Friday, August 12, 2016

Job Interview question "What are your weakensses?"

Recently, I was invited to be on the interview panel for a job similar to mine. I found most of the questions okay except for one i.e. the one which asks the interviewee to talk of their 'weaknesses'. The interviewee whose demeanour and answers I really liked till then, said his weakness was "Perfection. I am very perfectionistic and I stress about it. I am now trying to be more relaxed. I am working on it."

This answer was so damn clich├ęd that I wanted to laugh/puke/got a bit disillusioned about this candidate whom I really liked.

I do realize that the candidate cannot give an' honest' answer to this question and risk not getting selected. For the candidate, getting the job is vital and I sort of agree that he has every right to say and do whatever gets her the job.

So what should be done? I believe that the human resource departments have to work on developing better ways of interviewing and cut this dumb question out of all  interviews in all organizations all over the world.
This question contributes nothing to the interview. If the person lies and speaks of a weakness which is actually a strength couched as a weakness,  he gets the job but do you want a person who lies?  On the other hand if he speaks the truth, say for example he admits he's a bit lazy or sloppy, he will not get selected. Ergo, what's the point of this damn question???
Why have a question on the interview which encourages the interviewee to lie in order to do well on the interview? How  does this question help in selecting the right person for the job? Most people who take interviews, read up on Google about the type of questions to expect and come prepared and this preparation itself airbrushes the truth and the panel which falls for the airbrushing select unsuitable candidates over those who are genuine in the interviews.  I have personally observed many lousy workers who did well in interviews get selected and great workers remain unselected due to their poor interview skills. It makes me feel so helpless & frustrated for these people! My heart especially goes out to those with stammering and those who are not great talkers.(limited ability to express themselves but great at their jobs like some introverts and some people for whom English is a second language)

For that matter, many interview questions encourage candidates to 'airbrush' the truth in order to get the job. Questions like, how do you react to criticism, How do you negotiate with a difficult co-worker/boss? How well do you work under pressure? I don't mind these questions so much as I sort of get it that these should be asked and the interviewer can gauge the candidate with their acumen and people reading skills. But it is the question about 'your weaknesses' which really gets under my skin!

1 comment:

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