Q1. What Is My Greatest Strengths?
I have some traits I consider my strengths, but my biggest strength is being a reliable person. As a candidate for a sales person in your organization, I consider reliability an essential aspect since it has always worked for me even before I was employed.
Definition of the Answer
Reliability involves being dependent upon for a particular task. An employee is deemed reliable if he or she avails him or herself at the workplace at the required time. Such employee knows his or her job well and carries out any given task by the standards set by the employer. A reliable employee can be entrusted with the property of the employer because he or she will handle it based on the set standards of the company. Reliability further involves the conduct of an employee in the situation that occurs unexpectedly. Unanticipated situations can crop up anytime and such situations can tilt the direction of the organization. In such situation, a reliable employee ought to handle them tactfully to the best interest of the organization. Reliability further involves the interaction with other employees. A reliable person is courteous and helpful thus fits in a given team effectively.
Examples of Reliability
I have exhibited reliability since I became socially conscious, and this was well exhibited in my former job as a sales worker. There are several cases where I have shown reliability, but I will only highlight three. My first case is to do with my availability to work on impromptu cases during weekends and odd hours. During summer, we used to have a large client-base because of increased demand for our products. As a result, we could get orders even past office hours and during the weekends from some clients. The company relied on me to make deliveries during such times to which I agreed. Our company was voted the most reliable company online simply because of having reliable employees like me.
The second case involves teamwork. As a sales department, we used to work in groups to accomplish a given task. As a team player, I made sure all my part is completed efficiently and on time with the collaboration of other team members. At no time did I ever let the team down. My reliability ensured I was made the team leader after just three months in the company.
The third case involves coming to work on time. I have never found reasons to be late unless under unavoidable circumstances. The reason I was made a team leader is because of my punctuality. Team leaders were expected to come early to work and plan ahead for the rest of the team.
Reliability is an essential trait for a sales manager and hence my reason for applying for this position. The effectiveness of the sales department depends on its ability to meet targets set by the management. As a result, I need to be reliable to deliver in this position. As a candidate for such position, I need to be punctual, flexible to work at odd hours or weekends, a team player, and courteous. The sales department is the final link between the company and the customer. The way sales personnel behave is equivalent to the manner in which customers will rate the company. As a result, a sales manager is expected to be reliable for the company to be considered reliable by clients. This means I am supposed to be a very reliable person regarding meeting targets, dealing with customers, keeping records, working with teammates, relating to fellow workers, handling company’s properties, and managing my time.
Q2. What Do You Value?
My workplace values and personal and home values are the same. I value effective communication and display of integrity most among the values I possess.
Definition of the Answer
Values define an individual and cut across the whole spheres of one’s life. Values are therefore the building blocks of one’s character and dictate how one behaves at the workplace, as well as out of the workplace. I have built my values based on effective communication and integrity because I believe communication is the basic ingredient needed to kick-start and propagate any relationship. I believe that communication is not just about passing information but rather passing the right message in the right format, at the best time using the right media, in the right tone, and to the right people. Information passed this way will be efficient and will accomplish the indented purpose. I understand that life is about building good relationships, and this involves effective communication.
Examples of Effective Communication
My values as an effective communicator have been exhibited in many ways both at work and out of work. I will highlight only three cases related to my former workplace. As a sales person in my former company, I curved a niche in writing because I believed that written communication was the key to reaching out to clients, the management, and fellow workers. I ensured that my reports followed the right structure and language. My emails were officially structured to reflect professionalism in the information being communicated. After six months in the company, I joined the editorial team of the annual magazine produced by my former company. Realizing the need to reach out to the customers effectively, I introduced the Post Office Box column whereby I used the opportunity to address customer issues effectively. Through effective communication that addressed customers’ problems, the number of returning customers doubled because their issues were addressed adequately through effective communication.
My former employer has a Facebook page that engages customers with the company. Since being tasked with the responsibility of managing that account, the number of followers has tripled. I ensured that every concern was addressed, and this ensured that the site gets many referrals thereby increasing its traffic. Lastly, I was made a team leader because of my effective communication. I could plan and communicate the plan to my team members effectively.
I am applying for a position of sales manager, which essentially involves effective communication with clients, colleagues, and all stakeholders in the organization. My efficiency in this job as a sales manager will rely on how well I plan my resources and communicate my ideas to the sales team. At the same time, I may be called upon to address complex issues involving clients and the company, and this means effective communication will come in handy. I expect to use my values of effectiveness during communication to give the company a new picture in the public. I have realized that this company is not active on social media, yet this is one of the areas my values can aid the organization boost its customer base. I expect to set communication standards for my team and convey accurate sales information to the management for enhancement of policymaking process.
Q3. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
I used to be a crowd pleaser, and I am yet to recover completely from that habit. I hated disappointing people and thus I could go an extra mile to please them. My act of being people pleaser saw me gain popularity such that I can say I have very few enemies in my former organization.
Definition of My Answer
Somebody who is a people-pleaser does anything to ensure people around him or her are not affected by his or her actions. Although it is always good to be at peace with people around, it is not possible to please everyone, and thus, one must draw a boundary when relating with others. As a people-pleaser, I used to give attention to everyone at the detriment of my activities. I would struggle to make sure that anyone who required my attention is satisfied. However, this trait affected my work life balance because I was forced to spend extra time at work to cover for my lost time.
Although I am a people pleaser, I made sure that this trait does not affect the work of the organization. In fact, it worked to the advantage of the organization because everyone around me, including my bosses, was always satisfied with my work. However, I consider it a great weakness because everyone took advantage of it to manipulate me into doing some activities beyond my schedule. As a result, I sought for some solution to this problem, which I am working on it up to date.
