Managing Director of Links International
What's a good model answer?
Recently I have been to a few job interviews and I found one question that is really hard to answer. What is your greatest weakness? Is there actually a good way to answer that?
Also towards the end of the interview, I am always asked if I have any questions. Do you have any suggestions about what to ask which will help me make a good impression?
Debbie Matson - Career Doctor
Posted Tuesday 17th December 2013 11:12:00 PM
Dear Sam I had a friend who was so frustrated by the weakness question that she finally told the interviewer her greatest weakness was not using dental floss after brushing. This was an extreme way to handle the situation, but she did get the job! The question about your greatest weakness can be handled in many ways and is an opportunity to share more information with the interviewer. The interviewer will have many reasons for asking this question. They may want to see evidence of self-awareness. How do you view yourself within your job? What are your actual weaknesses? What do you see as important? Or it just may be that the question is on the list of standard questions to be asked. If you want to show that you are self-aware and you do feel there is something you don’t do as well, you might want to emphasize your ability to develop and improve. Cite an example of a task you don’t do well and how you have overcome that difficulty. Your answers should always be couched within the context of the message you are trying to send and the skill set you want to underline. It is not necessary to sabotage the interview with brutal honesty. The opportunity to ask questions at the end is a very important point. You have to do a lot of preparation for this moment and then ask the few questions that flow well from the conversation. You need to show that you are thinking and processing. In the first interview it is not usually appropriate to ask about salary, vacation or other benefits. Keep the questions around the job function, workplace, business strategy, and future growth and development of the company. Below are some sample types of questions: To understand more about career path and success within the company, ask the interviewer how he or she got into the company and about their career path. People love to talk about themselves, so the question is usually very successful. To understand more about company culture, ask the interviewer how she would describe the culture. Listen to the answer and use it to help you reflect back later in follow up interviews or communication. To understand more about the other people in the team, ask the interviewer about the roles others play within the team, where the skill gaps might be, where they are strongest. Probe as to how this position fits into future success for the company. To show that you have done some research, you can tell the interviewer something you read about the company and ask for his insight into that topic. I hope these ideas are helpful to you! Good luck in your next interview.