Sheffield Forum
Your message here

"What are your weaknesses?" interview question.

Home > Sheffield > Sheffield Business & Employment

Reply To Topic
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
25-03-2006, 05:22   #1
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
I have an interview on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure they'll be all the usual questions, including my least favourite one "What are your weaknesses?".
Anyone got any advice on how to answer that one?
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 16:18   #2
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
Somebody must've been asked this in the past, surely?
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 16:28   #3
stars_gazing
Registered User
stars_gazing's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Crookes
Total Posts: 594
Send a message via MSN to stars_gazing
Not come across it before, but:

Weakness: "This undesirable need to help people??" (too corny?)
OR say something like, "I work with my emotions, which is both a strength and weakness because it keeps me in touch with my customers/clients but also means I get really involved in whatever I do and blah blah blah" - you see where I'm going with this?
_______
And all that jazz...
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 16:36   #4
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
Quote:
Weakness: "This undesirable need to help people??"
Ooh I like that, ta.
I get where you're going with the "emotions" one, but it's a fine line to tread I think.
I was going to try and go with recent weaknesses I perceived and the action I've already taken to correct them, but am a little concerned that may not be the answer they're looking for. Perhaps I could say that I get too wound up about potential interview questions!!
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 16:37   #5
muddycoffee
Chav Catcher
muddycoffee's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: asientos des bosques
Total Posts: 8,723
I would say something like,

"I sometimes loose track of time when I am working on my own, and spend too long doing something which should be finished quickly."
_______
Roadtrip Movies Please view my local roadtrip movies. All shot from a moving vehicle around sheffield streets, airports, snake pass etc.....
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 16:56   #6
Lucretia_73
Registered User
Lucretia_73's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Total Posts: 275
I hate that question because any weakness I might have isn't usually something I'd want to share with a potential employer, so I go for the Spud (Trainspotting) option - 'I'm a perfectionist.' though without the Glaswegian accent, the Speed and the rest of the speech...

I also hate the question 'Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?' - my first thought is always 'Not working here!'
_______
The label pres. calls and yells, "Sign more emo!"
How about screamo? "If it sells, sign Nemo" - MC Lars

www.myspace.com/red__mistress
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 17:02   #7
mrbangle
Registered User
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Total Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotphil
I have an interview on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure they'll be all the usual questions, including my least favourite one "What are your weaknesses?".
Anyone got any advice on how to answer that one?
I got asked this question. I hesitiated a lot then just said something along the lines of, "I tend to slack when given tedious jobs, especially if there no urgency".

It would help if you said what industry you were going for the job in. My answer was OK for my reasonablely technical job but I suppose if you were going for a data input, it would be a major weakness.
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 17:24   #8
max
Leftie epeeist
max's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Stannington
Total Posts: 10,241
I told one employer I worked to the 80/20 rule in that I could swiftly get the 80% of a task done but needed someone in the team to be a completer finisher as I was always looking for the next challenge. It worked, I got the job.
_______
The study, published in Psychological Science, claims that right-wing ideology forms a 'pathway' for people with low reasoning ability to become prejudiced against groups such as other races and gay people. - Daily Mail Feb 2012
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 17:27   #9
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
Quote:
"I tend to slack when given tedious jobs, especially if there no urgency"
LOL, yes that wouldn't be a good answer for data input job. The role I'm applying for is a Systems Admin-type role.
I'm not sure I want to come across as (perhaps) conceited and say I'm perfect, but I don't want to highlight any potentially nasty weaknesses either. I'm thinking now it's going to come down to the rapport I can strike with the interviewer. I think I can find out which football team he supports before the interview, and if it's quite a jovial affair maybe part of my answer could relate to supporting an alternative team with a bit of a rivalry? Upside is it might show I do my research well and be quite humourous, downside is that it'd be a lie and might make him think I'm some kind of stalker!
I'm also thinking of "impatience", " a sense of tidyness and order that some may say verges on OCD", "shopping", as well as a few technical areas, perhaps "system 'x' - but I've got a book on it I'm working through".
And speeling too (as I've just re-read this and had to make corrections!)
Would be grateful for feedback/suggestions from anyone experienced in interviewing for such a role too.
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....

Last edited by HotPhil; 26-03-2006 at 17:30.
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 18:40   #10
Liose
Registered User
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Total Posts: 941
Passionate about what you do (can make you impatient)
Impatient (with others if they don't work to the same level/speed/quality as you)
Annoyed (with others if you feel they are slacking and you are working)
Can spend too much/too little time thinking over things and analysing - you know you need to get balance right.
Emotional - can sometimes interefere with rationality
Involved - sometimes take work home and need to give it a rest as you know that work life balance is important for your sanity!
Can be too much of a doormat and let other people take decisions as you don't want to upset people...
Conversely, can be too opinionated and realise you need to take more of a back seat and listen...

Some examples above - I have loads more - the list is endless!

