Most of us have been in the situation where we sit in a job interview and we feel things are going well until the interviewer pulls out the ultimate question: Tell me about your greatest weakness?
I commented on this article on the LinkedIn site, but thought I would also share my comments here on Scoop.it.
I coach my clients not to ask this question since it's one of the 20 standard, stupid, inane, canned interview questions. Everyone knows it's coming and gives a canned response.
Even though I tell my clients not to ask this question in the interview, most fall back on their tribal learning and ask it anyway.
The best strategy is to convert a strength into a weakness. I work too hard, I take on too much, I have trouble saying no to requests, I care too much. Once you've offered your strength-to-weakness statement, the next step would be to offer 1-2 examples that specifically illustrate the weakness presented with a positive spin.
Just last week, I had 3 different executives ask for my help - I didn't want to say no - so here's how I handled it.
The examples are more important than the weakness answer. In the examples you're conveying your strength even though you described it as a weakness. These examples then can lead to probing by the candidate for real needs from the hiring manager.
Hiring managers don't really expect deep, insightful, thoughtful, introspective responses to this canned interview question.
Master of Hiring Accuracy
Doctor of Hiring Failure and Pain
Prognosticator of Radical Hiring Improvement