The Biggest Weakness Q

Subject: The Biggest Weakness Q
From: Ana Maria Gallo <anitamari -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 11:35:57 -0800

Yes, being on the interviewee hot-seat can be daunting. Along with the
5-year question, self-evaluation questions that probe our sacred hidden
weaknesses can be less intimidating (or irritating) if taken in a
different context.

Get out of the <I-m being grilled> context and try <I-m having an
intelligent conversation with someone I respect>. They are to be
respected if for no other reason than they are your potential boss and
their boss entrusted them with this responsibility. The idea is to
create a situation for yourself that allows you to relax enough to be
genuine in your responses. Speak from what YOU know, not what you think
is wanted. Keep your irritation to yourself. If you don't like them and
their dumb questions, turn down their offer... should they so gladly
suffer your arrogance enough to want to hire you.

So, you don't really have a snappy answer the 5-year question. But
consider that as part of your professional growth you want to expand
your skills base, take on more challenging projects, or understand The
Business better. These desires can be the basis for an acceptable
answer. If you really want to be on the other side of the table, say
so... and take what comes as the potential boss/company-s genuine
response, good or bad or indifferent. Best to stick to what you KNOW
about yourself.

Keep focussed on why you are talking to this person: to weigh how
suitable it is to work together. It is a two way evaluation. Only were I
tense and uptight or more than a little needy of getting THIS
particular job might I stray away from the goal of the interview and
spill my guts as if it were a psychological evaluation. To do so lowers
the respect I hold for myself and my interviewer. Sure we all suffer
from some kind of debilitating emotional shortcoming <g>, but how is
this relevant to the work to be performed for the company? If I my
working long hours to meet deadlines is a weakness, I clearly don't
working long hours. As the interveiwer, I would detect your resentment.
Why does this person need to show their resentment to me? Keep it
simple. A weakness may simply be not knowing a specific software

I presume the TW audience consists of fairly normal, stable
personalities. Thieves, liars, and other n-ere do wells are not likely
to reveal their true 5-year plans or weaknesses. Learn to spot them! And
if one gets through the pale, take it as a learning experience and avoid
getting jaded.

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