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How to Sell Yourself Effectively

Address Your Weak Points

A good interview is an exercise of confidence. Do not be insecure, and do not try to preempt questions by admitting your faults or weak points on your resume. Do not start any statements with “I'm not the best at academics, but….” Always discuss your strengths, but never bring up any weaknesses unless you are specifically asked about them.

Which brings us to the next question: What if they ask? Some interviewers like to ask you to name your strengths and weaknesses. Have your list of strengths memorized. With respect to the weaknesses, never say you do not know or that you do not have any—you will only sound as though you lack self-awareness or are arrogant. The truth is, your weaknesses matter less than your ability to understand and improve them.

If you are asked, always give an example of one weak point, but never discuss work-related mistakes. Furthermore, always emphasize that you do not have any weaknesses that would interfere with your ability to do your job. It is a good idea to talk about mistakes that happened in the past, that you corrected and learned from, or simply ones that are not relevant to your work. For example, you can say that you found learning a foreign language challenging, that you are a poor test-taker, that you had to learn not to micromanage, or that you used to have difficulties working on a team. Always follow up with an explanation of how you tackled this weakness and a subsequent discussion of your strengths.

Finally, stay away from discussing weaknesses that are really strengths. Employers see through this as a disingenuous attempt to avoid answering the question. Here are some examples: “I am a perfectionist—I do not let go of a project until I am completely satisfied,” “I do not delegate very well, and thus I tend to put a great deal of effort into my projects,” and “Sometimes I micromanage by following through on an entire project.”

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsHow to Sell Yourself Effectively - Emphasize Your Strong Points, Address Your Weak Points, Answer The “why” Question, Distinguish Yourself