Responding to biggest weakness question in interview

Subject: Responding to biggest weakness question in interview
From: Mart Withers <mwithers -at- CALDERA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 11:30:23 -0700

Steven Warner asked how to respond to an interviewer's question about your
weaknesses. Here's my reply:

When an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, my experience has been
that they aren't so concerned about the actual weaknesses. Besides, most
interviewers know you aren't going to share the real doosies like, "I steal
from the cash register." Instead, interviewers want to know if you're aware
of your own weaknesses, what you're doing to improve, and how honestly you
answer the question. I used to work for a company that believed knowing
about your weaknesses made you a better employee. I think they're right!

With this in mind, I think it's important to share one real weakness in an
interview (if asked), but then immediately transition to another point: (1)
transition to one of your strengths (like a politician does when presented
with a difficult question), (2) transition to how this weakness can actually
be a strength, or (3) transition to how you're dealing with the weakness. I
don't know if this is the best advice, but it makes sense to me. I hope this
Mart Withers Caldera, Inc.
Technical Writer 633 South 550 East
(801) 377-7687, ext. 203 Provo, Utah 84606
mwithers -at- caldera -dot- com

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