About This Gap On Your Resume


Have a gap on your résumé? If so, you might be feeling some anxiety heading into the job interview, dreading the moment when the interview peers across the table, looks you squarely in the eye and pleasantly says, “I’m interested to hear what you were doing that explains this gap in time on your résumé.”

So there it is, out in the open; that slap in the face moment when you feel trapped between wanting to tell the truth and knowing if you do your chances of getting this job are gone. There just doesn’t seem to be a good answer to your personal situation. Well, let’s see if we might come up with some helpful suggestions.

Before we get to the content or what you’ll actually say, I urge you to deliver this particular question with confidence. Interviewers you’re no doubt aware, are well-trained to observe people’s body language and facial expressions. Whenever you are telling an outright lie or exaggerating the truth greatly, a person’s body language gives them away.

It’s highly likely that because this question is one you are uncomfortable answering, you might naturally mimic the same body language as those that lie or greatly stretch the truth, and this you want to avoid at all costs. So do your very best to speak with confidence, look the interviewer in the face as you answer the question and squash any sheepishness in your delivery.

The second thing I’d like you to remember is that times have changed. In the past, anyone with a gap in their résumé stood out more. Individuals often worked at companies for decades and there was greater pressure on people to keep working while dealing with personal problems. Things have changed though; it is more common these days to have a gap as more people are experiencing lay-offs, plant restructurings, downsizing and people themselves are just more mobile than ever. Changing jobs is much more common. So it  isn’t necessarily the huge disaster you might think it is to have a gap on a résumé.

Okay so you need a good answer. The key here is to be truthful and at the same time feel good about the answer you deliver. Coming up with a good honest answer can dramatically change the entire interview largely in part because you won’t be waiting in a heightened nervous state for this question. This is going to have a positive impact on the rest of the interview as a result.

Now honestly, to best coach you through this question, I’d need to know – (and so would anyone you are consulting with for help) the real reason for the gap. Knowing the truth helps tremendously to tailor a response that is personal, believable and deliverable. So no matter who you are working with, open up, lay it out and then with the worst on the table, you can together build an answer that you can confidently deliver in the real world.

So, not knowing your specific reason for the gap, here are some common situations: time off to raise a child, previously fired and unable to mentally cope with the experience, marriage breakdown, significant death in the family, uncertainty over career direction. Now you might have one of the above or you might have something else like jail time, caring for an ill family member, recovering from surgery or a health scare or possibly you just stopped looking altogether due to some depression or frustration.

For a number of the answers above, something could have been simultaneously going on in your life; trying to figure out what your next career move would be. There is and always has been a number of people in most people’s lives who unknowingly cause us anxiety asking us constantly what it is we are going to be; what we are going to do with our lives. While we’re busy just trying to stay afloat and cope with things in our Life, we’re just not ready to plan out the road map of our next 30 years when everyone else seems to have their own master plans perfected.

Herein could be part of our answer to the gap period; time spent figuring out what steps to take re. career direction. Could we honestly say something like, “The period in question is time I took to check what it was I really wanted to do moving forward. Rather than take a short-term job which would have robbed me of the time to thoroughly research my next move, I pulled back and put my energy into assessing myself, including my interests, skills and experience. I found that what I really want to do is __________ and after further investigation this organization emerged as a good fit for me personally. This is the reason I sit before you today.”

If this works for you, I’m glad and feel free to extract what you can. You see, an answer like the one above might actually be some of what was really going on even though it’s not the only thing that was going on. You might well have had a personal issue to walk through, but there’s nothing that says you have to share 100% of all the reasons you have a gap on your résumé. Not unless you had to swear on a bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at any rate!

 

 

“How Did You Prepare For This Interview?”


If you didn’t prepare at all, this question might just be difficult to answer if not downright impossible. Unless, “I didn’t” is an answer you feel like delivering with confidence. Be ready to have the interviewer lower their first impression of you, end the interview and suggest that in the future you do so to make the most of the opportunity and stop wasting both your time and theirs.

A job interview is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, education and personal suitability as it relates to a job possibility. For you as the candidate, it also represents a great opportunity to sit down face-to-face with at least one person – and perhaps more – from an organization you might be highly interested in working with, and explore in more depth if this organization is one you’d like to spend some time employed for. Why would you pass up the opportunity to do some advanced preparation?

