Tuesday, December 31, 2013

“What is your weakness?”

When answering this stress question never joke around and say “I don’t have any”. That could be the end of the interview. The answer you give is usually not as important as how you answer. Are you prepared and confident? Can you turn the question around into a positive response?

The primary reason the weakness question is asked is to put you under pressure to see how you react. You may think the question is unfair, unrealistic, unwarranted, etc., but whether you like it or not, pressure questions will get asked. So rise above it. Be prepared and turn it around into something positive about you.

The response you use needs to be practiced until it is internalized, not memorized. Whatever you do, don't make fun or light of an interviewer’s question, particularly this one, or you stand the chance the interviewer will think: 
- You haven't prepared for the interview 
- Or you can't handle pressure

The best form of an answer is “This is my weakness, this is what I have done about it, and I am better!”

Remember these points:

  • Do not elaborate. Elaborating will only make you appear to be struggling for an answer and bring more negative questions. 
  • Answer it crisply and concisely and stop talking. Your objective is to get off the topic. 
  • Keep it brief, concise and complete. 
  • Don't hesitate with an answer. 
  • Respond confidently. 
  • Prepare for the question and Practice it out loud until you have Internalized, not memorized, the answer.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Please leave a comment if you like this post.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Does your resume have a contemporary personal brand statement?

Because of the wide use of ATS scanning of resumes and contemporary styles of resume writing, many changes to “old, traditional” resume writing guidelines have occured. One change applies to the old objective statement. Using the word "Objective" is outdated; It has been replaced by a Personal Brand statement.

Suppose you’re a Service Manager in a New Car auto sales company and you need a left-handed auto mechanic. You write an ad that reads:

"Left-Handed Auto Mechanic needed for large local new car sales company. Must have 5 years experience with Diesel engines, exhaust systems, electrical systems and air conditioning systems. Some Saturday work required. Must be able to lift 45 pounds comfortably. Drug test required."

If you, the hiring manager, received two resumes, one that said:

Joe Mechanic
111 Main St        Sometown, USA         234-567-8910
Objective: Mechanic

and another that said:

Sam Mechanic
222 Main St.       Sometown, USA                  567-890-1234
Left-Handed Auto Mechanic with ten years experience servicing exhaust, electrical and air conditioning systems of Diesel and gasoline fueled cars.

Which candidate would you call in for an interview?

Joe didn't generate interest. Sam was responsive to the ad.

Sam Mechanic stated his objective more subtly.  He used the exact job title of the job ad in a summary statement, without saying “objective”, and baked the key words used in the requirements into a summary statement that describes what he does (his brand) and is responsive to the ad. Smart thinking!

This example is admittedly silly but it makes two important points. Sam responded to the hiring managers needs. At the same time his resume was all about himself as it should be. And he prepared his resume for the possibility that an ATS scan would be used. Both of these factors are very important. 

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Please leave a comment if you like this post.