs may require a certain skill set or previous sector experience, in the majority of cases, individuals can be taught how to complete certain jobs and trained how to use company software and processes.

When brainstorming what type of person you require, try to prioritize someone who holds the same values as your company, someone who would fit in well with the existing workforce and your client base.

Create Ads That Are Fit For Purpose

When in the process of creating your ad, make it shine out from all the rest. If you write a standard advert, then you’ll only receive standard proposals.

The majority of people looking for work will skim read until they see an ad that jumps out at them. Make it yours!

Make sure you include the basic information, such as what responsibilities the candidate should have as well as what qualifications they should have before applying.

To compliment this, write about your company and why the candidate would want to work for you.

To get the right people to apply, you need to keep them engaged in your ad and draw in all of their attention. Sell the vacancy and your company!

Filter Candidates With Compensation Levels

One of the most important factors in a vacancy ad, for both you and the potential candidates, is the salary.

This is one of the most important factors that individuals are looking at when searching job vacancies and it’s a great tool for recruiters to filter through candidates that are suitable for the role.

By writing ‘To Be Determined’ in the salary box, you’re potentially turning away fantastic candidates as it’s impossible for them to gauge what skill level the job is for.

Likewise, if the job role in question pays between $40,000 and $50,000, advertise at $40,000.

This way, individuals who currently make more money than this will not bother applying and consequently, won’t waste your time.

Don’t Keep Your Eggs In One Basket

When looking for somewhere to post your ad, don’t just use one site.

You may have a tried and tested recruitment platform that works for you but from a business perspective, you are drastically limiting the amount of range that your advert has.

By advertising your vacancy on multiple sites, you are increasing the amount of people who see your ad and therefore, increasing the amount of potentially suitable candidates that could apply for your role.

With a quick online search, it’s easy to find a vast range of paid and free advertising websites, allowing you to find the perfect person for your business.

Timing Is Key

This is an especially important point if you are using a paid advertising platform.

If you’re interesting in hiring younger people, such as college graduates, then it’s best to post after graduation has finished and not during term time.

The same can be said for all kinds of applicants. Imagine how many people are sat at home, job-hunting, on holidays such as New Year, Christmas or Thanksgiving.

If you’re posting at these times, you’re missing out on a vast selection of potential candidates.

A tried and tested time window to post in is during the weekends. This includes Friday nights and Monday mornings as individuals have finished work for the week, giving them time to properly sit down and search or are about to go back to work, giving them the motivation to want to find another job.

Stay Organised

As with any industry or department, it’s important to stay level headed and one step ahead. If posting ads in the correct way and at the ideal times, you may receive a dramatic surge in applications.

As your email inbox count soars, create email folders for each job you’re posting for and organise them as soon as you can.

By using this method, you can stay relaxed and confident in what you’re doing, ensuring you have the time to pick the right candidate and make the right decision for your company.

Screen, Screen, Screen!

As the resumes come pouring in, allocate a set period of time in which you can screen the resumes, sorting through which candidates you would like to keep and move forward.

An incredibly simple technique that really helps stay on top of things is by creating Yes, No and Maybe piles.

Read each application and move it into the designated pile. This way, you can immediately narrow down your search for the right individual and it makes the entire process easier when it comes to organizing interviews.

Another technique that is being increasingly used by businesses is video interviewing software. This method can save a recruitment department countless hours when it comes to pre-screening, allowing recruiters to ask pre-determined questions to all potential applicants.

Video interviews can be added to the recruitment process to compliment a resume, granting recruiters the chance to witness some depth to their applicants including a sample of their personality and character.

With this information, alongside the information on their submitted resume, recruiters have the opportunity to make well-informed decisions when it comes to deciding who is a suitable candidate for the face-to-face interview stage.


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