Honestly, there are a few reasons why people fail to prepare in advance for job interviews. I suppose one could be so overly confident that the job is theirs before they even arrive that the time would seem better spent leading up to the job interview. Perhaps you’ve been told the job is yours; the interview merely a formality. If this is the case, you might just be going through the motions, but if someone other than the person you are expecting should conduct the interview, they might be surprised enough at your lack of preparation that they cannot endorse you and surprise, they go with someone else.

Also true, you might not prepare out of ignorance of how to go about preparing. When it’s your first job interview and you’re in your teens, or I suppose you’re well into your 30’s but you’ve never had a true job interview before, you may not know what to research or how to go about it. Very  similar is the person who never having had an interview at all, preparing for one isn’t even something they’ve considered, let alone know how to go about it.

Then there’s the cocky man or woman who figures, “Hey it’s me after all, they’ll be lucky to have me and my natural charm and good looks will win the job.” Oh yes, these types are still out there, and no amount of advice will change their point of view. Be they handsome, gorgeous, sexy or otherwise, they’re counting on their physical assets to give them the edge. Depending on the job and the interviewer, it might even work. Some interviewers are after all, rookies themselves.

Ah but to you. What will you answer if the interviewer should ask you what you did to prepare for the interviewer? Typically in our times you should have made an effort to check out the organization on the net. A webpage visit is an easy and convenient way to start. Look for buttons to click on like, “About Us”, “The Company”, “Contact” or, “Who we are”.

You might also want to ask of the person who invites you to an interview who the interview will be conducted by. Knowing the names of the people ahead of time and their positions gives you people to research via LinkedIn. Not only will you learn about these people, you might see their pictures and feel less intimidated by the unknown as you walk in the room. Certainly look up the organization on LinkedIn at any rate and read!

Any contacts you have at an organization interviewing you are sources to be tapped for information. Inside info of course that you’ll just not get anywhere else. What’s it really like to work there? While a job posting says what you’ll do on the job, where is most of your time spent and find out about the culture, atmosphere and the intangibles too.

You might want to take a dry run out to the site of the upcoming interview to check exactly how long it will take to get there. Maybe pop in and pick up some literature, an annual report, people watch as they come and go. You can pick up a lot of information just watching people such as their clothing styles, whether they have a spring in their step and a smile on their faces or they walk in like their dragging a ball and chain. Locate that washroom near the interview area you might use to freshen up in too.

Another key piece of preparation is a mock interview. Sitting down and going over your answers to some key questions is a good way to build confidence, find and correct any areas of concern and improve your self-confidence. Getting feedback from someone who either works there or who can give you objective feedback is well worth your time.

Do not neglect to come up with a few questions of your own. What do you personally really want to know? What’s important to you? Management style, advancement opportunities, salary and benefits, travel requirements, the chance to collaborate with others? Training incentives?

Just imagine heading in, getting comfortably seated and you realize you really do want this job. After putting you at ease with some small talk, you’re first asked to tell the interview panel a little about yourself and what you did to prepare for the interview. Will you be off to a good start?

Reframe The Job Interview


Looking for a job, writing resumes, going to interviews, worrying about whether they will call you or ignore you; this isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. In fact, most of those I know see the process as a roller coaster of ups and downs, built up expectations and dashed hopes. In short, a stressful experience to be ended as soon as possible by getting a job.

When I ask job seekers to share with me what they find most annoying or unpleasant about looking for work they almost always tell me it’s the job interviews. They typically say they hate them, (and hate is a pretty strong word). Why does this word get used over and over to describe the experience? Typically it’s because of those feelings of nervousness, feeling judged, evaluated, setting themselves up to be accepted or rejected.

Imagine how the experience of the job interview, and more importantly the anticipation of the job interview became something to look forward to however; something you perceived as an enjoyable experience. If job interviews were fun wouldn’t you look forward to them even if, yes they still caused you some nervousness?

An analogy might help us out here….hmmm….what would work for us…? Ah ha! Think of going on a date with someone you’ve heard good things about. Better than a blind date set up by one of your friends, suppose you’ve got a date Friday night with someone you’re looking forward to meeting face-to-face. You’re looking forward to sitting down with them because what you’ve learned so far about them has your interest peaked. You hope that meeting them in-person they’ll live up to what you’ve found out so far. Are you nervous? Sure you are, but it’s a good nervous and the anticipation is a good thing.

