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Awesome Answers to The 3 Trickiest Job Interview Questions

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It’s that moment of the job interview that we all dread:  ”What’s your greatest weakness?”  Of course, answering with “I work TOO hard” may sound good in your head, but that will just get you laughed out of a potential job.  Here’s what the pros say are the best ways to answer the 3 trickiest job interview questions.

1 – Can you tell me about yourself?
Dan Schawbel from The Personal Branding Blog says that this question is among the trickiest.  It may seem simple enough to answer, but most people have trouble talking about themselves whether it be positive or negative.  Schawbel suggests you use this opportunity to highlight your personality.  Your resume already has information about your experience and achievements, so let the interviewer know about your interests and how they relate to the job you’re up for.  For example:  If you’re applying for a job as a travel agent it’s probably a good idea to talk up your passion for travel and share anecdotes about some of your favorite trips.

2 – What’s your greatest weakness?
This has to be the most nerve-wrecking question to pop up in any interview.  How do you talk about yourself negatively while trying to impress a potential employer?  As mentioned earlier, trying to use this question to make yourself look good only backfires.  ”I spend too much extra time thinking about work” sounds desperate and dishonest.  Author and consultant, Bernard Marr, tells Linked In that there’s a simple trick to winning this one: deflection.

Admit to a weakness, but make sure it’s something has nothing to do with any skill that may affect the job your up for.  If you are applying for a job at a clothing store, talk about your fear of heights or the fact that you are terrible at cooking.  It will show that you’re human, you have a personality; but are more than capable of filling the position in question.  The worst thing you can do, says Marr, is to mention a lack of skills that would apply to most any job:

Not being a team player

Not being able to take feedback

Not being able to take initiative and work independently

Not being trustworthy

Not being reliable

Those are all red flags to potential employers and weaknesses to avoid highlighting at all costs in any job interview.

3 – Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Do you aim high and say you want to be president of the company?  Or do you lay low and talk about how the position your interviewing for is your life long dream?  Dan Schawbel thinks that most people misread this one.  An employer usually asks this question to find out if you’re interested in short term gain or becoming a member of the team and turning this job into a long-term career.  The best way to answer this one, Dan suggests, is to talk about the experiences and skills you hope working at this company will give you.  Including goals is good too, especially if it’s a goal to help the company move in a positive direction.

Of course, the best thing you can do in any job interview is to be yourself and answer honestly.  So, how would you answer these tricky questions?

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