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Ace that job interview!

October 14, 2005

What are your strengths and weaknesses?, a prospective employer asks you at an interview.

Questions like these can be tricky. How do you frame your answer, without exposing your flaws?

BPOs

BPO training expert, Nasha Fitter, has the answers and shows you how to brush up on your interview skills.


When in an interview I am asked about my strengths and weakness how do I reply my weaknesses to the satisfaction of the interviewer. Is it advisable to reveal my weakness at all ? Will this have a negative bearing on my performance in the interview. Please advise.

-- Raphael 

This is a common interview question, yet is very tricky to answer! The key is to make sure your strengths and weaknesses link together and that your weaknesses really sound like strengths. 

For example, let's say your strengths are that you are hardworking and personable (friendly). Your weaknesses should relate to these strengths. In this case then, you could say your weaknesses are that you are a workaholic and are easily trusting. 

Notice how being a workaholic is similar to being hardworking, and easily trusting people can be a side-effect of being very friendly. Notice that while you have listed attributes that can in fact be seen as weaknesses, they do not actually make you look bad; instead they make your strengths sound even stronger.

It is also important that while you state your strengths and weaknesses you give real-life examples to justify them. That will make it clear to your interviewer that you are not lying and have really introspected to come to these conclusions.

I have good communication skills, am confident, fluent, have a good personality as compared to other people, but I am never able to crack an interview.
 
Please guide me with some tips, as I know that whenever I go for an interview, I am almost the best deserved for the job, but I am not able to make it just because of the interview.

-- Sahil

As you say you have good communication abilities, are confident and have a good personality, I will focus on other areas that are important during an interview.

Firstly, how you dress and how you look are very important.  Make sure you are always professional -- a shirt with a collar, tie, dark slacks, a simple belt (no big silver or gold buckles) and leather shoes. Make sure you wear a short-sleeved undershirt and anti-perspirant (not deodorant).    

How you shake hands is important. When you walk into your interview, extend your hand and warmly shake your interviewer's palm. Before doing so, make sure your palms are not sweaty.

Simply having a good personality is not enough; the content of your interview is just as important. Research the company to show that you are serious about working there.  

Be sure you have good answers when asked why you want to work in that particular company and what you can bring to the table professionally. Highlight parts of your personality that would be of interest to the company. For example, are you a team player? Are you a hard worker? Are you creative?  

Last but not the least, call the person who interviewed you if you do not get the job to ask them WHY they did not choose you. Tell them you want to continue to improve yourself and would really appreciate their comments.  

I am 25 years old and have completed my B Com degree in April 2000. Thereafter, I have been working as Marketing executive in a company manufactoring Scientic and Bio medical equipments in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Now I am aware about the ITES developments in our country, and I am very much eagerly know about the BPO jobs particularly in non-voice.

Before that how can I prepare myself, and what are the qualification I have to add further, I have little bit of knowledge in MS Office. Please let me guide in this regard and anticipate your early reply.

-- S Davidson

With your qualifications, you may be able to get a job doing back office work or research work in a BPO. If your English writing skills are good, you may also look for work that consists of synthesising and presenting data. 

Since you have worked with a company focused on medical technology, you may want to do research and find pharmaceutical and other healthcare firms who do outsourcing or offshoring work for US and European clients. 

These companies may be doing marketing and other research related work for their clients and, this way, you will be able to use your expertise and working for a BPO at the same time.  

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    Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us!

    Nasha Fitter is the CEO of Fitter Solutions, a communication and training company. She is an expert in vocational and communication skills management for BPO and service-based organisations and conducts private classes for individuals. She has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.



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    really I am happy that you present such type of works also. With other news. Ashwin Perti


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