EDUCATION PLUS

A question of answers

But what about weaknesses? It is a tricky question. Would you say that you are lazy or sel.sh or jealous? Certainly not. The trick is to mention a characteristic that may sound like a weakness, but in the ultimate analysis is a source of strength.

But what about weaknesses? It is a tricky question. Would you say that you are lazy or sel.sh or jealous? Certainly not. The trick is to mention a characteristic that may sound like a weakness, but in the ultimate analysis is a source of strength.  

A popular question is `Tell us something about yourself?' Candidates, who have not prepared for this question may waste precious time narrating details of your early life and proceeding further in the chronological order. They may not get time to focus on their academic achievements or professional accomplishments.

Instead of wasting time, you should seize the opportunity to convince the interview board that you are the best suited for the job. If we have a clear picture of the duties and responsibilities of the job, it is a golden opportunity to highlight our knowledge and skills that will match the demands. You should not exaggerate.

Let the members of the interview board draw their own inferences.

Certain difficult situations may pose a real challenge, unless we have prepared a strategy to tackle them.

A question of answers

One such instance is an interview conducted by a board consisting of four or five members. If the fourth members raises a question while you are answering a question raised by another member, what will you do? Will you ignore one and continue to answer the other? You are in an unenviable situation; you cannot ignore either of them.

The best option is to tell the fourth member, "I am coming to you, Sir," and complete the answer to the second member's question, and then answer the second question. After all, we are not answering the individual members, but the interview board.

Take the case of a candidate with B.Tech. Electronics who gets the question, "Why did you go for electronics?"

Should he answer that this branch of engineering guarantees an early job with a high salary? It is better to say, "Right from my childhood, I was curious about electronic gadgets and their working. Later, I was fascinated by the professional challenges in this discipline. Of course, there is a good demand for competent electronics engineers."

Very often certain candidates are at a loss to give good answers to the questions: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? The former question is relatively easy to handle. We may indicate activities such as computation, innovative design, socialising, tending the sick, preparing reports, or drawing sketches. It is preferable that the interest mentioned has a relevance to the job. Do not be too general like, "I am honest" or "I am hardworking."

But what about weaknesses? It is a tricky question. Would you say that you are lazy, selfish or jealous? Certainly not.

The trick is to mention a characteristic that may sound like a weakness, but is in the ultimate analysis a source of strength. How can this be done? Look at two examples.

"If I am given an assignment, I may be a bit late in completing it since I tend to be a perfectionist." Here the candidate is trying to say that it is his desire for perfection that might make him shoot his deadline.

The board is likely to infer that here is a man who tries to do his job well.

Another answer can be, "If a colleague of mine tries to evade his work and asks me to help him, I cannot say no."

The ability to say `no' is often seen as a desirable quality in a good manager. But here the candidate is indirectly saying that he is a team player. Any good organisation desires cooperation among its workers. Never say that you have no weakness whatsoever. If you claim to be a person without any weaknesses, you are obviously being dishonest.

In an interview for managers, there are some other aspects that may be mentioned as weaknesses.

Intolerance of inefficiency, impatience at lack of promptness in others, and single-minded approach when meeting deadlines are some other examples.

Another possibility is mentioning a weakness that has no relevance to the job under consideration.

B.S. Warrier

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