Why can’t a job interview be along the same lines? You do your homework and find out about the company you are interviewing with. You hope when you sit down face-to-face that they’ll live up to your expectations. Are you nervous? Sure you are, but again it’s a good nervous. You just might make a long-term working relationship out of this first meeting. You’re hoping to hit it off with them and them with you. Just like a first date, you spruce yourself up and look your best and come ready for conversation.

Now perhaps you can’t see any parallel beyond what I’ve described. In your view, it’s not like a date because in a first date each person comes with their questions, each feeling out the other and the conversation goes back and forth. Perhaps it doesn’t work for you personally because you view the job interview not so much as a first date but more like an interrogation from some spy movie where you sit on a cold steel chair under some intense light being grilled by some thug extracting all your information in the most unpleasant of circumstances. The worst part is that by submitting your résumé, you actually walked into this interrogation voluntarily!

Job interviews are like so many other things in life; how we perceive them in our minds goes a long way to how we will actually experience them. Imagine it to be an interrogation and that’s what it will be. Imagine it to be a fun enjoyable experience and it will be as well. Now I know it takes more than just picturing it as a positive experience to make it so, but when you shift your thinking to seeing interviews as good experiences to look forward to, you’ll also find putting in the work to make the experience a positive one is something you’ll undertake with enthusiasm.

That date this Friday evening? Likely you’ll get your outfit ready ahead of time, you’ll wonder what you’ll talk about and prepare yourself with a few questions for them. You also think about what you’ll share on this first date, probably putting your best qualities on display and concealing some of your faults until you get to know them better. You’ll think about what you’ll do, wonder how you’ll get out of it if things don’t go well, or if they do, you hope they’ll like you as much as you like them. When it’s over, you’ll hope they’ll reach out and ask to see you again or be receptive to your own follow-up.

Sounds like an interview to me! In fact, what if the term, ‘job interview’ was replaced with, ‘opportunity conversation’? What if you told yourself you have an upcoming conversation about an opportunity? It’s just a small thing perhaps but it’s one step of reframing this experience from the negative event you dislike into one that you could view as positive; something to look forward to even.

Conversations are one way we find out information and confirm what we’ve learned previously. For both you and the interviewer(s), this interview is an opportunity to sit down face-to-face and get to know one another. They’ve got your résumé and you’ve got their website and whatever your research has revealed ahead of time. Now they and you have a chance to ask questions, listen and rate each other, ultimately deciding if you have a future together and if so, under what conditions.

Tell yourself ahead of time this date is going to be a disaster and it likely will be. Envision it positively and it has a chance to work out and be enjoyable; for both of you.

And You Are Building A Reputation For…?


Whether you know it or not, you and I are constantly building our reputations. The good news is that we have a great deal of control over the effort we put into this process; not always achieving the results we’d like perhaps but, the effort invested is entirely ours to give. Consistently delivering results is also a key factor for many in establishing their reputation.

Those we work with, those we come into contact with on a daily basis; we’re all building our individual reputations throughout the day. We may not always have our reputations foremost in our minds, but the words we speak and the actions we take which others observe adds to or diminishes how we are perceived. And it’s not just one or two things we become known for; we gain a reputation for numerous things. Hence we become known for always arriving early or being late, contributing our fair share in group projects or riding along on the strong work of others. We can have a reputation for having an optimistic outlook, being authentic, exercising patience, extending ourselves to help others or always saying, “Yes”.

What we become known for and how we are perceived can have a tremendous impact on our success or lack thereof. If you’ve got aspirations of advancing in an organization, your reputation for the quality and/or quantity of work you produce will influence the decision-making process in whether to promote you. Have a good reputation and you’re impressing others while a tarnished reputation could leave you out of the running when you want to get ahead.

So when does building a reputation start? It starts when we first interact with others be that in-person, in writing or correspondence, by association with others and when we come into the awareness of those around us. Initially it starts as a first impression, then with each bit of information the other person takes in about us, their perception of us is reinforced or changed. This is why first impressions become of such critical importance in the hiring process for example. From the first inquiry, the cover letter and resume or CV, interview(s) and follow-up, we only have a limited amount of time and exposure to make a good impression on the decision-makers in the organizations we wish to work with. We do our best to build on that initial impression, all the while establishing our reputation with these people.

