How do you respond to the interview question, "What is your greatest weakness?"

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by usmbguest5318, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. toobfreak
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    toobfreak Gold Member

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    Yep, those are the officially prescribed cookie cutter answers. Greatest weakness? I'm too thorough. I come in early and stay late working free to do a better job. I took a pay cut to save the company money. . . . It all sounds good and goes over well with HR staff looking for good conformers and interview game-players who know how to get in under the radar. The question is always: What will these people REALLY be like as employees after they are hired? A company's greatest successes come from the Innovators who know how to solve problems by thinking outside the box; how unfortunate that showing innovation or free thinking during a hiring interview will likely never get you even hired as you try to get past the dullards charged with interviewing to actually get to the people who would recognize and appreciate your creative skills.

    The problem in America today is that current corporate thinking is that all of the "bright minds" with the good ideas are all at the home central office being paid 6 figures and they always think they know what's best as they go out on their extended lunches being overpaid and dictate company policy to the other 99% of the company whom they expect to follow blindly without question like so many automatons with no brains. If you are out in the "work force," they don't want to hear from you, you couldn't possibly have any worthwhile input; just shut up and do your job and don't ask questions or you will be bumped. Is it any wonder America struggles in many ways to keep up with the rest of the world------ 80% of our brightest minds and best ideas are never even used.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. Unkotare
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    Unkotare Diamond Member

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    It is one of the most common interview questions of all.
     
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  3. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    Is that the same as gas?
     
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  4. Indeependent
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    Indeependent Platinum Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    More like being an arrogant ass.
    A firm that assigns a phone interview that isn’t an appropriate phone interview, someone is derailing something.
     
  5. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    My greatest weakness?

    I just work too hard. My old supervisor would drive by the office at 2:30 in the morning and see me still at my desk. He would have to drag me out and send me home. I refused to take weekends and holidays off because there was too much work to do. I don't know my kids names and think they play some kind of sport. I missed my mothers funeral last year because it took place during the work day. I never take sick days and once fixed my own broken arm while sitting at my desk, I work through lunch and consider multitasking my greatest skill
     
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  6. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    I have an entirely different spin on this whole situation, being an emotionally sensitive type.

    When you apply for a job, it is about the most vulnerable that a person can be. The power is all with the prospective employer. You get all gussied up and go to sit before a total stranger to be judged on one of the most important aspects of your life--knowledge, experience and the ability to do a job well. You are going, hat in hand, begging for work. As far as a power imbalance, it's about as close to the helplessness of being sold into slavery as most of us will ever come. It is all up to the decision of the prospective employer.

    In this case, the guy is peremptorily rejected by the man with the power, who is sitting by a pool in the Bahamas, because he honestly answered a question. And the man at poolside not only crushed the guy beneath his heel, he continued with a vituperative rant about just what a moron he was:
    I was so astounded that I emailed the people who did the preliminary "phone screen" and early stage interviews on the guy to inquire how his abject inanity and unfitness for our firm did not come through when they spoke with him. I was and remain incredulous that the guy made it far enough through the interview process that he got to talk to me.

    So the nightmare of interviewing for a job and being rejected is compounded with the reminder that the interviewer is also judging our character, our intelligence and whatever else he sees fit to poke his nose into.

    This story seems tailor made to emphasize how powerful the guy poolside is. The argument that he needed to pose a difficult question to see how the interviewee would respond would make sense if he actually asked a difficult question. But, as Xelor showed, it is such a common question that there are articles written about how to respond to it, so it's not really so hard, is it? Just a cool way to torture the mouse before biting out it's guts.

    I have always enjoyed conversing with Xelor and he's a smart guy, but a little empathy and compassion would go a long way here, regardless of the decision he made. It's his business--literally--and he knows who fits in. To me that wasn't the point of the thread.
     
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  7. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    I and my colleagues don't see it that way. I doubt that most business owners see it that way. The reality is that in the exchange of labor for money, both parties receive what they want and need. Very few principals/firm establish staffing levels based on the notion of "how many people can they can help by exhibiting the largesse of giving them a job."

    The "imbalance" is that of any one individual rarely, if ever, being the only person who can perform adequately (or better) the tasks an employer needs done. At the end of the day, every employee, when they go seeking a job, is saying, "I have something to sell and you have stated you desire to purchase that which I am selling." Just as, for whatever reason(s), one chooses to purchase a Big Mac instead of a burrito, employers evaluate their options and purchase "Bill's" rather than "Bob's" labor.
    There was nothing peremptory going on.

    Like it or not, all employers have requirements that prospective workers must meet. One can frame those requirements in whatever jaundiced language one wants, but at the end of the day, the requirements remain and seekers of the job must meet them, all of them. As go the requirements evaluated by asking the "greatest weakness question, I've already discussed them and shown that mine is not the only firm that has them.
    Among the firms that also have those requirements are the news organizations that have let go of reporters, editors, anchors, etc. who chose to say publicly things that do not align with their former firm's values. In most instances, the business (employee) requirements the person showed they lack in sufficient quantity are judgement and discretion. Those are not opprobrious qualities to demand of workers, including workers seeking/holding a position that pays over $300K/year, though, frankly the wage doesn't have much to do with it. Good judgement, thinking quickly on one's feet, and discretion are important qualities for workers at all pay grades.

    To the extent the employer/firm deems whatever be those qualities, they do and they are right to do so for nobody but a firm's owners/executive managers gets to decide what matters and what does not as goes the people from whom the firm purchases labor. One need not like a firm's definition of what matters and what doesn't in that regard, but liking it, one has two choices: (1) get over it and exhibit the requisite qualities to the best of one's ability, or (2) sell one's labor to a firm that doesn't think such things matter.

    That wan't the point of the thread. It is, however, a point that, in response to someone's comment, I later made
    .​
     
  8. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    Just sharing MY perspective. I am aware you have a different one. That doesn't make either of us "wrong," just viewing it differently.
     
  9. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    In the abstract, I agree with you on that.
     
  10. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    LOL But in this case, you are right. Yes?
     
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