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Profile for Rob Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

Chocolate digestives dunked in tea, a pint (or six) of Beer on a Friday night or a bacon sandwich smothered in Heinz tomato ketchup on a Sunday morning? Trust me when I say you're not alone. However that is beside the point - employers will ask you tough questions, and it's up to you to prove yourself worthy of their consideration. Luckily we're going to help you with one of the toughest interview questions - 'the weakness question'. Interviews are an art, if you want more advice on perfecting them, check out our interview advice.

No interviewer will expect brutally frank answers like "I have a below average intelligence" or "I am extremely difficult to work with" or even "I turn up about 20 minutes late to work most days."

However, interviewers will probably expect standard textbook "canned" answers such as "I work too much. All I do is work, work, work and work." Although, your potential employer would not appreciate or believe this typical, cliché, and transparent answer and they will probably think you are either lying or, worse yet, you are telling the truth! 

If this is the case, you define working too much as a weakness, which could suggest you don't really want to work much after all?!

It's not the easiest question to answer, and so we've compiled a brief guide on how to tackle 'the weakness question' below! If you want to check out the answers to avoid try our short list of 'absolute DON'Ts'.

It's Simple: Honesty Really Is The Best Policy

Whatever you do, tell the truth. Whilst there are quite obviously answers that interviewers prefer to hear, you have to make sure it matches up to reality. 

Why you ask?

First of all, it's not a great idea to get hired for a job that you're not matched for - even if your inner 'during interview mode' self, is able to obtain the job through the art of the blag and your understanding of being able to produce the answers interviewers want to hear.

Secondly, any good interviewer will check your references. If your answers don't match what they've heard from you, it's extremely likely that you'll lose the chance for the job. Assuming you want to land a position where you'll thrive, this should be your goal too - and, unfortunately, honesty is more likely to get you there. Just provide a well-prepared, yet honest, answer and fingers crossed you will have that dream job in no time!
 

From The Interviewer's Perspective

The usual "I work too hard" and "I'm a complete perfectionist", predictable answers will make the interviewer feel as though they are dealing with a candidate that they can't really trust, and someone who they are going to have a hard time in developing an open, honest, working relationship with. Furthermore, they still won't be aware of any of your genuine weaknesses either.

If you are able to provide more truthful answers the interviewer will have a much greater chance in judging if they can work around your weakness. 

This, therefore, not only helps the employer but consequently helps you. After all, you wouldn't want to work for someone who wouldn't be able to cope with your weakness which could inevitably lead to a dismissal from the organisation. 

Here's our list of other questions an employer may ask you in an interview - should you want to prepare more.
 

A Sales Role But Your Greatest Weakness Is Selling... ?!

It cannot be stressed enough that the weakness you talk about is not a key element of the position. In simple terms, don't mention a big weakness that could cost you the job!

However, if your greatest weakness is one of the main job roles, you probably shouldn't be applying for the job after all. Your aim is not to lie but merely present yourself and your core assets to the best of your ability. 

We're all composed of strengths and weaknesses, however, this doesn't mean that we tell an interviewer every little detail about what we do wrong within the work place.

For example, if you are being interviewed for a Managerial role in charge of a 50 man team, it probably isn't best to mention that you have trouble getting along with people seeing as the job role will constantly involve working with others!
 

So How To Answer: Talk About A Weakness That You're Actively Working To Overcome

How to talk about a weakness that you've overcome

 

The Aaron Wallis Team working to overcome an obstacle.

 

Don't sugarcoat or try to make a negative a positive, alternatively, you should select a personal weakness of yours that you have been actively working to overcome. 

Think seriously about your weak points;

  • What have you struggled with in the past? 
  • What have past managers encouraged you to do differently? 
  • If you were able to wave a magic wand over your head and change something about your work skills or persona, what would it be?

The weakness you choose should come out as a problem which is almost solved; it shouldn't be a critical and hopeless trait that cannot be helped. 

An example could be that you've had trouble in the past with planning and prioritisation.  However, demonstrate and clearly explain that you are taking steps to correct this; could be through the use of a pocket planner or simply actively making more lists throughout the day to ensure work tasks are completed. 

