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job interview qu: what is your major weakness?

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Mo0o

Lifer
Jul 31, 2001
24,227
1
76
Usually you dont want your weakness to start with "Too" where if you remove the word it becomes a positive trait. That usually is a complete bullshit answer that doesn't tell you anything about the person. You should find a genuine weakness that is still fixable and say how you're making strides to fix it.

My biggest weakness is that I get easily discouraged when doing new things if I dont excel at it right away.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,211
8
81
i came up with this one, and i have actually joked around with my bosses that it is a totally bs question and they agree but they also agree that this answer is about as good as it gets.


say something like... there are times you get too caught up in the minutae of a particular detail and may spend too much time on it and sometimes this can cause you to lose focus of the entire problem which leads you to stay at work late.

i usually would have a good example, since i actually do do that sometimes, where i get caught up in some particular algorithm trying to make it faster even though making it faster is almost inconsequential causing me to stay after to finish. but that said, its a good one since it makes you seem like you care about the little things and that you can stay after.

its worked for me anyways.
 

SearchMaster

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2002
7,792
113
106
Originally posted by: hans007
i came up with this one, and i have actually joked around with my bosses that it is a totally bs question and they agree but they also agree that this answer is about as good as it gets.


say something like... there are times you get too caught up in the minutae of a particular detail and may spend too much time on it and sometimes this can cause you to lose focus of the entire problem which leads you to stay at work late.

i usually would have a good example, since i actually do do that sometimes, where i get caught up in some particular algorithm trying to make it faster even though making it faster is almost inconsequential causing me to stay after to finish. but that said, its a good one since it makes you seem like you care about the little things and that you can stay after.

its worked for me anyways.
Heh - that trait completely goes against the philosophy of our department. I wouldn't automatically disqualify anyone for just about any answer to this question but that would be one that stood out in a negative way.
 

Azndude51

Platinum Member
Sep 26, 2004
2,842
4
81
I think when they ask that question, they don't usually care too much about the actual answer, but HOW you answer it. If you can reply with confidence and not seem like you're bullshitting, I think you should be okay.
 

cherrytwist

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2000
6,019
25
86
Originally posted by: Mo0o
Usually you dont want your weakness to start with "Too" where if you remove the word it becomes a positive trait. That usually is a complete bullshit answer that doesn't tell you anything about the person. You should find a genuine weakness that is still fixable and say how you're making strides to fix it.

My biggest weakness is that I get easily discouraged when doing new things if I dont excel at it right away.
My major weakness is the same, but I likely wouldn't phrase it that way.

The "perfectionist" angle has worked for me. It's not so much what you say, but how you say it, in my experience.

And yes it's a BS question.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
My biggest weakness? How about not being able to provide adequate kiss-assery for questions such as this?
"Ooh, my biggest weakness is working too hard! My biggest weakness is being too nice to my supervisors! My biggest weakness is working long hours without thinking to ask for overtime pay!"
 

johnjbruin

Diamond Member
Jul 17, 2001
4,402
1
0
I demand perfection from myself and tend to do the same with my expectations of others. This can sometimes create a very action/result oriented environment.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,601
5
76
I somtimes dont tell them what they want to hear.

This onetime i was going in for the poilce cadets when i was 16, i told them at the final interview that they should shoot petty criminals on sight as a lesson to everyone else :roll: The rest of the stuff i made up during that interview was good though, shoulda just kept the shoot criminals on sight thing to myself (a wheel off our car got stolen a few days before so i was in the mood to take down some lawbreakers).
 

compuwiz1

Admin Emeritus Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
27,062
869
126
Last time a suit in power colors interviewed me, I pee'd my pants. :shocked:
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
0
Originally posted by: PaNsyBoy8
i sometimes get too into my work and lose track of time and skip my lunch.
:roll:

If the people you work for buy that, you work for idiots. The days of the bullsh*t answers to this question ("I'm just such a perfectionist") are long gone. Employers want to hear about a genuine weakness and what your plans are to address it. They want to see that you can recognize a REAL shortcoming you have and take steps to correct it.

They're NOT looking to see if you read enough sample interview questions on the Interweb.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
0
Originally posted by: Jassi
Originally posted by: mugs
Originally posted by: PaNsyBoy8
Originally posted by: mugs
Fortunately I've never been asked that stupid question.

Originally posted by: PaNsyBoy8
i sometimes get too into my work and lose track of time and skip my lunch.
I'd rule you out right there for lying to me.
i lose track of time and skip lunch all the time
I'm sure you do, but you're a liar if you tell me that is your biggest weakness.
They didn't ask for the biggest weakness but a major one.....
The point is that it's not a weakness, at least not one that remotely fits the spirit of the question.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
0
Here's mine, and it's very true:

"I take a great deal of pride in my work, and while that in and of itself is not something I'd consider a detriment, it does set the stage for me to unconsciously set unrealistically high expectations for my staff and peers. I sometimes need to remind myself that not everyone has a passion for what they do. I take pride in the fact that I strive for quality and efficiency, but I also need to be mindful of the fact that I can't force my own self expectations upon everyone else."

It could be considered a variation of "I'm a perfectionist," which I DETEST, but if being a perfectionist really does somehow contribute to your biggest weakness in the workplace, then at least qualify it by backing it up with some detail. I'm a perfectionist, but it's not a "weakness". My weakness is getting irritated as hell when someone does the bare minimum necessary to receive a paycheck.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
44
91
Originally posted by: HomeAppraiser
I tend to blank out when people ask me that. Hey, there I answered it. Next question?
lol, yeah. my biggest weakness is coming up with an answer for this question.

I'm surprised more people didn't say "Nothing, I'm perfect."

I never really thought about it until now. Of course, I've only had 2 job interviews that really mattered. One of which didn't get me the job.

I have an interview tomorrow. I think I will answer that I tend to be really shy around new people or when I am doing something new and don't do well at it rigth away I get frustrated.

Which one sounds better?
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,518
5,822
126
Heh-Heh...I've been asked this before. My "interpersonal relationship" skills are bad. Typical Myers-Briggs ISTJ type, and tact is what you did to hold the carpet on the floor...depending on the job, that may be a bad thing, or not. I'm kind of an anal Type-A , and always drive to get the job done right, on time, and under budget...but sometimes I don't always recognize that others aren't as driven as I am...;)
 

cyclistca

Platinum Member
Dec 5, 2000
2,886
11
81
If you?re having trouble coming up with weaknesses talk to friends and co-workers. I did this with my references. It was interesting to see what they said were my weaknesses. You?ll be fine in the interview as long as you can show that you are doing something to overcome them.

Mine is that I am bull headed. I am driven to get results. I have learned due to various factors (Personality, cultural, etc) that not all people are like me and to be patient. Results will come.
 

cyclistca

Platinum Member
Dec 5, 2000
2,886
11
81
BTW I'm currently looking. I have not run into the weekness/strength question yet. I think at this point they expect people to be ready for this one.
 

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