The Job Interview - How to Handle Your Shortcomings in an Interview

Published: 19th June 2009
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Job interviews are the end of the line. If you have made it to the interview stage, it is your job to lose. Most, if not all of the interview stage means you have the qualifications and skills to do the work. The query now is how well you are able to communicate and how well you fit within the culture of the organization.

The biggest problem people run into with interviews is simply lack of preparation. So, my best advice to you is prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more.

Some of the most common shortcomings include: long time at the same company, frequent job hopping, career hopping ( doubtless considered a more important lack ), termination, age ( too old ), age (too young), career/industry change, no experience in target industry, no degree, or unrelated degree.

Expect to be asked about whatever shortcomings that may be pulled from your resume and be nicely prepared to answer to any of them. One of the finest methods to do that is set up a mock interview you do with either a mate, co-worker, or coach. Or, taping yourself answering the questions is a great tool too. Then make a listing of all of the items you think an employee might consider a shortcoming and ask about them. For example, "I see that you've had four roles with different companies during the past six years - please let me more about that and why we deserve to be confident that this is the place for you."

In this instance, confirm you give a succinct answer that does not include anything about "trying to work out what you wanted". Target the talent differentiation or industry experience that you gained and how you were making moves that were advancing your career and contributing (give specific results) to each company.

Do not get too wordy or sound defensive.

Bottom line in an interview is to always concentrate on what you have to contribute to them - when someone brings up a lack, recognize and then redirect it back to how it will permit you to contribute certainly to them.
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