Making an error in a job interview therefore could be critical as we don’t have the benefit of time to give the interviewer(s) pause to re-evaluate us and see that error as out of character with our reputation. Anyone who has ever said something they realize they shouldn’t have, or who made a joke of something that didn’t go over well and wishes they could take back knows of what I speak. We don’t want the impression we create to be one of being flippant, insensitive, having poor judgement or not being a positive influence in the workplace. It is for this reason we feel anxiety in interviews; the slightest error we might make could negatively alter the other person’s perception of us and we fear not having the ability to change their initial impression which could ruin our reputation; leaving us ultimately rejected.

Those that  fear interviews and long to just be given a chance to show an employer what they can do are typically the kind of people who are banking on their ability to perform a job to enhance their chances. They know that the speed or quality of their work and adherence to safety on the job would impress the people seated across from them, but sitting and answering questions isn’t their strength. In such situations, the strategy they might be best to use than would be to provide tangible, concrete examples of what they’ve done, how others benefitted and yes, the reputation they’ve established for high quality work, a good attitude etc.

Providing references, sharing what others have said about us is another way we hope to transfer our good reputation to these people we are just meeting in the interview. So a Home Builder will for example invite a potential client to speak with the owners of homes he or she has constructed, show photos of work performed and the classic before and after shots. They home that their good work and good reputation with one home owner convinces another home owner to contract their work. Your reputation is something you can and should pay attention to. It’s a big part of your personal brand and with every interaction you have with others, that reputation is reinforced or possibly re-evaluated.

Suppose today you sat down on your 15 minute break and thought about what you’d like your reputation to be. What would you like to be known for? What are you doing that backs up and gives you credibility with respect to this goal? Now ask yourself if your actions, words and performance achievements enhance or detract from this reputation you’d like to have. If it’s important to you, you’ll do more of what builds your reputation and less of what works against it.

So what do you want as YOUR reputation? Expertise? Communication skills? Physical fitness? Helping others? Give some thought to this; you’re building one regardless so it makes sense to determine what you want.

 

 

Consider Sharing Your Condition


Yesterday I sat down with someone I’ve recently been helping to find employment.  It was a very productive meeting of just over two hours in length, and the reason it was so productive is we got well beyond the surface chatter quickly. As you’ll soon read, the time was apparently right for her to make a trusting disclosure.

We’ve just completed a couple of weeks in others company as she was one of 12 people invited to attend an intensive job searching program; the kind where those attending actively job search for much of the day with the guidance of myself and another Employment Counsellor.

One of the key things I stressed throughout the two weeks was the element of trust. When you trust someone who is in a professional position to provide help, opening up about your personal barriers can be profitable. The problems you’re experiencing may be similar to ones that others before you have had, and there is a chance that whomever you trust your challenges with just may have some viable options to lay before you to consider; one of which might just address your problem.

In the middle of the 2nd week, this particular lady mentioned that although she found it embarrassing, she wanted me to know that she was hard of hearing in both ears and was wearing a very well hidden hearing device. This explained a lot. Suddenly I looked at her differently; not badly you understand. No I looked at her and taking a few seconds to process this new information,  it helped me to re-evaluate what I’d previously experienced and as a result come to wonder about.

English you see, is not this person’s first language. It’s quite good in my opinion, and I can easily carry on a long conversation with her without ever misunderstanding her words, but she herself feels her English needs improvement. Where you and I hear someone speak and respond quickly to their questions, she hears a question and then translates the English to her native tongue in her head, knows what she wants to say and then translates it back to English as the words leave her mouth; all in a matter of seconds. That’s impressive; well to me at any rate. However, those few extra seconds required to perform all this sometimes have her concerned that she appears slow or unsure of herself.

In addition to the process I’ve just described for you however, she also has diminished hearing, and so she’d often ask for questions to be repeated, especially if the speaker was facing her or spoke very quietly – and speaking quietly was something I’d been doing when working with her one-on-one with the others present in the same room. Aha! My lower voice when speaking quietly off to her left or right meant she didn’t grasp all the words I spoke; she was only getting a portion of the sentences which led to the requests for repeating myself and the turned head to face me as I spoke quite often.

Her fear in revealing this condition was twofold; one she’s a proud woman and doesn’t want to appear weak and two she’s afraid that as a Receptionist or Administrative Assistant, she’d be discriminated against for having hearing loss.

We talked about this condition and here in Ontario we’re fortunate enough to have organizations like the Canadian Hearing Society. This is a fabulous organization who helps people just like her in a number of ways. They have employment programs specifically to help job seekers with hearing loss. They have devices that can amplify phone calls and most importantly help people come to speak with assertiveness when sharing their condition. So I put her on to them for help.