Generally, this is the sort of question that can tell an employer a lot about how confident your are. For example - everyone has weaknesses. It is those with strength and confidence who know what their weaknesses are, can recognise them and help others within the workplace understand these weaknesses so they don't become a major problem. Those who don't want to talk about their weaknesses don't want to see the problem and therefore can end up hiding behind a mask of something nice and perfect. Don't say "I am perfect"...an interviewer lives in the real world and will expect weaknesses... The strength from you comes from when you are genuine and recognise your strengths and weaknesses and try and ensure they don't interfere with your work performance as you know they are there.
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 19:18   #11
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
Cheers that very useful - I need to view the question more as an opportunity to show I can be self-critical and more importantly, identify, address, resolve and re-evaluate myself. Cool. ta.
I think I was perhaps viewing this from a more negative stance. I shall get busy prepping...
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 19:44   #12
Liose
Registered User
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Total Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotphil
Cheers that very useful - I need to view the question more as an opportunity to show I can be self-critical and more importantly, identify, address, resolve and re-evaluate myself. Cool. ta.
I think I was perhaps viewing this from a more negative stance. I shall get busy prepping...
Exactly! One of my weaknesses? I waffle too much! It is a genuine desire to want people to understand what I am saying but I end up going on and on and on...I need to cut to the chase more! Good luck anyway...
  Reply With Quote
26-03-2006, 19:45   #13
SpiderPete
Camping Queen
SpiderPete's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Hyde Park
Total Posts: 5,869
Send a message via MSN to SpiderPete
I had a interview last week and the question I hated was

what is your weaknesses, as if I know
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 09:20   #14
dalen
Registered User
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Total Posts: 23
Send a message via AIM to dalen Send a message via Skype™ to dalen
Having been a Team Leader I can tell you one thing about this question.
If you answer only contains a weakness, that can be a potential problem.

What they want to hear is that you are not weak. What I mean is simply this.
Name a weakness, and how you overcame it or are working to improve it.

To name a weakness and to leave it at such is not the best when interviewing.

Best Regards

dalen
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 09:23   #15
dalen
Registered User
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Total Posts: 23
Send a message via AIM to dalen Send a message via Skype™ to dalen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liose
Exactly! One of my weaknesses? I waffle too much! It is a genuine desire to want people to understand what I am saying but I end up going on and on and on...I need to cut to the chase more! Good luck anyway...
More than likely, if this is an issue, they will see it.
Personality comes through in an interview to a certain degree.

Try not focusing on it, and if it is an issue, then work on it.
Read a previous post...you will have better success pulling out a weakness that is toned down and one that you are working on or better yet overcame.

They are interested in your strengths and what you can bring to the company. Negative traits stick out...no need to harp on anyone specific trait.

Best Regards

dalen
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 11:52   #16
Lester_Bigot
Registered User
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Total Posts: 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotphil
I have an interview on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure they'll be all the usual questions, including my least favourite one "What are your weaknesses?".
Anyone got any advice on how to answer that one?


I often don't flush the toilet, after using it
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 14:17   #17
lizzmobile
Pacha Mamma
lizzmobile's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Absolutely Fabulous!
Total Posts: 4,759
The perfectionist one is a dead cert. How can they fault it?
_______
"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living." Anais Nin
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 14:40   #18
Skatiechik
Registered User
Skatiechik's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Total Posts: 2,336
What they normally expect from that question is that you are able to sit back and recognise an area of improvement you need (weakness), but are able to follow it up with a positive on how you plan or are overcoming this weakness.
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 17:15   #19
HotPhil
Curry Craver
HotPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Australia
Total Posts: 8,711
Send a message via MSN to HotPhil Send a message via Skype™ to HotPhil
Cheers folks. Had the interview now. In the end this question didn't come up. Not sure it matters as I think I right royally screwed up the rest of it anyway!
Interviewers kept me waiting for 30 minutes sat in Reception where the only thing to do is wind yourself up into a mess!
Don't think there's a hope in hell I landed this one, but I'll be going for some more soon I hope!
_______
It's hard enough remembering my opinions without remembering my reasons for them....
  Reply With Quote
28-03-2006, 20:13   #20
Liose
Registered User
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Total Posts: 941
Dalen - that is what I was trying to explain to Hotphil - that the handling of your own weakness is a strength within itself - I believe that Hotphil did understand this in his response. It is a much deeper way of looking at the question and the candidate rather than just giving an employer a "surface" weakness - but actually tells you more about how a person learns about themselves and how they improve.

By the way Hotphil- How did the interview go today?

How did you overcome the question?
  Reply With Quote
Reply To Topic

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT. The time now is 17:34.
POSTS ON THIS FORUM ARE NOT ACTIVELY MONITORED
Click "Report Post" under any post which may breach our terms of use.
©2002-2014 Sheffield Forum | Powered by vBulletin ©2014