Use Your Strengths to Your Advantage

“Accentuate the positive.”

It’s more than just a classic song – it should be the mantra for your interviewing strategy!

If you’re trying to gain experience right out of college, or if you’re in the midst of a career transition, you may very well find yourself in a “stretch” interview – an interview in which you meet all of the qualifications except for one.

To land a job like this, you really sell your candidacy and alleviate a recruiter’s concern about a lack of experience or missing qualification. So put your best foot forward. Here are four tips from PrideStaff for highlighting your strengths in the interview:

Know your strengths. This may sound obvious, but it’s important homework before each interview – because the requirements of each job will be unique. Spend time reviewing the job description and required skills, competencies and experience to determine where you excel – and where you may fall short. Once you understand your strengths relative to the available job, you can do the best job accentuating them.

Translate strengths into accomplishments. To validate your claims, rehearse specific examples of situations where you demonstrated your strengths on the job. Develop a series of short, versatile problem/solution scenarios that provide evidence of the skills or experience you have. Measurable results are best, but solid anecdotes work well, too.

Demonstrate your growth. If you have a weakness that may negatively affect your candidacy, grab the bull by the horns. Explain how, in the past, you have transformed a skills gap or other shortcoming into a strength. Hiring managers know that past behavior is the best predictor of future success; if you can show you’ve overcome a weakness before, your current shortcoming will be less of a concern to them.

Use every advantage available. In addition to gauging your hard skills and experience, an employer will also be assessing other factors like appearance, professionalism, confidence, interest in the job, and nonverbal behaviors like eye contact and posture. If you’re thoroughly prepared for the interview, you can use all of these to your advantage – playing up the strength of your “soft skills.”

On the job hunt?

Work with a national employment agency like PrideStaff. We can make finding your ideal job quicker, simpler and less stressful. PrideStaff will help ensure that you just don’t search, but succeed.  We provide a wide range of temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire administrative jobs, professional jobs, IT jobs and light industrial jobs.

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.