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02/03/09
Interview Question: What is your greatest weakness?
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 4:19 pm

An often asked and penetrating question in
many interviews that requires self examination
and assessment in light of the company
culture and role for which one interviews
involves admitting weaknesses Joann Lublin’s
WSJ article nicely reviews how several
interviewers have interpreted different
responses.  She then offers solid suggestions
on what to think about and how to sell
yourself in your response.

Joann indicated that some responses like
being a perfectionist will be used against you.
Another response that might not play well in a
related question of having problems with any
aspects of the job is “No, I can do it all.”
This might portray as the nice article says
not being able to take criticism.

Five points I endorse about a response with
integrity is
exclude using weakness in your statement
2  suggest a weakness that would not inhibit
you doing a good job or performing your
responsibilities.
3  indicate your corrective steps
4  point out the benefits of what you obtained
after your personal improvement
5  understand that your body language will
also be gauged in your listening, your
calm while considering your response and
maintaining eye contact and smiling in
telling your response.

One Response to “Interview Question: What is your greatest weakness?”

  1. site admin Says:


    Dan: “I always advise using an area for
    improvement that

    (1) is not a fatal flaw or impossible area
    to improve [e.g., not that I wish my IQ
    were 30 points higher];
    (2) is a personal attribute [e.g., not that
    I would like to learn 2-D NMR]; and
    (3) is something you have identified
    through introspection, have a clear plan
    to address, and have made demonstrable
    progress against.

    I recommend pausing to “think” for several
    seconds, so that it isn’t obvious that you
    have a ready answer; and developing
    a second example because if a good
    interviewer perceives that you are too
    quick to answer, he/she will ask you to
    give a second area for improvement.

    Regards–and stay warm.

    Joel”

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