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JAN 2019

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12 G.I. JOBS | JANUARY 2019 | GIJOBS.COM TRANSITION INTERVIEW TIPS 6 WAYS TO EXPLAIN YOUR WEAKNESSES DURING A JOB INTERVIEW BY MATT CATES JOB INTERVIEWS ARE STRESSFUL ENOUGH without having a curve ball thrown at you. But like it or not, you're going to have to press through if you want to get hired. Interviewers run candidates through a gauntlet of predetermined questions, and one timeless classic query is: "Can you tell us about one of your weaknesses?" Such an innocent-sounding question! So innocent, in fact, that you suspect it could be a set-up. Perhaps that's the veteran in you coming out, always weary of a situation, and maybe over analyzing things because you want to get it right. But many candidates end up trying to disguise one of their strengths as a weakness ("My weakness is that I try too hard to turn in perfect work!"), or they try to tell the interviewer(s) what they think the other person wants to hear ("I don't really have any weaknesses, because I found and eliminated them all"). Sure, those are common – and all too obvious – ways to go about answering the question, but there are other ways, too. FIRST OFF — EXPECT IT! You wouldn't fly off for a deployment without being thoroughly ready, would you? So how do you prepare? For starters, know what to expect! This includes researching the potential questions you'll receive, and at least having a rough outline memorized of how you want to answer. Never go in with a plan to just "wing it." So, think about it right now. What are some work-related weaknesses you're willing to own up to? Jot them down. SECONDLY— DON'T PANIC! Former service members have been through such a wide range of worldly experiences that panic usually isn't an option. But then again, the unknown is always formidable, and transitioning into civilian life can be intimidating. Just keep your military bearing as you traverse through the experience of a civilian job interview, and when they ask you an open question such as, "Tell us about your weaknesses," stay calm. Show them you're in control. USE EXAMPLES Whatever you choose to offer as your weakness, give the interviewer a concrete example. Next, explain how you have either overcome that weakness or leveraged it to work for you. If, for example, you have a tendency to ramble on about a topic, explain that you like to be thorough and ensure the listener completely understands. In other words, maybe you talk too much, but at least you do a good job of explaining things!

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