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

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

  1. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster

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    My greatest weakness?

    I guess I just am too hard a worker
     
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  2. evenflow1969
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    evenflow1969 Gold Member

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    Wow, I did not now you were a mind reader. Can you read mine right now?
     
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  3. Two Thumbs
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    Don't look for me come 4:45, I'm clearing a path to the exit
     
  4. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    It's sophistry that's been institutionalized. It's a game. Ask a question and sit back and see how clever the interviewee is in coming up with a non answer. Xelor responded with a short essay which showed thoughtfulness and completely skirted the question. Some people (like me) might make a joke out of it. I don't know what I'd say. It's not the kind of question that teaches a prospective employer much, imo, since NO ONE is going to tell the truth (except the hapless guy Xelor just interviewed).

    I suppose Xelor's right that it doesn't show a lot of common sense, but I do admire the guy's guts.
     
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  5. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    Not happening. I won't advocate for hiring anyone whom I know by their own admission have by their prior superiors been told they are difficult to work with. As I already stated:

    "The guy could have said any number of things. Hell, he could have gone with one of the standard pat answers to that question, and I'd have at least counted his answer as neither strong nor weak, but as neutral."
    FWIW, I've had other candidates give honest answers to that question that also are not self-deprecating. I shared what was my "solution" was for overcoming the dilemma that question poses. The handful of other honest and inventive responses/approaches I've heard aren't the same one I used, but neither were they pat answers.

    The purposes of that question are:
    • To get a sense of how the person, on their feet, handles "sticky" situations.
    • To get a sense of one's judgment.
    • To get a sense of one's innovativeness.
    • To get a sense of one's diplomacy skill.
    One can "punt" the question by offering one of the pat answers that depicts a trait normally considered as a positive and instead depicts it as a negative. Doing that won't earn one any points, but neither will it cost points for though though they are "pablum," they are at least politic answers. Alternatively, one can tackle the question head on in an innovative way that both answers it while also maintaining the "solvency" of one's argument that one is indeed deserving of an offer. Doing that with aplomb will absolutely earn one points.

    Unless one answers that question by sharing something that is, as the guy of whom I've written expressed, truly a negative attribute, one is unlikely to gain or lose an interviewer's approbation. As I indicated in my OP, never before have I actually come across someone who denigrated themselves by attesting to being one of the things no employer particularly wants to see in anyone it hires.
     
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    so you actually wanted him to lie.

    awesome
     
  7. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    That is a fine and effective way to parry that question. A well formed joke would in all likelihood earn you points. It certainly would were I the interviewer.

    It is something of a game. In my industry, however, the one thing of which one can be certain is that clients will sooner or later put one in an awkward position that must be addressed right then and there. Our people who are have a manger or higher title will have to deal with it, and being able to do so with aplomb -- whatever that means given one's style and personality. Mostly, I just want to learn what is the candidate's particular style for dealing with such situations. There is rarely, if ever, any single right way to do so, but compromising oneself or the firm is always among the wrong ways to handle it.
     
  8. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    Insofar as I have no will to try, now or at any other time, no.
     
  9. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    Yeah. Okay. I'll give him that. I'll note to that one's being adept risk manages and having the sense to exercise a prudent degree of aversion to taking risks that need not be taken are very important qualities/skills that even junior level (below partner) managers personnel in my firm must exhibit consistently.
     
  10. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    There are multiple acceptable ways to handle that question without lying. I shared the one I used and I discussed the "punt" option that other members have stated they'd use. OldLady shared another (How do you respond to the interview question, "What is your greatest weakness?").

    How you managed, from my remarks in post 75 and the approach shared regarding how I handled the question, to infer that I want a candidate to lie in response to that question is beyond me, but sure as cats have climbing gear, you did...
     

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