We also talked about the idea of if and when it might be appropriate to share with an employer her hearing condition. This she could do at the application stage in a cover letter, at the outset of an interview, or towards the end of the interview after having just proved she could carry herself well throughout the conversation. Her fear of course is that the employer might discriminate as I say and she’d be out of the running for a job. But, as I said, how long would she last if the employer didn’t know and it appeared in the first few days that this new hire needed so much repeated? Maybe it would be better to miss an opportunity during an interview than to be hired and then let go by keeping things to herself.

Another idea I floated was just telling the interviewer during that, “Tell me about yourself” question that she has a slight hearing loss and that looking directly at her when speaking and speaking clearly would be very much appreciated. A small plaque on her Reception desk if hired saying pretty much the same to anyone who approached her would also make things easier.

The option of whether or not to share what you perceive as a liability or disability is a personal one. I’d be very interested – as would I’m sure others reading this – in hearing from you if you’re experiencing something similar. What’s been your experience? When we open up and share this way, not only are you helping yourself,  you’re helping others.

So I ask you my reader, if you’ve disclosed your own condition, how did you do so, at what point, and what was the result?

About That Flub In THE Interview…


Everything was going so well wasn’t it? I mean there you were, surprisingly confident about how things progressed. You’d done your research and it was paying off as the right answers just kept coming into your consciousness at the right moments. It was getting easier as the conversation went on; your sweat glands seemed in check for once, your usual stress level was lower than usual. Then, just as all seemed right with the world for once and you could do no wrong, it happened; you sputtered, lost your momentum, panicked and drew a blank.

You’ve just experienced what is for many their biggest fear when imagining what’s the worst that could go wrong in a job interview. Sometimes it’s drawing a complete blank altogether and the other situation is when you’re 45 seconds into your answer and suddenly it hits you that you’ve got a better reply to the question asked of you and would really like a do over. Now you’re conflicted in not knowing if you should continue to fumble and bumble your way through or ask if it would be okay to start again with a different approach. Yikes!

There is one basic truth that you should remind yourself of both before and during the job interview; all interviewers want to see and hear you at your best. They want you to succeed quite frankly. It might not always appear this way, but unless they’ve got some deep-seated personal issues where they get their jollies bringing in people for the sole purpose of humiliating them, they want to spend their valuable time interviewing the people who are most likely to impress them enough to extend a job offer.

Generally speaking therefore, if you are running along smoothly in a job interview and suddenly realize that you’ve got off track in your answer to a question, you can certainly pause and regroup. I mean wouldn’t you do the same if you were at home having a conversation with someone and the same thing happened? Sure you would. You’d pause and say something like, “Wait a second, let me start again” and you would.

In a job interview however, we tend to think that it has to be a flawless execution (wait a second, perhaps I shouldn’t use the word, ‘execution’ in connection with a job interview?) from start to finish. We imagine that from the first moment we make eye contact with the interviewer(s) until they close the door behind us at the end, that everything has to be perfect; 100% error-free. One little slip up might be all it takes for them to reject us. Were that the actual reality, hardly anyone would be successful in their interviews. Why put that much pressure on yourself?

Most interviewers – the good ones at least – know that no matter how much they reassure an applicant and encourage them to relax and be themselves, people are still nervous, feeling a little anxious or even, ‘under the microscope’. What they ideally want to see and hear though I remind you, is the authentic you.

Okay so you’ve drawn a blank. It’s not likely to happen throughout the interview if you’ve prepared, so it’s likely either a question you hadn’t anticipated or a case where you’ve prepared so well, you’re just having an issue recalling the right experience from your memories. One strategy is to repeat the question; slowly. This buys you a moment to think and you come across as reflective; carefully considering your best response. Remember you shouldn’t be attempting to recall a memorized answer word for word but rather the right example from your past that demonstrates your experience with respect to the question posed.

Most people assume their short mental lapse is much longer and more pronounced than it actually is. Those 6 seconds of dead air where you’re thinking seem like 6 minutes, and you hope you don’t appear as lost as you feel. Taking a deep breath will calm your mounting anxiety because stress is a physical reaction. Smiling after the deep breath gives the impression you’ve got one – possibly two possible options of answering the question asked and you’re actually just deciding between the two ways to respond. You’ve just bought yourself a full 10 seconds of precious time which is usually all you need to organize your thoughts and continue.

