Generic Interview Questions

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  • Generic Interview Questions
  • Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    Following on from the handshake etiquette, what are the classes thoughts on the old cherry “So, what would you say are your weaknesses?”

    I’d really appreciate a serious answer on this but will also enjoy any unconventional options.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The cliche answer is stuff which can actually be a positive; “I’m too much of a perfectionist” and suchlike. A savvy interviewer will see straight through it of course.

    It’s a great question for weeding out the unprepared / stupid though. I once had one candidate reply that he had anger management issues and lost his last job for punching his boss.

    johnellison
    Member

    Last time I got asked that I said “lesbian porn”. Didn’t get a second interview… 😯

    IvanDobski
    Member

    I’ve read that whatever you put forward as a weakness should then be followed by an example of it’s impact on your work, how you recognised it to be a problem and what you do to deal with it.

    sc-xc
    Member

    Do they still ask questions like that?

    I would have thought that it was more along the lines of…tell me about a time you missed a deadline/broke a promise etc

    Agree with comments above though. Especially the lesbo stuff.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    “What’s your biggest weakness?”

    “Bravery.”

    “Bravery? I don’t think that’s a weakness?”

    “I don’t give a shit what you think.”

    ell_tell
    Member

    Upper body strength. I can’t lift more than about 40kgs.

    One a serious note, like others have intimated above a common school of thought is to provide an answer than can in fact be deemed a positiive.

    However, I have also heard that examples of weakness don’t necessarily have to be from your job role. They could be something from your personal life outside of work. Not sure of my thoughts on that approach tbh, although you could try and tell them you have a small willy 🙂

    I know you want serious answers, but..

    A friend of mine when asked what his weaknesses were in a job interview, replied ‘Sausages!’.

    He genuinely got the job though not purely because of his love for sausage. I met his boss also, MTBer, and he said it did certainly make him warm to him and thought a bit of humour in the team was well valued. The job was an account manager for online advertising firm. He had the Toyota account, so not a poxy Mcjob either!

    IHN
    Member

    My stock answer is something along lines of:

    “I’m naturally calm and not easily flustered when things go wrong and a resolution is needed. Sometimes this has come across as apathy on my part, but that’s not the case. However it’s a perception I’m aware of and I take care to avoid.”

    Seems to go down pretty well.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Jaffa cakes.

    I got the last job I used that for.

    hels
    Member

    I’m just doing an application just now – stuck on the whole “please let us know why you want the job” which usually turns up in the interview.

    Fairly sure that – “to pay the mortgage” isn’t quite right, and neither is, “because you are all awesome, at the pinnacle of your profession and fantastically good looking”

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    stuck on the whole “please let us know why you want the job”

    I file this under “how well can you come up with bullshit?” It’s the only reason I can think of to ask it, other than fishing for compliments.

    “I would like to work for your flange-making company because you’re market leaders in the flange industry and your 16mm t-piece reducing flange is world renowned. I wish to advance my own flange-making skills and believe that your company would provide me with excellent opportunities to further my career.”

    That only works for flange companies though, you’ll have to reword it slightly if they make widgets.

    hels
    Member

    Cougar – you have just paraphrased what I said at my last interview, and I (guttingly) made it to 2nd with that one, so might just go with it… with edits of course.

    The BS level is quite high on this one, I had to google one of the essential things, but as it turned out they used the Latin term and I did Greek at Uni. Yes, that kind of organisation.

    Cletus
    Member

    I work in a technical role where things are always changing with new products and features being released.

    One of my genuine weaknesses is that I can be distracted when checking documentation etc. by new things that interest me but are not strictly relevant to the job in hand. This distraction can result in work slipping if not controlled. I now make brief notes of where I saw the information and look at it after the scheduled work is completed – this is often during my own time with a tablet on the sofa after work.

    This shows a genuine interest in my subject and demonstrates that I recognise the issue and know how to manage it.

    HughStew
    Member

    It’s such a BS question I’ve always wanted to reply “I’m stupid, lazy and dishonest” just to see how the interviewer reacts.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    You know, I reckon there’s some mileage to be had from going to interviews and just having a laugh.

    “Why do you want to work here?”

    “Because I haven’t yet worked out how to get cocaine and hookers for free.”

    joolsburger
    Member

    Having recently been asked exactly that question I answered that I was sometimes a little too skeptical. I said that I didn’t often take people on their word and tended to politely look for evidence to support what I was being told. In sales that seemed to go down well and has the benefit of being true.

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