Recently I realized that there is a critical point of the preparation of an interview that many people do not take into consideration. Your Weaknesses.
We all have weaknesses. Let us define what is a weakness for me. Mainly for me a weakness is an insecurity that will be detected with a simple question in the personal interview. You would understand me, since the most common insecurity is many times is “why you left your last job”. People start to get nervous, start to tell a story, change the story, continue, stop, and then the interviewer asks more questions to understand the story. As a result, we lost concentration in the interview and probably ten Minutes. The worst that can happen is that the interviewed person looses confidence in him/herself for the rest of the interview.
The important statement is that not only difficult questions must be prepared with simple and reduced answers but insecurities must be handled seriously. We could make here a philosophical speech here about insecurities, but there is a thin line between a simple insecurity and an obsession. Some people get obsessed after been fired many years in a company for example, some people deal with it easy-going; both in the same situation. In my opinion, you decide how far one will bring and insecurity but the sooner one starts to address it the better.
But let us start with the market based insecurities. The most common insecurities I have found are: “I am too old to find a job”, “I have been unemployed too much time”, etc… The sad about the insecurities is that there is a small reason for it. The markets are very competitive and they reject conflict people fired, just complications, people been long out of the market, etc.. The explanation is people do not want complications, so anything out of the radar, sometimes will be rejected. The good news is that a good recruiter would not take consideration too much certain things and would focus on the person and the tallent. That means that one can have a small disadvantage compared to other people, but with motivation and hard working in job search there is a compensation and one can always have difficult questions in interviews. But your lessons learnt is be aware of your disadvantages and work hard on their compensations.
And elaborating a bit more on the difficult questions, we all have small insecurities in life. I remember I have what I call “my secret question”. I have always fear of that secret question that until now nobody asked me in an interview. And of course I wouldn’t tell anyone. But if one day they ask me I have already prepared a natural easy answer on 30 seconds to one minute. These insecurities are more difficult to handle since are not based on assumptions but on personality and how you see yourself. Some people are too proud, some too shy, some fear of showing feelings in the interview and be emotional on certain questions, etc… I am not anybody to judge what is an insecurity or not. “We are all born naked” I always say, we are the same no matter differences. So I won’t write detailed information I have heard as insecurity to avoid differentiating people for this of for that.
I would like to concentrate more on the solution of the insecurity. There is an advantage on any disadvantage for everything in life. For example to the assumption of “I am too old” comes the explanation of “I am quite experienced and I will show that in the interview”. For The “I fear they think I am too proud” contrary is “I am a secure person and I show security in meetings but I would show a lower profile in the interview” and so on. So knowing your own complexities is crucial, it is the start to prepare attitude or answers in the interview. It is always a matter on how to explain things, be soft, listen to your interviewer, explain things simple, do not elaborate on difficult questions too much, get out of them. Concentrate on your good points, elaborate them more in the interview, get the best of you. You only have one hour to show why you are capable for a job, so do not loose time on weaknesses. But if the question come on any weakness, there you have the answer: simple, short and natural.