Two women shaking hands after a successful interview.

*This blog post was originally published in Novemember of 2017 and has been updated to reflect industry changes.

Interview Prep: Addressing Strengths and Weaknesses

Congratulations on graduating from career training with Milwaukee Career College! The next step in your career journey is the interview process. Interviewing can be extremely intimidating. However, being fully prepared to answer any question that comes your way will help to ease this process. The most common interview questions deal in some way with addressing your strengths and weakness. Keep reading to learn more about how to answer these questions, and hopefully, earn a new position!

Addressing Your Strengths

In order to capitalize on your strengths, you must first be aware of what they are. Don’t give a textbook answer such as I’m hard-working, dedicated and organized. These are the most common answers that interviewers hear. It should be your personal goal to provide strengths that support your niche and create a point of difference from other applicable candidates. Utilize your strengths to show ways in which you are unique, relevant to the position, and how you are better at those strengths than anyone else. Show that your answer is credible by providing a true story to accompany your strength.

Owning Up to Your Weaknesses

A fear during most interviews is being honest with your answers to the greatest weakness question. It is common for interviewees to avoid this question by disguising a strength as a weakness by saying, “I work too hard” or “I’m upset when I miss a deadline.” These are not weaknesses. Logically, no person is going to admit that they don’t work hard enough or are happy to procrastinate and miss deadlines.

Interviewers want to hear honest answers. They aren’t interested in hearing your biggest drawbacks, but are curious to see how you acknowledge areas in which you don’t excel, and how you are working towards turning this weakness into a strength. Interviewers want to hear about self-improvement, your willingness to be open and honest, and your success in problem-solving within your own life.

Don’t be intimidated by this question. This is the perfect opportunity to prove your potential and dedication to the job and to improving yourself.

Establishing Your Personal Brand

The most employable candidates are those that are capable of defining who they are. It is important to be self-aware. Understand your reputation, or decide on the reputation you want others to identify you as. Once you decide on your reputation, you must live, breathe and tell your story. It is vital that your personal brand is identifiable by every person you come in contact with.

At this time, ask yourself, “How do I prove who I am?” Interviewing isn’t solely about selling yourself or self-promotion. Interviewers want to hear how you are able to use your strengths and capabilities to assist them and their company. Establish a relationship with your interviewer. Be real, honest, and transparent with your answers and in conversation.

Most importantly, your personal brand must captivate their attention, provide relevant benefits to the company, and be memorable. Utilize your strengths and show improvement on your weaknesses to portray that you are the sole candidate for the position.

 

Interested in learning more about interview preparation? Milwaukee Career College offers hands-on career training programs for veterinary assistants, vet technicians, medical assistants, dental assistants, and surgical technologists. Milwaukee Career College also offers job placement assistance to both students and graduates. To learn more about our job placement assistance, head over to the Career Services page!