‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’

We like this post on Rehaul.com about a new way to look at the dreaded interview question: “What are your weaknesses?”

He argues that interviewers shouldn’t ask about weaknesses because that question always yields the same results. “Oh, I’m a perfectionist.” “I work too hard.” “I used to be disorganized/a bad public speaker/a micromanager but I’m working on it.”

Instead, hiring managers should ask: What can you do to help us, and what side effects come with your benefits?”

Even if you’re asked the old-school “weaknesses” question, you can respond this way.

“If your company is struggling with innovation, I can help, but I often break the rules and reject the status quo. Innovation cannot happen without making difficult changes to current organizational norms.”

Okay, that last sentence is pretty jargony, but you get the idea. How about, “I’m dogged about chasing down a story, sometimes to the point that I don’t notice when I’m up against an apparent dead end. But this paid off last year when I uncovered a [insert your best investigative story] after weeks of searching.”

What are your side effects?
photo: newtype2011