What is your greatest weakness? What is your greatest weakness?
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    Question What is your greatest weakness?

    It seems like there's been a couple of tricky interviews this week amongst CUKers. I thought, therefore, that this might be a good time to review interview skills, by dusting off that perennial topic of "how should you answer when they ask you what your biggest weakness is?". Of course, conventional wisdom is to state a 'weakness' that's really a disguised strength, such as "Oh, I'm just too much of a damned perfectionist", or "I'm just so nice, I have to watch that people don't take advantage of my generosity", rather than blurting out that you're a terrible thief or mentioning that you can't handle your drink and trotting out that anecdote about your having defecated under the Christmas tree at the office party in front of the CEO's wife that time.

    So, CUKers, pray tell, what are your greatest weaknesses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentile View Post
    It seems like there's been a couple of tricky interviews this week amongst CUKers. I thought, therefore, that this might be a good time to review interview skills, by dusting off that perennial topic of "how should you answer when they ask you what your biggest weakness is?". Of course, conventional wisdom is to state a 'weakness' that's really a disguised strength, such as "Oh, I'm just too much of a damned perfectionist", or "I'm just so nice, I have to watch that people don't take advantage of my generosity", rather than blurting out that you're a terrible thief or mentioning that you can't handle your drink and trotting out that anecdote about your having defecated under the Christmas tree at the office party in front of the CEO's wife that time.

    So, CUKers, pray tell, what are your greatest weaknesses?
    You're a ****.

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    Coke and prostitutes....
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Coke and prostitutes....
    Diet coke surely?
    What happens in General, stays in General.
    You know what they say about assumptions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentile View Post
    It seems like there's been a couple of tricky interviews this week amongst CUKers. I thought, therefore, that this might be a good time to review interview skills, by dusting off that perennial topic of "how should you answer when they ask you what your biggest weakness is?". Of course, conventional wisdom is to state a 'weakness' that's really a disguised strength, such as "Oh, I'm just too much of a damned perfectionist", or "I'm just so nice, I have to watch that people don't take advantage of my generosity", rather than blurting out that you're a terrible thief or mentioning that you can't handle your drink and trotting out that anecdote about your having defecated under the Christmas tree at the office party in front of the CEO's wife that time.

    So, CUKers, pray tell, what are your greatest weaknesses?
    Has anyone ever actually been asked this question or is it just some urban myth? Nobody has ever asked me this question and I've never heard it asked in any interview I've sat in on.
    Guy Fawkes - "The last man to enter Parliament with honourable intentions."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alf W View Post
    Has anyone ever actually been asked this question or is it just some urban myth? Nobody has ever asked me this question and I've never heard it asked in any interview I've sat in on.
    I've been asked it but it was many years ago for perm roles.

    Anyway there is only 1 real answer:
    "I've got **** all patience for stupid interview questions."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alf W View Post
    Has anyone ever actually been asked this question or is it just some urban myth? Nobody has ever asked me this question and I've never heard it asked in any interview I've sat in on.
    Oh yes. The Public Sector is a great believer in the Behavioural Competency myth that "past behaviour is the best indicator of future performance". There may well be something in that basic idea, but they do tend to forget that when they ask questions like that of candidates, it's not the person's actual past behaviour they're usually getting, but the candidate's rose-tinted recollection of their own behaviour. I know plenty of good people who just don't do well in that type of interview, even though they're very skilled. And I know some very good raconteurs that do impress in that type of interview, but who're not as capable at the actual job.

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    "I just can't seem to help myself manipulating the Libor rates, earning my employer £6bn in 2011 in the process. We were fined a whole £290M for my failings, so I'll really need to work on that in future. However, I'm looking forward to putting all that behind me and becoming your new banking tsar, Mr Cameron."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentile View Post
    Oh yes. The Public Sector is a great believer in the Behavioural Competency myth that "past behaviour is the best indicator of future performance". There may well be something in that basic idea, but they do tend to forget that when they ask questions like that of candidates, it's not the person's actual past behaviour they're usually getting, but the candidate's rose-tinted recollection of their own behaviour. I know plenty of good people who just don't do well in that type of interview, even though they're very skilled. And I know some very good raconteurs that do impress in that type of interview, but who're not as capable at the actual job.
    I had an interview last summer for a contract at an NHS trust. The HR droid - a young chap who looked like he was 2 weeks out of university - tagged along. After I'd answered a few proper work related questions from the PM it was HR's turn. First question:
    "What attracts you to working in the NHS?"

    There was an awkward silence for about 30 seconds whilst I glared at him and tried to think of something polite to say and then the PM jumped in and saved me. There were no more HR questions after that
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