/ Asked by pradeep
What are some good ways to answer questions like, "tell me something about yourself?" And, "what are your weaknesses?"
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, November 20, 2015
When interviewees get these questions, the tendency is to over think them.  It is true that the interviewer is trying to dig deeper into your experience and your character, but do not over complicate your answer to the point where you really aren't saying anything meaningful.  For the question, tell me something about yourself, remember, they have already seen your resume, so don't spend time rehashing that information.  Think about it ahead of time and identify something that is not on your resume, but that speaks to your character or your general ability to do the job well.  Also, try not to get into too many personal details here, such as 'I have X number of children', etc., but do see if you can find a personal connection to the interviewer.  If you see something in their office or heard something in what they told you about themselves, try to find a common ground such as going to the same school or rooting for the same sports teams, etc.
As for the question, what are your weaknesses, this is tricky.  You have to show that you are humble and honest about yourself, but at the same time are strong and reflective.  In other words, you know how to identify your mistakes and quickly learn and grow from them.  For example, you can say something like you identified what you thought was a great process improvement and you pushed hard to get it changed ASAP, but you quickly realized that fast and forced change is not received well in your work culture.  You then, took a step back and developed a more formal change management plan. 
Answered by Dan, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Friday, November 20, 2015
When asked the question, “tell me something about yourself”; there are a few points to touch on. One should focus on what the employer needs, edit your self, and rehearse. Also, most importantly be confident within yourself! This is the part of the interview where you are trying to sell yourself to a prospective employer. It’s best if you tailor your description of your skill sets/ experiences to what that certain employer actually needs. They will hire an individual who is a problem solver or who can perform a certain function. This part of the interview may be the make it or break it moment so it is important to rehearse and practice. By doing so, you will feel better prepared and present yourself in a professional and a more confident demeanor.

As for the questions, “what is your biggest weakness”, is the question that no one ever quite knows how to prepare to answer. Now this is the question that has the power to determine whether one is a potential asset or a liability to a prospective employer. So when asked this question, you should say yes! At least one weakness because the worst answer to this question is: "I don't have any weaknesses." The employer is trying to figure out if your weakness will make it hard for you to do a good job or fit into the organization. They are also interested in how you handle a tough question like this one. So time to be honest, at least to a certain degree, hopefully without ruining your chances at the opportunity. Now how to answer is question, would be a two-part answer. First part being the confession of the weakness. Second part being the recovery or how you plan to control and/or overcome your weakness. Be sure to present them in a matter that will impact that certain employer.
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Monday, November 23, 2015
It is a great idea to have key points to discuss when answering both of these questions. Since these questions are fairly common, you should make sure that it does not sound too rehearsed. For the question, “tell me something about yourself” should go further than where you grew up and went to school. Think of things that may not be seen on a resume, such as your character or a certain skill set that will set you apart from the other candidates that may interview for the same position

When asked about your weaknesses, it can be tough to answer because you want to be honest, but this could also undermine your ability to be hired for the position. I would prepare this answer in advance and think of something that may not be your strongest area and how you are working on making this weakness into a strength or a capability. Every candidate will have weaknesses; it is a best practice to understand how to answer this question in a calm manner, while still being able to market yourself as a viable candidate for the position.
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