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Thread: Needed: a "good" weakness

  1. #1
    YH Jelly Llama Jockey defuzz's Avatar
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    Needed: a "good" weakness

    I have an interview next week for a software development job, I'm going over all the possible questions they might ask, "Why do you want this job" etc etc and I am trying to find a good answer to the age old question "What is your biggest weakness?". Obviously, they don't want to hear that I'm an alcoholic layabout wiht a penchant for daytime TV, what is a "Good" weakness to have in this situation?

    Obviously I'm looking for work related weaknesses, not personal ones.

  2. #2
    FK M.D. pheck's Avatar
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    this is always a tricky question. you want to come off as humble but not a complete screw up. often this is best answered with a story. think of a time when you could have communicated better which would have led to a better result, and how you have learned from this. or think of a time when you didn't follow up, etc. always end with how you learned from it, and perhaps even offer a similiar situation that you handled better as a result. best of luck on your interview.

  3. #3
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    That is good advice, pheck.



    Better than 'my weaknesses include enjoying sitting in pub beer gardens with a pint of ice-cold Guiness, eyeing up pretty girls in sexy summer halter tops'.
    ....


    Sorry, what was that? I lost my train of thought there.

    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  4. #4
    A very senior man mrpauly99's Avatar
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    try saying something positive in a negative way. something like i can be a perfectionist so im maybe not the fastest designer in the world. its a semi negative but also makes you

  5. #5
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    I suggest something like:

    "Have you ever had to work under pressure, and, if so, does your quality suffer?"

  6. #6
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by younghistorians
    I suggest something like:

    "Have you ever had to work under pressure, and, if so, does your quality suffer?"
    You are such a spaz.

    He's asking what are good answers to give to the question of 'what are your weaknesses', not questions that he should ask people who he's interviewing.
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  7. #7
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    Things that make it seem like you work too hard or in general put too much effort (more than it is "needed") in your work are always good options. Take a few picks:

    - "I'm an optimizing lunatic. I always try to remove unneeded things in order to save file space. This is usually unnecessary as it only save 300 bytes or so, but what can I do about myself?"
    - "I am maybe a wee to much of a perfectionist." (A REALLY common one!)
    - "I have this thing about 'clean code'. I just can't stand writing crappy (='bad', 'ugly') code and I often just need to go back and fix some things that started troubling me."
    - "I document all my work maybe even too well. I also date Tom Cruise and ski in the snowy hills of the Hell that just froze."

  8. #8
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    I'd go with pheck's advice on this - the perfectionist answer is a little bit too common IMO.

    My feeling is that you don't have to answer the question directly - what they are really asking is whether you are able to honestly judge your actions and can learn from your mistakes; cause, let's face it, nobody is going to admit their real weaknesses in an interview.

    - n.

  9. #9
    Pirate Cowboy MrChuckles's Avatar
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    We're doing a round of interviewing at the minute, and the answers that I have been most impressed with are those that show the "weakness" as an opportunity for development. So, the conversation runs a bit like this...

    Q So, what would you say is your biggest weakness?

    A That's a tough question, but I think if I'm honest, I would have to say that I tend to take too much upon myself. I'd be looking for the support of the management team and my new colleagues to overcome this, and learn more effective time management skills.

    Q Wow, what a good answer, you've got the job, and would you like an extra $50,000 and a date with my supermodel wife?

    (unfortunately I have never been able to use that last line, even sarcastically )

    Hope this gets you thinking mang, and good luck!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by hurricaneone
    You are such a spaz.

    He's asking what are good answers to give to the question of 'what are your weaknesses', not questions that he should ask people who he's interviewing.
    No, I meant for him to prepare for that question. If he prepares an answer to that, he can then go on to exploiting his weaknesses.


    I am sick of people constantly criticizing and insulting me. I am trying to help.

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