This week’s KIQ is a rejig of a familiar interview question. Read on to find out more.
“What is your greatest weakness?” is an old and tested interview question that has floated around for decades. I remember preparing for this question when I was applying for my first job. But hiring managers are craftier these days, many preferring to use trick questions to throw a curve ball at interviewees.
“What do you most dislike about yourself?” isn’t as tricky as some of the questions that we’ve covered in KIQ, but it’s a sneakier way of asking, “What is your greatest weakness?”
It’s potentially a more aggressive way for a hiring manager to get the answer out of you as well, according to James Reed, author of Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again:
“It could be with the intention of leading you into revealing deeper and more meaningful flaws, given that most candidates are well prepared for the standard weakness question. Or they might simply be trying to ruffle your feathers to see what happens when someone pushes your buttons.”
He recommends not answering the question straight up:
“This is an interview, not a session with your shrink, so you can leave the deepest recesses of your soul happily unplumbed. But you have to keep your cool and answer or risk coming across as unable to handle pressure or less than self-aware. Just mentally reframe the question and respond much as you would to any other query or areas in need of improvement. Humanise yourself with a forgivable flaw that doesn’t in any way preclude you from doing well at the job at hand.”
How would you tackle this question? Let us know in the comments.