Thursday, February 3, 2011

So tell me your weaknesses

I really enjoy sessions I do with clients planning for a big interview. There are plenty of control skills you can employ to get you out of sticky situations. Sometimes I work with clients that are not working towards a big interview with Alan Kohler or a project launch, but rather prepping for a new job. I spend an hour or two with them getting them fit and ready for the day. This is all about being ready to answer the tough questions.

Harvard Business Review columnist Priscilla Claman has written an excellent column on managing that terrible question that is often thrown up in interviews: 'What is your weakness?'
Here are her tips:
  1. Prepare an answer that is true, trivial, brief, and not a fault. Some examples:
    • My biggest weakness is that my professional network is in San Francisco, but I am looking for a job in Boston to be with my fiancĂ©.
    • My biggest weakness is that my undergraduate degree is from a college that has a good reputation in the East, but is not well-known in the Midwest.
    • My biggest weakness is that while I'm great at advocating for something I believe in, I find it uncomfortable to talk about myself.
  2. Run your answer by a couple of critical friends or colleagues to make sure it sounds reasonable.
  3. When asked the question, end your answer by asking the interviewer a question, so that the attention is deflected away from your answer. READ MORE

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