Interview Questions - Being Asked About Yourself

Interview Questions - Being Asked About Yourself






Job interviews can be a strenuous exercise at the best of times, and while it is important that you the potential employee do not appear rehearsed or wooden when being interviewed it is essential that you sound fluent and authoritative. Thinking about the type of questions that you might encounter during the recruitment process prepares you for success. This series covers a range different questions and follows the same structure - providing a commentary to help you think through your answer; some insights into both +ve and -ve indicators that interviewers will be on the look out for and finally some possible question variations

Questions about you: What would you describe as your three main strengths? What about one main weakness?

Answer Commentary: The normal approach is to ask the positive and then the negative so think about both. The different versions are subtly different so shape your answer around the specific one asked. On the negative one make sure you have a follow up to how you ‘manage' it and it does not get in the way of your effectiveness. For example ‘I can get a bit too enthusiastic so sometimes in team meetings I have to remind myself to slow down, or keep quiet, so as not to overwhelm my more introverted colleagues'.

If the question is asked in a different way it can be sensible to offer a negative - see below.

If someone asks it in a way that is unusual it is OK to say that you had not thought of it in that way before and to take a minute to do so.

Marking:

  • + good self understanding
  • + range of positives
  • +gave examples to illustrate
  • + genuine example of managing the negatives
  • - sounded like they made up the negative to look good
  • - poor self awareness

Variations: There are loads of variations:

  • If I were to ask your boss, work colleagues, team members to describe you what would they say. Usually with this one it is good to volunteer a ‘soft' negative. They would say xyz (all positive) and if they were moaning about me they would say that under x circumstances I can sometimes be x. You may as well beat them to the negative and it shows self awareness.
  • What do you most like about yourself? What one thing would you change?
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