How do you successfully answer strength and weakness interview questions? This GoApti post discusses 7 points that will not only make you interview-ready but also fetch you bonus points for such questions.
After receiving the communication that your application was shortlisted by the employer, two thoughts will hit your mind. The first will have you say, “Yes, I have something that others don’t.” The feeling of standing out! The second thought shall give you anxiety and invoke hesitation, “What are the interviewers going to ask me? What if I screw up this opportunity?”
Accepting this degree of anxiety as a natural reaction is the first step towards successfully combating interview nerves.
So why do we feel apprehensive or even nervous when faced with an interview?
One reason is the instinctive human response to any situation outside our immediate control. Another reason is the pressure to perform when the stakes are high; for most people, a new career opportunity will fall into this category. It may, however, be comforting to know that interview anxiety is common. Some people are better at managing this natural response than others.
This anxiety may cause you to falter while responding to the interviewer. Where can you particularly go wrong? When the interviewer inquires, “What are your strengths? And what are your weaknesses?” Listed below are 7 points to ensure you don’t fumble when answering them.
1. Faith In Oneself
Be your own favorite. List out all the hurdles you have faced and how you solved them. Keep a notebook or Dropbox to record and display your achievements, e.g., awards related to sports or curricular activities or some charity work which you do. Remind yourself about these things before your interview and give yourself some well-earnt praise. This self-belief strategy will also minimize any self-doubting inner voice. Enjoy proving that inner critic wrong!
2. Calmness In Communication
Anxiety may cause fear in the throat which leads to the loss of confidence in speech. To remove this, voice coaches recommend extending your tongue out as far as it will go, to open up the back of the throat. This will relax your vocal cords. Have a glass of water, if one is offered in the interview, to clear a dry mouth.
3. Energetic And Fresh Feel
The night before your interview, having completed your research and preparation, concentrate on your well-being. Do your regular activities whether it’s a gym class or simply a brisk walk; they will release ‘feel-good’ endorphins for a good night’s sleep. Sleep will be far more beneficial than cramming at the last minute.
Losing appetite is the most common symptom of being stressed but you also find people who overeat under pressure. Plan meals in advance for the day of your interview to fuel your performance. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol need to be avoided; any food or drink that is a stimulant or causes spikes in blood sugar levels will disturb a calm mindset.
4. Remove Potential Pressure
Prevention is better than cure. Avoid potential problems by planning for them in advance. For example, when you have an outdoor trip coming up, finding the best travel option, the best possible routes, the spots to cover, and being aware of the weather updates will eliminate major causes of stress.
You should know your strengths and weaknesses inside out. Revise your response to these questions days before the interview.
5. Power Posing
How you view yourself is depicted in your body language. Assertive ‘power poses’ can provide an instant boost directly before your interview.
Advocates of power posing, both men and women, are likely to be found standing in a washroom, feet slightly apart and hands on hips in the classic “Wonder Woman” (or superhero) pose before walking confidently into their meetings. Tensing and releasing the muscles relax your body and lessen the sense of stress. Always stand while waiting for your interview; rising awkwardly from a chair is neither going to assist your confidence nor make a strong first impression.
6. Confident Dressing
We know that the first impression is the last. So why ignore this point? Choose your outfit to also counter any tell-tale physical signs of interview nerves. If you are prone to blushing or red blotches on your neck when you are in the spotlight, then choose a shirt with a collar in a plain neutral or cool color.
For men planning to wear a shirt and tie, make sure the collar is loose and the fabric is breathable. Comfort is essential. Please avoid clothes that cause discomfort.
7. Consider Groundless Fears
‘Fears’ are created by our interpretation of a situation. One effective method is to list down your potential concerns and then counter each point counter with some positive statements. For example, “other candidates are likely to be more qualified than me,” can be countered by, “Other candidates may be less qualified than me.” Writing this may also trigger positive thoughts such as “qualifications are just one aspect of the application, experience and personal qualities also matter.”
Likewise, “I’ll forget to include something important about my skills and experience,’ can be addressed by, “If I forget something, I can always use my post-interview note to cover key skills and experience.” Answering concerns, one by one, diminishes their significance.
How would you respond to strength and weakness interview questions? Any tips you would like to share? Are you aware of other important interview questions? Do comment.