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"Tell us about your weaknesses..."

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Timewyrm, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Timewyrm

    Timewyrm Bit Poster

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    When an interviewer asks this question, is it really what they are asking, or is it a trick question ?
    I mean, in my last interview, I was asked that question, and I replied that I found it a bit hard to concentrate on something I didn't find challenging. As soon as I said this, I thought "oops" ! I did quickly say to the interviewer though, that the reason I was going for the position was because I found it very interesting...

    So is the exercise here, to somehow turn your weakness into a strength ?
    Is this also one question where it's ok not to divulge too much information ?
     
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  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    It is somewhat of a trick question. I mean in school when we were tought about writing cv's and doing interviews, we were told that if a question of that sort ever came up, we should reply with an answer that is both great but at the same time something that bothers you.

    For example; if you're asked what is your weakness you could say that I am a perfectionist. Meaning that I have to get everthing perfectly done before I am satisfied, that way it shows the employer that you are more then willing to get a task done and are serious about it but at the same it portrays as habit of yours that you're not too keen about, or comfortable, etc.
     
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  3. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    I really, really bloody hate it when interviewers ask things like this. I remember back when I was doing my degree, I went for a job as a fitness instructor and they asked me exactly that. Wihtout thinking (I hadn't had much experience of job interviews then) I replied 'oh, I can't be patient with ignorant people and tend to lose my rag with them', instantly regretting that, as obviously being a fitness intructor is a client-facing role.

    I didn't get it.....

    It's one of those questions where there are generic if slightly cheesy answers, but you want to make sure it looks like you've just thought of it otherwise they'll spot it a mile off, like 'I'm a perfectionist and may spend longer than necessary on a job but I have to get it just right' or 'I get frustrated easily but only when a job isn't done properly'. You're putting a positive spin on a negative question

    I think also they want to make sure you don't say something like 'if someone disagrees with me then I punch them in the face' or 'I'm a raging alcoholic'.
     
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  4. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    It is a tough question, I've tried two approaches, a) to come out with the cheesy answer, disguised with a genuine discomfort like mentioned. b) answer with a genuinely truthful negative comment, and explain that you wouldn't be human if you was perfect in everyway- honesty + loyalty?


    Guess I better make some ammendments to my CV :dry
     
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  5. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    My weakness? Kryptonite.


    Just kidding. I'm more of a "Man of Aluminum". :oops:
     
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  6. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    My weakness is a low tolerance for stupid people who ask stupid questions. :ohmy So, when do I start? :biggrin
     
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  7. Arroryn
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    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    ROFL!

    It is a trick question, but I don't think they're looking for an aptitude answer; I (personally) think they're looking for a personality answer.

    Someone who's got the lines done in their head, for example, could be construed as having good preparatory skills - but keep in mind that depending on the type of job you go for, they could see at least ten other people for the same role. They'll know what kind of answers to expect, and if you troll out something textbook, then they may mark you down for creativity.

    I was expecting this question in my last interview, and really wasn't sure how to answer it. In the end, I plumped for the truth. This isn't quite verbatim (I write a lot more confidently than I talk) but it's about the gyst of it:

    Another favourite 'personality' question is 'how would your friends describe you'. I got that in the same interview that I had the question above.

    They still gave me the job, even after answering 'clinically insane'.

    But I backed it up with confident validity. It's personality they're looking for with the trick questions, not some ultra-prepared interviewee that's slicker than Slicky McSlick, from Slickville USA :biggrin
     
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  8. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Or

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1213771/trainspotting_interview/
     
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  9. Timewyrm

    Timewyrm Bit Poster

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  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I usually say I used to be too quick at things and used to miss obvious things when it comes to quality control but always found the things that not many people noticed. I have now come to address these into a balance.

    I would say my only weakness now is being too thorough.
     
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  11. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Or you could say I have no weakness in regards to this job/vacancy!8)
     
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I couldn't say that I would feel like I was being a big head or something.
     
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  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    LMAO, or that could work!
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I really, really, REALLY can't stand it when someone turns me down for a job. In fact, I tend to get quite irate and start taking it out on those who have rejected my services.

    But that won't be an issue here... WILL IT???? :hammert

    Good, I didn't think so. :cheeseyg

    ----or----

    I have the propensity to say completely inappropriate things at the wrong times. Nice rack.
     
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  15. Timewyrm

    Timewyrm Bit Poster

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    Which I suppose would go along nicely with my twitching eye and twitching neck...:knife
     
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  16. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Not scary at all, Mr Vampire man. No no.

    Thanks. I've only strung four men up on it this year :twisted: :rolleyes:
     
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  17. postman

    postman Byte Poster

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    If I answered "My only weakness is not being able to pass hitchhikers on the side of the road and my patio is already full":biggrin
     
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  18. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Too bad it was a male interviewer with "man boobs". :tongue

    :I am *so* in trouble now...aren't I?:
     
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  19. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    You wouldnt believe the amount of times i've suffered from foot in mouth syndrome (or FiMS) over the years, both in interviews and normal conversations. Some times at my expense and the rest of times at others. (discuss hotdog and then say you took a foot long in a room full of men! I meant to say ate a foot long)

    if i get asked that question in an interview i normally say "I'm persistent yet stubborn. I'll chase a problem until i have an answer and don't want to give in. Or will ask a question and stand next to whoever until i get an answer, and if i don't i'll be back again."
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Impressive... two off of each one! :twisted:

    Tell me, where will you place the fifth? ;)
     
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