Don't Lie When Interviewer Asks a Question About Your Weakness!


Lecturer - Strategic Management - University of South Australia

Interview Question: “What is your weakness? or What are your weaknesses?”
 
Candidate 1: “My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. It makes me, sometimes, take more time to finish my work. But now I have learned to manage my work in a fashion that it takes lesser time, while being perfect all the time.”
 
Candidate 2: “My biggest weakness is that I like to do all the work myself. Now I have started delegating my work to others, but keep it under my supervision so that no mistakes happen.”
 
Candidate 3: “My biggest weakness is that I am extremely punctual, because of which I used to put deadline pressure on my colleagues. But now I have come to terms with the fact that every employee is different, and can’t be as fast and accurate for me.”
 
Can you observe the common thing in all the three answers displayed above? I am sure you can – they all tell about a strength which has been disguised as a weakness. The base problem is same – candidates never try to understand the logic behind the questions asked. They fail to recognize the fact that the interviewer is not a fool. Recruiter understands and respects the fact the age old adage, “To err is to human”. Every human being is imbibed with a certain set of traits, which is composed of both strengths and weaknesses. And it’s only due to this reason that training programs are organized in every organization. The reason to ask a question about a weakness are, primarily, three;

  • to identify the areas of improvement and training that the new candidate would require
  • to explore if the candidate does a self assessment or not; is he or she aware about the shortcomings?
  • finally, to judge if the candidate has the strength to accept a weakness and criticism attached or if he or she is too proud to accept the fact that a weakness could be there in their characters.

 The candidates, who lie, make the task difficult for a recruiter to meet all the three goals. In most cases, such lies ensure an outright rejection. In other cases, where the resource availability is scarce, it unnecessarily elongates the time and efforts involved in what was supposed to be a seamless process.
 
Don’t lie as there is no need to, unless your weaknesses include b*tching about your colleagues and manager or getting drunk with a bunch of hippies, clicking a photo, and posting it on facebook every weekend or worse. For others, every organization offers training programs, and they are meant to bring a positive behavioral and technical advancements in the employees as per their individual needs and concerns.
 
So next time, when a recruiter asks this question, share an honest feedback.
 
Good Luck!

Also Read -

Your Lies Have Been Caught! – Interview Questions And Answers


Total likes : 2 times

 
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Consolidation and IndAS Application

Agree. Weakness should be related to work and it should be mentioned in a positive manner. No one should say that i do not have any weakness.

 
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Practising Company Secretary

Thank u for sharing the valuable tip Vaibhav ji...yes

 
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Deputy Manager

Vaibhavji, In my Present Organization they asked the same question and I said I dont know my weakness even in our appraisal forms we left it blank in our total department.

After seeing your post I discussed with my head with whom I had the interview, he said everyone has his own weakness like impatience, gets angry immediately, punctual etc.,

If they share this type of weakness to head he may have opposite opinion, then he will simply reject it.

 

He thought this question is asked from behavioural and attitude point of view and not from skills. I think perception and person is different.  May be ur suggestion is not suitable in all situations

 

 

 

 
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Lecturer - Strategic Management - University of South Australia

Dear CA Leela Kumar,

 

Thanks for providing your inputs and taking a great deal of interest in this post.

 

I understand what you are trying to say. There are two aspects to this question. Behavioral or character, and skills related. Now, of course, if a candidate says that I am not punctual; I am short-tempered; or not good at working with teams, I or any other HR professional will take it negatively, and the candidate will be rejected.

 

However, would any candidate really say any of the above? I don't think so. Weakness and negative behavior are two different things, and we should not be confused between the two.

 

It depends on the candidate, which direction he or she would want the interview to head towards. When I have gone to an organization for professional reasons, I would only focus on professional concerns, and not talk about personal character or behaviors.

 

Talk about weakness, and not character here. Moreover, don't just stop at the weakness. Also tell how you are working on it, and how far have you succeeded.

 

If the same question is thrown at me, I would say, "I always like to get things done faster than the speculated time, which sometimes create a panic. However, I stay mentally controlled and effectively plan in advance to avoid panic, while understanding the fact that others in my team may have a different working style, and every successful project is a team work."

 

In this answer, I talked only about a work related aspect and not behavioral, and I also told about how I work to control this. I can also add that this weakness has never impacted my performance, and I take extra precaution to ensure that.

 

Additionally, if an HR personal can't consider a human weakness (as long as it's not things like not being punctual, being abusive, being alcoholic etc.), then he is either looking for:

 

PERFECT employee - which doesn't exist;

 

or

 

LIAR - because no one would say  that "I am not punctual, or I procrastinate, or I am abusive or I am alcoholic or any thing else."

 

Moreover, things like punctuality, alcoholic, abusive, short-tempered, would come out in reference check as well, because people who possess these traits, are never liked in any organization they work for. So there is not reason to lie.

 

Kindly let me know what you think of my opinion.

 

Vaibhav

 
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Deputy Manager

Dear Vaibhavji,

 

 

             I agree with you. I have one doubt now I am working in Internal Audit Dept with low package and If I go to any interview for finance, they are asking why do u want to change the present organization.

If I My answer is I am interested in Finance Department then why u have joined in audit

Actually I had to get that job at any  situation due to financial problem. If u dont mind please give me ur mail id. I would like to talk

 
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Lecturer - Strategic Management - University of South Australia

Sure. I can be contacted at author @ howtocrackaninterview.com

Vaibhav Gupta

Interview Questions and Answers

 
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accountant

thankx very much sirjee ti's really use full.
 
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student

Thanks sir i agree with u but somewhere i also agree with CA Leela mam
 
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