Tell me About a Weakness

This is a real question in a job interviews, and is not to be used as a flimsy excuse to compliment yourself “my weakness is that I have such loyalty to the company, I will work day and night without thought of myself!” Nor is this a moment for therapeutic confession. Do not share something upsetting, for example, I had a former student who responded to the “tell me about a time when you had a difficult conversation at work” (close cousin to the “tell me about a weakness) in a job interview by choosing to talk about a very confusing and painful misunderstanding with a research community over the course of an ethnographic project. This question should not be taken as an opportunity to explore and unload stress. Do not make yourself look incompetent or overly emotional.

Find something honest to talk about that you have processed to the point that you now understand how to story the experience and know what it means.

Use the answer to this question to display characteristics of self- awareness and self-compassion: “I know enough about myself to know that I can get anxious before an oral presentation.” Then, talk about the strategies you have learned that help you manage this weakness. ” I have learned that I need to write out a script and rehearse if possible.” End by talking about how this might manifest in a team environment, “when appropriate for a project, I will take the lead in breaking down the design stages and then managing the timelines for deliverables for creating the presentation. This ensures that both I and my team will be performing at our best on the day of the presentation.” And here you may be seeing how this advice about questions is really about narrative. Use this an opportunity to share an example of a time where this prompted the team to think earlier about creating the most visually engaging and creative presentations possible. Answer this question with an image of you on the job: painting a picture of you being successful.