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Old 04-09-2013, 12:23 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,708,350 times
Reputation: 4944

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Quote:
Originally Posted by move4ward View Post
My mentors advised me to provide a weakness and how I was improving on it. They advised me against saying "I'm a perfectionist", because it showed that I was avoiding the question. I was just giving a routine answer without any thought on the question. I never did come across anybody that was silly enough to ask this question.
i have been asked this question a few times! i tend to go with something that is an actual weakness that i have worked to improve. like "i'm not the most naturally organized person but i have done x,y, and z to keep myself on track and i think if you asked my current supervisors they would be surprised that i said this was a weakness." something like that.

"i'm a perfectionist" or "i work too hard" are bs answers and most interviewers know it. you have to give an answer that is some percentage of bs cause who wants to know that you will ACTUALLY suck at some aspect of the job, but you should keep that percentage low!
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:35 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,708,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma5cmpb View Post
I think the reason why people don't interview properly because they haven't had an opportunity to do so. People who worked at a job for 20 to 30 years wouldn't interview properly today because the interview process has totally changed.

In the past when interviewing, the interviewer would look at your resume and ask you questions about your skills and the position that your applying for. You may even take a test to prove those listed skills. Today they ask questions like "what's your favorite color?" or "tell me about a time that you..."

So how can you prepare for an interview like that?
well you can't really prepare for left field questions like "what is your favorite color" or google logic puzzles, but the "tell me about a time...." ones are pretty predictable. think in advance about some examples of times that you dealt with a difficult person, made a mistake and fixed it, worked as a team to solve a problem, dealt with a situation where you didn't know an answer, etc. practice talking about them with someone if you like. these questions are meant to determine how you deal with difficult situations that come up often in any workplace. google "behavioral interview questions" and you can easily find a list of the most common ones.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: USA
973 posts, read 1,039,038 times
Reputation: 1103
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
i have been asked this question a few times! i tend to go with something that is an actual weakness that i have worked to improve. like "i'm not the most naturally organized person but i have done x,y, and z to keep myself on track and i think if you asked my current supervisors they would be surprised that i said this was a weakness." something like that.

"i'm a perfectionist" or "i work too hard" are bs answers and most interviewers know it. you have to give an answer that is some percentage of bs cause who wants to know that you will ACTUALLY suck at some aspect of the job, but you should keep that percentage low!
You have to be careful with this one. If you say something like "I'm not always a team player," it could really come back to bite you. If the position requires that you be organized and detail-oriented, maybe it'd be unwise to say "I'm not the most organized person."
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:46 PM
 
Location: USA
973 posts, read 1,039,038 times
Reputation: 1103
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
well you can't really prepare for left field questions like "what is your favorite color" or google logic puzzles, but the "tell me about a time...." ones are pretty predictable. think in advance about some examples of times that you dealt with a difficult person, made a mistake and fixed it, worked as a team to solve a problem, dealt with a situation where you didn't know an answer, etc. practice talking about them with someone if you like. these questions are meant to determine how you deal with difficult situations that come up often in any workplace. google "behavioral interview questions" and you can easily find a list of the most common ones.
I agree. This question has been asked of me on many an interview.

Here are some examples:

Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult situation and how you resolved it.

Tell me about a project you've worked on that you're most proud about.

Tell me about a time you've encountered conflict in the workplace, be it with a boss, co-worker, etc., and how you handled the situation.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:12 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,708,350 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
You have to be careful with this one. If you say something like "I'm not always a team player," it could really come back to bite you. If the position requires that you be organized and detail-oriented, maybe it'd be unwise to say "I'm not the most organized person."
yeah, this is true, and i have had people grill me about that answer before. but you know, i'd rather work for someone who recognizes that people are not perfect and that they can work and improve than someone who would rather i give a fake, meaningless answer. to me that question really means "do you recognize your shortcomings and work to overcome them", not "what is the most irrelevant to the job at hand and/or actually positive fake weakness you can invent for me?"

