Monday, February 28, 2011

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Interview question : what is your weakness?

  • Monday, February 28, 2011
  • bhushan chhaya
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  • The campus recruitment season is on and many engineering students are preparing for the recruitment tests and personal interviews. One of the most common questions asked in interview is “What are your weaknesses” or “What is your biggest weakness?”. This simple question is taken as a ‘tricky’ question by many candidates. But the reality is that it is indeed a simple and straight question.
    Many candidates think that they are ‘selling’ themselves to the recruiters. Obviously, if you are selling something you’d never talk about the negatives of the product. That’s why many candidates think that if they answer their weakness in a way that it looks like a positive quality – it will make a good impression on the recruiters. So, the above question is answered like -
    Your Weakness
    Interview
    “I’m impatient. I have a nasty habit of finding faults in my work and it goes against me quite often.” OR the classic -
    “I’m a perfectionist. I just want everything to be perfect and I’d not quit unless it’s done perfectly”.
    The interviewers won’t be impressed. They might have heard the same answer from the candidates they interviewed before you. They might even make fun of you and say “Say something original.”.
    So, if those answers don’t work; how should you answer that question? The answer is by being honest. The first thing you must try to understand is why is the recruiter interested in knowing your weakness? As I’ve said in my earlier posts, every recruiter is mostly interested in knowing whether he/she will be happy to have you in their team. Few interviewers might ask that question just to see how you answer. You can grab this opportunity to show that you are well aware of yourself and your weakness. You may also grab an opportunity to show how your actively working on the weakness.
    I’ll tell you how I answered that question at an Interview in Infosys. I was being interviewed for a team lead position and I was asked about my weakness. I said, “I’m quick tempered, mostly get upset when people working with me don’t do their job the right way or things go wrong. However, I’ve actively worked on gaining my composure back by reminding myself that I can’t expect the things to be the way I expect them. Things do go wrong. It’s Murphy’s Law”. Now, for a team lead, this quality would seriously go against; but the interviewers just smiled and the discussion veered into Murphy’s Laws. Infosys did offer the job to me.
    Ever employer wants an honest employee who’s aware of his own strengths and weaknesses. Be confident about yourself, your skills and your overall personality. You’ll be very happy in your job. I’d like to have your questions, comments below.

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