Cause and Effect, Part 2

In our previous article, our manager of client relations, Joyce Clinton, spoke on strengths and weaknesses.
We’d like to share more of her words of wisdom with you today.


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My last blog focused on how to convey your strengths during an interview by using a “cause and effect” rule to articulate specific and quantifiable accomplishments. For example:

“As a manager of Company X, my focus is on building client relationships. I have identified and engaged 30 clients who have not purchased in the past three months. Through re-engagement and creating a personal shopping experience, we have been able to build relationships and convert 53% of them.”

During the interview process, you may also be asked the dreaded question, “What would you say are your weaknesses?” As difficult as it is to admit any weakness, let’s face it – we all need improvement in certain areas. This question requires thought and planning before the interview so that you can be honest and convey an appropriate weakness, but also articulate how you are working to correcting it. It is important to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative. Always lead with the positive.

 

It is important to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative.

 

Two examples of this are:

1. “I love mentoring my team on the selling floor to drive sales, but I am not as strong operationally. However, I always set time aside to ensure operational procedures are above company standards.”

You will come across more confident than just saying that you are not strong operationally and it will make the person interviewing you aware that you are working on this. It shows that you are aware of the “360-degree” responsibilities of the job, but prioritize your skills and efforts toward driving sales.

2. “I tend to be a perfectionist, as I want to ensure that important projects are executed to the highest standards. Therefore, I tend to complete certain projects on my own as opposed to delegating them to my team. I realize how important it is to develop my team and have been training them, delegating more tasks, and taking time to review how they are doing with each project to provide appropriate feedback.”

This shows that you have high standards and understand the value of delegation.

Please avoid cliché answers such as “I’m always told that I work too hard” or “I take too much pride in my work.” A well-constructed answer like the examples above shows introspection and a desire to continuously improve.

I hope these examples help you navigate the interview process. Feel free to email me with any questions at joyce@bowermangroup.com.

 

Rob Bowerman is President and Founder of The Bowerman Group- a leading executive search firm for luxury brands in the US and Canada. Rob is also President of The Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.