but some interviewers do treat it as the latter, it's true.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:15 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,708,350 times
Reputation: 4944
also i just had an interviewer (just now, it was a surprise phone interview!) ask me what my GREATEST FAILURE was. seriously, greatest failure? i told her i couldn't think of anything really major (cause honestly i can't, not in my professional life) and then told her about a recent work mistake and how i fixed it and figured out how to prevent it from happening again. i dunno.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:26 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,276,243 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
also i just had an interviewer (just now, it was a surprise phone interview!) ask me what my GREATEST FAILURE was. seriously, greatest failure? i told her i couldn't think of anything really major (cause honestly i can't, not in my professional life) and then told her about a recent work mistake and how i fixed it and figured out how to prevent it from happening again. i dunno.

I would have walked out the interview after that dumb question.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:07 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,011,384 times
Reputation: 718
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
i have been asked this question a few times! i tend to go with something that is an actual weakness that i have worked to improve. like "i'm not the most naturally organized person but i have done x,y, and z to keep myself on track and i think if you asked my current supervisors they would be surprised that i said this was a weakness." something like that.

"i'm a perfectionist" or "i work too hard" are bs answers and most interviewers know it. you have to give an answer that is some percentage of bs cause who wants to know that you will ACTUALLY suck at some aspect of the job, but you should keep that percentage low!


Unfortunately, being candid will do you know favors in job interviews. And not everyone is gifted bser. Those who aren't may have to learn or else they may find themselves essentially unemployable.

I wonder if the reason politicians don't seem that concerned about the unemployment problem is that, as naturally gifted liars, most of them never had a problem getting a job and, as a result, politicians don't understand how people can struggle in this job market.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
27,284 posts, read 15,762,848 times
Reputation: 9858
Default Maybe It Is As Much the Interviewer as the Interviewee

I know there is a lot of things that the job applicant can screw up on, particularly in this heavy "go look at the jobs we have online" philosophy of job fairs. However, I think part of the issue is that we have people that are not good interviewers. You can be a great interviewee but if you are given bad questions or irrelevant follow ups, it can be an issue. Here is a bad series of questions I had on my last interview:

What is your biggest weakness or something I need to work on?: i said listening skills are something I need to work on because everyone can still learn to listen better no matter how good they are or think they are.

What are important skills of a manager: I respond with several things including listening skills.

Why did you say listening skills are something you mentioned as a weakness and an important skill of a manager. I said to the interviewer, the question you asked was weakness or something I needed to work on and that as a leader or follower, you need to be sharp on your listening skills because no two people are the same and people have different ways of communicating and what they mean by what they say.

Now are the first two bad questions/answers no. The issue is knowing what you asked.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:01 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,276,243 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpunk View Post
I know there is a lot of things that the job applicant can screw up on, particularly in this heavy "go look at the jobs we have online" philosophy of job fairs. However, I think part of the issue is that we have people that are not good interviewers. You can be a great interviewee but if you are given bad questions or irrelevant follow ups, it can be an issue. Here is a bad series of questions I had on my last interview:

What is your biggest weakness or something I need to work on?: i said listening skills are something I need to work on because everyone can still learn to listen better no matter how good they are or think they are.

What are important skills of a manager: I respond with several things including listening skills.

Why did you say listening skills are something you mentioned as a weakness and an important skill of a manager. I said to the interviewer, the question you asked was weakness or something I needed to work on and that as a leader or follower, you need to be sharp on your listening skills because no two people are the same and people have different ways of communicating and what they mean by what they say.

Now are the first two bad questions/answers no. The issue is knowing what you asked.

Your weakness was supposed to be a actual strength that you were pretending was a weakness and wanted to improve it so you can achieve certain success once you start the job.

Example, I said in one interview my weakness was that I only type 55 WPM and want to increase it to 80 so I can get a lot more done during the day.

The interviewer laughed because she knew that typing 55WPM was not really a weakness but was impressed I wanted to increase it
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