Smart SpendingSmart Spending

The stupidest job interview question

You might not want to answer it truthfully.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 9:02PM

There's an all-too-common job interview question that "FMF" at Free Money Finance finds stupid and useless: "What is your biggest weakness?"


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
0Comments

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 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

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More