DO YOUR RESEARCH - a little research into a company before an interview will likely help you to understand the employer and their needs more, and help you prepare an appropriate answer.

 

8 Examples Of Possible Answers

Please do not simply 'copy and paste these answers during your interview, but use them as a basic structure for formulating your own creative answers. 

Remember to answer the questions 'behaviourally' with specific examples that show clear evidence that backs up what you are saying about yourself. Always provide information that shows that you want and can become the very best sales employee for the company and that you have specifically prepared yourself to become exactly that. 

Bear in mind, they want to be sold - they are waiting to be sold - so make sure you don't disappoint!
 

Example 1: The One Who Loves All The Little Details

"I am sometimes much too concerned with details, but I have learnt that delegation solves this aspect and I am now using it often."

Example 2: The One Who Likes To Take Their Time

"One of my weaknesses is that I occasionally have to compromise on time for quality and perfection."

Example 3: The One Who Focuses On Quantity Not Quality

"I feel I am not very detail-oriented. I'm a person that wants accomplish as much as possible. I realise this negatively affects Quality and therefore I'm trying hard to find a balance between Quality and Quantity."

Example 4: The One Who Likes To Do It Alone

"At times, even when I need help, I try to solve my own problems instead of asking a co-worker who might know the answer. This would save me a greater amount of time and I would be more efficient. I'm working on understanding and knowing when it would be beneficial to ask for help."

Example 5: The Impatient One

"I believe one of my weaknesses is my impatience. Whenever I work in a team and any of the team members do not perform up to my expectation, I tend to get extremely impatient and annoyed. I do understand if they're working hard and if their sales portion is difficult, but there are occasions when a person can't do an assignment due to incompetence and laziness. I'm trying to work on this weakness by explaining things to some people in greater detail and encouraging 'lazier' individuals by reminding them of deadlines."

Example 6: The Not So Organised One

"When I first started in the work world, I found that I wasn't as naturally organised as I wanted to be. Without a system to keep track of everything I was juggling, I had trouble keeping all the balls in the air. So now I make lists religiously and check them every morning and every afternoon to make sure that nothing is slipping through the cracks and all my priorities are correct. I'll never give up my lists because I know that, without them, my natural state is a less organised one."

Example 7: The One Who Hates All The Paperwork

"I really have a dislike for paperwork. I've found it's easier for me to address the issue if I set aside specific times during the day to fill out forms. If I break it up into small portions, it's not so bad to deal with."

Example 8:  The One Who Likes The Bigger Picture

"I'm really great with the 'big picture' and have learned to surround myself with people stronger at dealing with detail work than I am, as I quite often struggle in this area."

Practice Makes Perfect (It really does!)

Whilst the "weaknesses" question often brings that horrible lump in your throat try to be enthusiastic and confident when responding to probably the most negative question that you can (and probably will) be asked. Don't rush your answers (this won't make your weakness look any better) and don't ramble on and one and one either! 

Try to, um, avoid, err, like, using, unnecessary words, yeah? And um, you know, don't repeat yourself, or, like, actually, use, annoying, kind-a-like, phrases, you know what I mean?

Look At The Job Description For Help

To help figure out what an employer is looking for always take a good look at the job description. This will give you tips as to the qualities that an employer is looking for. 

You can then work out the skills and qualities that are vital to that role to ensure that one of your main weaknesses doesn't affect being able to perform the duties and tasks necessary.

To Conclude

Never say you are a "workaholic" or a "perfectionist " because overall it just sounds negative.

Try to convert negative biased qualities into positive ones. Remember every one of us has our own unique mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Although it may be that you will indeed be asked to discuss your weak points during your sales interview, all successful applicants are able to turn these moments around and move into a more positive conversation. However, do not be consumed b your weaknesses. Learn what exactly it is that you do well, what it is that you need to improve upon and then build your career plan on your knowledge of both.

Follow this advice and you'll be fine, and if you've been made an offer you may want to check our guide on how to make a great first impression on the first day of your new job.

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HOW TO WOW AT 1st INTERVIEW

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We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis’ services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

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ABOUT OUR SALES RECRUITMENT SERVICE

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles saught to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard on securing my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them

C. Caine, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

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