The stupidest job interview question
You might not want to answer it truthfully.
Seriously, are you going to answer that one honestly? "I'm a
compulsive liar." "I chew my cuticles until they bleed. It makes a real
mess at my desk." Or how about: "I'm obsessed with all things George
Clooney. I have his face tattooed on my rear."
FMF also offers some humorous possibilities, including "I like to sleep on the job since I find the sounds of office machinery to be soothing."
You'd be a fool to be honest about your worst weakness or fault, he says, so what's the best way to answer that question?
In a post called "The never-ending debate on the ‘weakness' question," FMF examines several possible strategies -- including offering a "weakness" designed to make your potential employer melt. It's an approach he used in the distant past. One of his examples: "I'm a workaholic. Even on weekends, I'm putting in extra hours to get the most for my company."
But now he's not so sure about that strategy. He notes that a U.S. News & World Report article says that "candidates who offer strengths camouflaged as weaknesses come across as lacking insight or self-awareness." Or perhaps sincerity.
So what's left? Talk about a real weakness, FMF says, but only if
it's not too awful, you've fixed it, and you can explain how you did it
in a convincing way.
Several readers said the "weakness" question may actually be valuable in judging a job candidate's honesty or self-awareness.
"I like the idea of having a ‘solved' weakness stored up and ready to go," added Mary from SimplyForties.
Published Feb. 13, 2009
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Those shackled with student loan debt are increasingly being targeted by scams and shady companies promising relief.