The first step to alleviating my weakness was to enroll for a professional online help course. I got a career and life skills coach called Claire Hodgson. Hodgson has taken me through various professional and social skills such that I consider myself a better person than before. Through her help, I have learned five valuable lessons that are aiding me in transiting for people pleaser to a confident, independent and accomplished person. First, I have acclimatized to the fact that not everybody can like me. I just have to do my best but prepare for any reaction, whether positive or negative. Second, I have learned how to say no in a polite way without making excuses. Saying a firm no without making excuses has made me learn how to prioritize what is essential and reject what is not essential or what I cannot handle at a particular time. At first, I used to feel guilty after saying no to things I could not handle at a given time, but I later came to acclimatize to it. I have realized that as along as my no is genuine then I need not to feel guilty. I have also learned how to set some boundaries. I say no to something that goes beyond my values and time. Lastly, I have been forced to shade off some people who used to take advantage of me.
I understand that everyone has some weakness but one’s weakness ought not to be an excuse for the performance at the workplace. Although I have been in sales department before, this opportunity is different as the environment is new and the responsibilities are many. As a result, one can encounter some hindrances based on some unlearned traits. However, this will not be an issue because I have learned how to overcome weaknesses.
Q4. Tell Me About Something You Did – Or Failed To Do – That You Now Feel A Little Ashamed About?
It is possible to let some things go out of hand only to realize later that they could have been rectified, but I cannot figure out anything relating to my work life. Even in my social life, I cannot figure out anything that I have ignored that can make me regret. However, I am aware that one can fail to take care of essential things thereby leading to regrets. As a result, I have adopted an essential management principle that has guided me in my career and social life.
Definition and Application of the Answer
As a management code, I have learned that the finest way to avoid regrets in professional sphere is to avoid causing those regrets. As a result, I focus on avoiding regrets in my schedule. I accomplish this using simple managerial strategy. First, I plan my day before spending it. I have a planner in my diary whereby I indicate all the ‘to do’ things for the day. When coming up with my ‘to do’ list, I consider previous engagements and pending issues before inserting new activities into my diary. To avoid forgetting essential activities on my plan, I keep them on a reminder on my phone as well in my laptop.
Another managerial strategy I employ to ensure I avoid regrets is reviewing all my day’s activities before closing. In the end, I sit down to reflect on the day’s activities whereby I consider conversations and events, as well as the people involved. I perform a double check on people I have meet and how they are likely to be feeling about our interactions. Through my analysis, I might realize that some individuals require a pat on the back, a follow-up, or a five minutes chart to clear some emerging issues. Consequently, I make a follow-up on such matters thereby avoiding regrets. In addition, I ensure every team member feels appreciated and understands the value of hard work on every assignment done. In this case, everyone feels part of the group and all issues related to group dynamics are dealt with efficiently.
Since I am seeking a fresh challenge in a new environment, I am likely to encounter various issues that may cause some regrets if not dealt with adequately. However, my managerial strategy of avoiding regrets by shunning factors causing them will come in handy. I understand that the organization will be paying me to ensure things run smoothly and thus I will not give room for regrets. I bring in a novel managerial technique of reviewing the day’s activities to erase trails that may lead to regrets. At the same time, as a manager in the sales department, I bring in managerial technique meant to ensure that my team members are /will be motivated as a strategy of avoiding regrets. Mostly, I will avoid any act of regrets from the company for hiring me.
Q5. What are Your Greatest Weaknesses?
Answer To the Question
It is obvious every human being has some weakness, but that has never been my worry. When I reflect on my professional and social life over the past three years, I consider myself a changed person. I used to brood over some weakness I found a hindrance to my job, but I learned how to overcome them effectively. During my course of my career, I have realized that there are some things I cannot do effectively, but that is not an issue because hardly can one perfect in everything. An essential lesson has been to focus on things I am good at and to alleviate the weakness that may jeopardize my job. Nevertheless, I acknowledge some weakness that I have been working on to improve.
One of my major weaknesses is self-critic. I criticize my job often and endeavor to produce error-free projects. Whenever I have a write-up, I ensure that all traces of errors are erased. In this case, I use a lot of time editing and re-editing as means of ensuring that the work is perfect. I consider this as extreme because I sometimes waste time that I could have spent doing other things. Nevertheless, I recently enrolled for a coaching lesson and my self-critical attitude is slowly fading away. I have learned how to trust myself, and thus, I do not need to keep on re-checking my work after the first attempt. I have come to know that one needs to excel, but there is no need of fearing critics.
Another major weakness I have battled with is being workaholic. During my first day at my first job, I was shocked to realize that everyone had left the premises including locking the main door when I was still busy with my work. From that day, I knew that I was a workaholic, and thus I needed to improve. I enrolled for time management courses online with success coaches who have been training me on how to achieve a work-life balance. Through coaching, I have learned how to implement a day planner using various models such as Franklins’ planner. Through effective planning, I have managed to capture all day’s work and at the same time have time for my social life.
The position I seek demands flawlessness because it involves coordinating a sizeable workforce to drive sales activities of the organizations. Any mistakes related to the management of sales can affect the company and my career at large. Despite my few weaknesses highlighted above, I do not see how they can influence my work, and thus, I have the best skills to offer. In my endeavors to alleviate my weaknesses, I have equipped myself with more skills thereby becoming a complete professional. I have learned planning, which I consider essential skills for a sales manager. At the same time, I have learned how to trust my abilities, and this has increased my leadership skills. The lessons I have learned from career and success coaches online can easily be transferred to my colleagues under my department. This means apart from meeting departmental targets; I will build an effective breed of sales personnel capable of challenging professional and social issues.