Some of the most successful leaders and entrepreneurs in the world rank self-awareness as a key factor to career success. Self- Awareness is the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses. Hiring managers often use specific questions to assess self-awareness during the interview. If you want to stand out from the rest of the competition it is important to be prepared to answer some of these questions targeting your understanding of yourself. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who have the potential to be valuable team members and the best way to do this is to understand how candidates understand themselves.
Know Your Best Skills (and Know Where You Need Training and Growth)
Achieving optimal self-awareness isn’t something that happens overnight. It is not an achievable goal but more about understanding who you are as you grow and mature. The sooner you become focused on your own training and growth, the more self-aware you’ll become during your career. The benefits for your well-being are endless. The benefits you will find in the interview process are numerous as well. Through sharing your strengths and your weaknesses in an honest way you not only develop a deeper relationship with those interviewing you, you present the real you to the team. This allows for honest conversation about your goals, learnings, strengths, and ambitions.
Highlighting Your Skills
It’s important to be able to share how you honed your best skills and have a plan to grow weaker skills. No matter how hard you try to hide them, your weaknesses are bound to surface at some point in time after being hired. Hiring managers are looking for honesty about the areas of weakness that you might have. A good skills-based answer could go something like this: “In my past job, I have not been as successful in x. The way that I’m solving it currently is y and z.” Then, share how you educated yourself online, attending industry workshops, etc., to grow those weaker skills. Finish by stating that you are now able to accomplish x, y, and z. The same goes for your strengths. Every strength is a weakness that you trained for and grew out of. These examples of your background are just as valuable to share.
Self-awareness will shine further by using an optimistic tone. A common misconception is that that sharing your failures will make you more vulnerable to rejection, but it’s more about where you’re going, and not where you’ve been when it comes to professional growth goals. Just stay positive and be prepared to provide hiring managers with specific examples of overcoming obstacles from your past.
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