…is the worst interview question. It’s awful because the question is set up in such a way that you’re supposed to answer like this…
…in like, a less Michael Scott-y way.
I’ll tell you what that question does do. It spells out for you, real quick, the level of originality that your potential employer has.
Interviewing in general blows. I understand that there isn’t a way around it, but I’ve known quite a lot of people that know how to make a really great first impression. They dress nicely, smile, raise their eyebrows, floss, never have clammy hands…except when shit hits the fan. Then the lightbulbs go off, those sweet eyebrows furrow, and they become the mayor of ClammyHands USA (sister city to StutterTown, adjacent to SweatVille).
I’ve hired a few people. Interviewing them wasn’t necessary, as I already knew and trusted their work and ethics. Were I to have to list questions I’d ask an interviewee, I don’t know that I could. I’d rather have a conversation with someone. Questions would depend on the position, the experience the person had, their background, what the job required…
…and I suppose that’s my point. If you go into a job interview and the questions are canned – such as asking you your strengths, weaknesses, proudest moments – I’d be concerned about the lack of imagination in that workplace. But then again, creativity is very important to me. If it’s not to you, make sure you’ve got your list of traits ready in advance!
So…what are my weaknesses? My prepared response to that boring question is that I’ve had difficulty in trusting others to do a job as good as I can, but I’ve gotten so much better at delegating. I’m passionate about projects at the get-go and can lose steam, but I appreciate the feeling of accomplishment after overcoming a challenging situation. You’ve got to have those “….but, this is how I’m working on those weaknesses!” statements, or you’re doing the interview wrong. Interviewers are looking to see that you learn from your mistakes, are will to develop yourself, are self-aware, blah, blah, blah. I understand the value of the question, it just ends up feeling as masturbatory as answering “What are your strengths?”.
If I’m totally honest with y’all – “y’all” being my friends, family, and (let’s face it) any recruiter or potential employer that Googles my name – my top three weaknesses are actually:
- Inability to keep plants alive.
- Tenacity towards the wrong kinds of men.
- Lack of vegetables in my diet.
I want to tell you “….but, this is how I’m working on those weaknesses!“. However, I’m not really. I’ve no gardens or direct sunlight in my apartment to grow anything, I’m weakly attempting to give up dudes for the time being, and I usually realize at the end of each day that I haven’t really eaten anything green or fresh. I’m going to Trader Joe’s tomorrow, so, Iunno, maybe I’ll by some edamame and cucumbers.
Also, two of those are vegetation-based weaknesses. What does that say about me?
Would you hire me?
Comment below if you’ve had worse interview questions. I love horror stories.