Interview questions

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31/07/2011 at 14:07

I'm usually pretty good in interviews, but that's more to do with an inherited ability to waffle than through proper preparation.

So, the question I dread the most - "What are your weaknesses and what are you doing about them?"

What are some good answers? I think I'm over-thinking it... which is one of my weaknesses

31/07/2011 at 14:12

sarah just be honest, say what your weakness is, how you approach that weakness and also try and turn it into a positive. in my case ...

I am my worst critic and criticism really can knock my confidence, however it also means that I take a lot of pride and care in the work I do and strive to do the best job I can. I try to deal with it by telling myself I'm doing the job as well as I can now and that any criticism is a chance to improve further. if it's negative criticism then I try to ignore it. ... something along those lines of waffle  

31/07/2011 at 17:24

I tend to say that I have a good attention to detail, but that sometimes it means I spend too long on a task getting it perfect.

Another weakness of mine is that I can always find a way of making a system more efficient but that sometimes I should be focussing my attention on more important things.

I also have a tendency of taking on too much as I am the first to volunteer for helping out those who are struggling with a deadline if it gets the department out of a hole.

31/07/2011 at 22:27

Thanks for the replies

My over-thinking weakness has made me completely over think the pluses/minuses of everything I was thinking of saying, but I like the suggestions above. Fingers crossed for the morning!

31/07/2011 at 22:34

Any good boss knows that the people who work for him/her don't need to be good at everything. very few people are. What matters is that they have the people who can cover all bases between them.

So talk about what your weaknesses may be but then go on to emphasise what your strengths are and what you would bring to the team. You may have weaknesses and they can be worked on, but in the meantime your strengths will contribute to the team as a whole.

31/07/2011 at 22:36
And I always think honesty gets plus points. Bullshit and evasion won't.
01/08/2011 at 00:59

Whatever you do never give them your worst weakness (or even your worst three), interviewers never expect you to give the worst trait/ weakness so they will always imagine something worse and if you already gave them something quite bad well then it is downhill from there.

Always turn your faults into positives like mentioned already. Stubborn equals never giving up on a problem.

But above all this is partly a trick question, like when they used to ask is Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit, do you watch Coronation Street or Eastenders. Sure they are interested in the answer and to see how you turn a weakness into a strength, but the important bit is that you don't freeze up and panic.

Don't worry and good luck.

Edited: 01/08/2011 at 01:00
01/08/2011 at 11:51
01/08/2011 at 11:51
Tell them that your biggest weakness is trying to think of good replies to pointless interview questions
01/08/2011 at 12:08
M.ister W wrote (see)

Very good!

I've not had a huge number of job interviews in my life but most questions that have been asked during interviews where I ended up working for the company were specific and relevant to my ability to do the job.  In contrast, during one unsuccessful interview I was asked either "What is your biggest weakness" or "What would your friends say is your biggest weakness" or some shit like that and I just thought, is that the best you can do?  (I didn't hear back from them and I didn't chase it up.)

I think it's important for employers to realise that it's a two-way process (bit of a cliche I know) and that the bullshit-o-meter can work both ways when deciding whether the candidate and the company are a good match.

I'd be tempted to answer in spectacular style, maybe something like "My biggest weakness is biscuits! Nomnomnomnom..." before polishing off all the Bourbons on the interview desk.

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
01/08/2011 at 12:34
Answering about weaknesses is a no brainer.

The simple reply should be 'im not aware that I have any weeknesses'.

Why give them a doubt or reason not to offer you the job!
01/08/2011 at 13:08

My weakness is that I'd take the question literally and give them my real worst weakness instead of making up a "weakness" that's actually a strength like most people do!

Good luck for your interview!

01/08/2011 at 13:11

I'm not sure that woudl work Barlos, they might decide that you just weren't very self-aware, which would be seen as a negative.

My take on the question is that it's okay to talk of a weakness as long as it's not a total deal-breaker as long as you show awareness of it and how you deal with it.

01/08/2011 at 13:40
I focus on skills that aren't as strong as my strengths. It's then not a neagtive, but a 'could be better'
01/08/2011 at 14:24

Interview done and dusted - they didn't ask the question!

Ah well, I do have answers prepared for next time (there's some positive thinking for you ) just in case they ask it.

01/08/2011 at 14:37

"My weakness is, I overprepare"

01/08/2011 at 17:12

And now I find myslef in the position of asking the questions, trying to avoid the pitfalls posted.  I wonder who'll be more nervous...

So, what question would you NOT like to be asked, than I can ask those!

01/08/2011 at 19:49
Helen - having recently been on the receiving end of various interviews recently, I recommend you dont waste either your time or the interviewee's getting them to fill in endless questionnaires about 'core competences' and 'strengths and weaknesses'. Just tell them exactly what the job's about, tell them what skills and experience you want, and ask for evidence that they've got them. It's not rocket science (unless possibly you work for British Aerospace...) but it's surprising how many potential employers make a complete meal of the process.
01/08/2011 at 20:54
An interview serves two purposes for the interviewer.  To establish if the person has the technical skills to do the job and to find out if they'd fit in with the team.  You can normally find out the second by chatting to them on the way to the meeting room.  It only takes a few minutes.  That means the interview should focus on technical skills.
01/08/2011 at 21:10
Good luck Sarah, hope you get some good news from them. And if you don't then they probably are horrible to work with and you wouldn't want the job anyway!
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