Posted by: davidsandusky | May 16, 2008

Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats

The dreaded “tell me about your weaknesses” or “what would your former boss tell me your weaknesses are” questions are often analyzed in anticipation of having to deliver clever answers. 

You are smart so I am not going to take time writing about hiding strengths in the weaknesses or why to not say stupid things like “I am too dedicated”.  Instead, we will move down the path that the interviewer wants to know if you are self aware and understand what needs to be developed versus delegated. 

How do you respond?  By first doing your own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).  Just like a company does about their products and services, why don’t you in relation to your personal brand?Write your SWOT down on a full sheet of paper.

Strengths – internal analysis

These are your strengths – different from talents, skills and core competencies.  In other words, only list a talent, skill or core competency if it is unique and a differentiators…you are one of few who possess the benefit.

Weaknesses  – internal analysis

What holds you back or is a perceived weakness (be honest with yourself) in the ability to do the job at hand and grow to the next level of success?  It is okay to talk about these weaknesses in an interview.  I encourage it!  To be successful, have a solution for your weaknesses such as delegation, or countering with a significant strength.  Perhaps the weakness is a deal killer – fine, you want to learn that now and not in six weeks when you hate your job. 

As the one being interviewed, ask your would be boss to list her weaknesses as well as the weaknesses of the team.  Take the information to quickly solve problems for her in the interview.  You can move quickly because of the confidence a SWOT analysis brings you.  This goes both ways, folks.  As a professional running your personal brand, keep a current SWOT whether you are the hirer or hiree.

Opportunities – external analysis

What is happening in your world that you can capitalize on based on your internal evaluation?  How can you leverage your strengths and awareness to capture opportunities?  What are your opportunities?  Write them down and be aware.  Self awareness is the difference between those who see opportunities in front of their face and those who don’t.

Threats – external analysis 

These are the realities in your environment that could threaten your ability to succeed.  No differentiators; competition; health, lifestyle; industry changes you don’t follow…on and on.  Be honest with yourself and be aware. 

Now, take the weakness question to your advantage and help each other learn if you are a good fit and can work together or not.  Help each other by moving into a good situation where everyone succeeds.  No games. 

Want to start your own discussion?  Start a thread at Your Brand, LLC Forums.

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