This question creates a great opportunity for you to reiterate your value proposition. If this company didn't already see reasons to hire you, you wouldn't have received an interview. Re-establish those reasons by being prepared to expand on information they already have in your resume and bring focus to those times where your involvement proved beneficial. Additionally, you may point out an area of "pain" you happen to know this company is experiencing and then offer your ideas for a solution.
Companies have several reasons for asking this question, and often, experts suggest you answer with a prior weakness, and the steps you already have taken to convert it to a strength. You may also consider that some companies want to gain insight into areas where additional training may be necessary when you become a part of the team. Being honest with yourself and the interviewer here will ensure that you don't wind up being placed on assignments you're not prepared to handle. The last thing anyone wants is for those weaknesses to be exposed at an inopportune time, wreaking havoc on the company's goals and your career.
Some job seekers struggle with this because they're concerned with appearing conceited or overly confident. The interviewer most likely is aware of your strengths already, or you wouldn't have been invited to this interview in the first place. They are simply hoping to hear you verbalize them. Keep your answer apropos to the position for which you are interviewing. Your ability to bench press 300 lbs. will have little impact on your duties as the new accounting clerk.
Take your interviewing skills to the next level by practicing replies to a few unusual questions. In an office team survey, executives were asked to share the strangest questions they'd ever been asked during an interview. Here are just a few they cited:
☛ What would I find in your refrigerator?
☛ What's the last book you read?
☛ What animal are you most like?
The interviewer will expect you to take some time with an unusual question. A thoughtful answer is better than a rushed one. It's OK to say something like, That's an interesting question. Let me think about it.
Let's say an interviewer asks you, "What animal are you most like?" If you say "a cat," you might want to add "because I am curious and always land on my feet." Try to highlight skills you'll need as an accounts payable clerk at that particular company when answering questions such as these. In this example, curiosity and landing on your feet represent eagerness to try new things and dependability.
Don't dodge questions. You could be particularly tempted to do so if asked about a resume gap. If you stopped working as an accounts payable clerk so you could finish an MBA program early, say so. Be honest and factual, and get ready for the next question.
If you're stumped, it's OK to ask for clarification. Ask the interviewer to repeat or reword the question. Interviewers will respect your desire to give them what they are looking for in an answer.
Interviewers evaluate more than the content of your answers. They also note how you formulate responses to get a sense of your creativity and approach to problems. Remain calm, maintain eye contact and stay confident.
Although there is a good possibility that you will work in a back office as an accounting clerk, you may be required to work at a front desk for a company and combine your accounting skills with administrative knowledge. In either case, good communication is essential. If you have worked in a customer service position in the past, now is a good time to mention that. Also, you may choose to provide an example of a situation in which you were able to resolve a disgruntled client or customer's issue simply by being sensitive to his or her needs and anticipating the expected resolution.