Interviews are difficult! In a brief meeting, you're expected to tell an employer why you're better than the other 50 (or more) applicants that applied for the position.

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But what if they ask you about characteristics you don't have?

Use this question to your advantage and prepare answers that will land you that new job in no time!

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What To Consider

Often, when preparing for an interview, applicants focus on all the reasons why they are qualified for the position and can be caught off guard by a question that asks them to consider where they can improve.

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Don't let this happen to you! Instead...

  • Make a list of character traits that you think would be useful in the position.

  • Eliminate any traits you already possess.

  • Select 3 traits from the remaining list that you feel you can work towards but won't impact your ability to do the job effectively. This is where you need to "be honest with the interviewer, but not too honest!"

  • Ultimately, your answer should show the interviewer how you plan to develop in the position if you are hired.

Sample Answer

Anne is a newly graduated professional interviewing for an entry-level job in finance.

Q. What are three positive character traits you don't have?

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A. I strive to be aware of the areas that I need to improve upon. Currently, I'm working on improving my leadership, patience, and confidence.

As a new grad, I am used to being the most junior member of project teams but I am working on taking a more active role in leading meetings and similarly having confidence in presenting my ideas to my peers and team leaders. Further, I'm results-driven and can be impatient when projects take longer than expected.

Which Answer Is Best?

Sam is a student seeking a summer job in a bank. In this role, he will be required to interact with the public and handle large sums of money.

Q. What are three positive character traits you don't have?

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Which list of 3 character traits should Sam give in the interview?

Take Action

Use the tips and examples above to prepare for your next job interview! Just be sure to tailor this advice to the job you are applying for.

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