Let’s suppose you’re concerned about that dangling wisp of hair that’s covering half your face….I’m sorry, I’m going to take another approach at this point; allow me to begin again. Now if you’re in the middle of responding to their question and it occurs to you that a better response has occurred to you, (such as the way I intentionally started this paragraph off track), stop, apologize, regroup and restart. It’s normal, it’s natural and more to the point, it’s acceptable.

You’re human right? You’re going to make some small mistake perhaps; some of the interviews I’ve had went smooth as can be and didn’t always result in a job offer. Sometimes I’ve been sure I blew my chance and days later received a job offer.

Consider this…making an error in an interview and demonstrating how you recover your momentum and confidence demonstrates first-hand your ability better than just talking about it. You could actually point this out in the moment and that might be the most impressive thing they take away.

You need not be perfect, it’s how you recover.

 

 

“What’s Your Weakness?”


Ah the weakness question in the job interview. It’s one of the classics isn’t it? I mean of all the things they ask you in most interviews, why is this question still being asked?

The answer is of course that the question is a good one, so you best be prepared to answer it intelligently. If the question wasn’t worthwhile, then interviewers would have stopped asking it a long time ago. So it stands to reason they are finding it useful in revealing information necessary which helps them make their decision.

Asking about an area in which you are weak gives you the opportunity to either reveal something about yourself so damaging that the interview essentially ends on the spot or it provides the chance to impress the interviewer. Revealing something damaging about yourself isn’t something I’m going to spend much time on here. Suffice to say, its fatal to say you have no flaws at all. It’s also suicidal to reveal a criminal conviction, past aggressive behaviour on the job such as assaulting a co-worker you didn’t get along with or question the interviewers intelligence in asking such a dumb question. Oh yeah, someone I know actually did that.

The smart thing to do with the question is to have thought about it long before the interview. Anticipating the question makes it less nerve-wracking and stressful when it does come up for starters. Let’s face it, when you really want the job, talking in any way about a known weakness isn’t going to be something you naturally would want to volunteer. So doing it on the spot might catch you saying something later that while honest, wasn’t the best choice.

So pull out that job posting and read what the job entails. What will you be doing in this position and have you done it before? All of it? Are there areas or perhaps a single thing you notice that you haven’t had direct experience doing or perhaps did quite a long time ago and you know things have evolved? Could be, and if so, you might find your answer to the question here. Do yourself a favour though and don’t make telling them your weakness the entirety of your answer. The impact of this is just to leave them flat and yourself painted in a negative light.

When you state your weakness follow it up by sharing both what you are doing to improve on it and how you’ve overcome such weaknesses in the past. For example if an organization uses some specific computer software that you are not familiar with, you could share this along with evidence from your past where you quickly acquired the necessary expertise to competently use industry-specific software in a previous organization. It stands to reason that if you learned software elsewhere upon accepting a previous job, you have the necessary skills and interest to learn the software this organization uses too.

The one thing you may reveal about yourself in answering this question is your attitude for learning and your acceptance of learning from others around you. Presumably you are going to get some support in this new position. Someone is going to be responsible for showing you the ropes, giving you an orientation to the job, introducing you to company policies and practices and might be assigned to have you job shadow them.

You are the new hire; the fresh blood. You are the one in the beginning who has a lot to learn, even if or when you come to a job with a great deal of experience. So while you have much to share and a good grasp of the technical skills to perform in those early days, you won’t know how the organization you are now working for goes about the work. It’s in the ‘how we do it here’ that you can best reveal a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.

Once, maybe even twice, you might get away with a, ‘this is different from when I worked at such-and-such” but keep those kind of statements to a minimum. You don’t work there anymore and this company does things a certain way for a certain reason and quite frankly you haven’t been with them long enough to know why. The bottom line is it’s good advice to respect how and organization does things in the beginning instead of second-guessing those around you and telling them about the better ways of doing things they need to know.

The weakness question in the job interview also gives you the chance to identify any training issues the company should be aware of that once known can best get you working up to full speed. If you claim to have a certain knowledge and experience at the interview but are counting on bluffing it or getting a co-worker to show you what you claimed to know, you might find yourself out of a job faster than it took you to get it.

In the here and now can you identify something that is generally needed in the jobs you are applying for that you aren’t strong in? if so, start to work on that now. Look up some training online that might be free or invest in yourself and take a course. Practice your skills and get that training on your resume so you can point to what you are doing to improve yourself in that area.