“What Are Your Weaknesses?” How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

One of the biggest fears job seekers face is an interview question they cannot answer. And one of the biggest victories in an interview is being the candidate who can answer any question asked of them.

Consequently, it pays to prepare for the tough interview questions. Here’s how to answer some of the most common “tough ones.”

“Tell us about yourself.”

This question opens many interviews, and while it’s open-ended, your answer doesn’t have to be. Focus on giving a short summary of your education, experience, and goals: “I graduated from X program, and since then, I’ve been working on….”

“What are your weaknesses?”

You didn’t come to this interview to talk about your failures. Fortunately, the interviewer doesn’t want a laundry list of your shortcomings either. Instead, prepare your answer by focusing on one or more areas of work in which you can improve, and on improvements you can make that would be valuable to this employer. For instance, you might respond, “In my last job, I didn’t have many opportunities to improve my public speaking skills. I’m looking for chances to get better at giving presentations and talking in front of a group.”

“Why did you leave your last job?”

Many hiring managers have candidate “horror stories” that started with this question. Keep yourself off that list by focusing on what you learned in your last position and how you’re prepared to use those skills in a new job: “My last position didn’t offer many opportunities for in-depth research, which I have come to realize is one of my strengths and one of the parts of my work I enjoy most. I decided I’d rather work on a team that needs and values those skills.”

“Tell us about the worst boss you ever had.”

This question may appear to invite you to badmouth your past bosses—but don’t take the bait. Instead, focus on what you learned: “While my last boss was a great litigator, our personalities did not mesh well. I learned a lot about what types of management help me do my best work.”

At Kent Legal, our recruiters can help you strengthen your interview skills as we connect you with some of the best legal job openings in the Toronto area. Contact us today to learn more.

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