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Old 03-25-2014, 09:57 AM   #1
 
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Hello all! I have an interview coming up and was wondering what the toughest interview question you have been faced with was and how did you answer it?

I always find the "What do you consider your greatest weakness" question the most difficult. Any help is greatly appreciated, as these always make me nervous.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
 
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Hello all! I have an interview coming up and was wondering what the toughest interview question you have been faced with was and how did you answer it?

I always find the "What do you consider your greatest weakness" question the most difficult. Any help is greatly appreciated, as these always make me nervous.
I was coming to this thread to specifically say the same question, above, always gives me trouble, so it's one I tend to focus on and prepare.

I've always been told to make your weakness a strength i.e. "I'm very detailed oriented" or "being tenacious" something that CAN be negative but is really a sought-after trait
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:05 AM   #3
 
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Hello all! I have an interview coming up and was wondering what the toughest interview question you have been faced with was and how did you answer it?

I always find the "What do you consider your greatest weakness" question the most difficult. Any help is greatly appreciated, as these always make me nervous.
I was coming to this thread to specifically say the same question, above, always gives me trouble, so it's one I tend to focus on and prepare.

I've always been told to make your weakness a strength i.e. "I'm very detailed oriented" or "being tenacious" something that CAN be negative but is really a sought-after trait
I typically answer in that way, so that's good I guess. Most often, I say something like I get lost in the details and am a perfectionist but that I am working on it by reminding myself of the bigger picture before starting a task and not being so completely detail oriented that I lose focus.

I'm also having a hard time with the "Why do you want to leave your current position?" I know not to speak ill of my current employer, and I wouldn't, but my current position is not challenging enough (and most days I sit around bored).
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:35 AM   #4
 
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Hello all! I have an interview coming up and was wondering what the toughest interview question you have been faced with was and how did you answer it?

I always find the "What do you consider your greatest weakness" question the most difficult. Any help is greatly appreciated, as these always make me nervous.
I was coming to this thread to specifically say the same question, above, always gives me trouble, so it's one I tend to focus on and prepare.

I've always been told to make your weakness a strength i.e. "I'm very detailed oriented" or "being tenacious" something that CAN be negative but is really a sought-after trait
I typically answer in that way, so that's good I guess. Most often, I say something like I get lost in the details and am a perfectionist but that I am working on it by reminding myself of the bigger picture before starting a task and not being so completely detail oriented that I lose focus.

I'm also having a hard time with the "Why do you want to leave your current position?" I know not to speak ill of my current employer, and I wouldn't, but my current position is not challenging enough (and most days I sit around bored).
I think that sounds great! Or "I'm looking to take on more responsibility." Or "I'm looking for opportunities to grow professionally."

I don't think hiring committees really care what you say; ppl wanna be promoted and make more money. Everyone understands that.

They just don't wanna hear a ish show against the current/former employer.

As far as the biggest weakness...of course I've heard the suggestion (a hundred times) to name a trait that is actually a strength. But that just seems disingenuous to me.

Maybe the more real way to go is to give them an actual weakness but one that is all barely relevent to the position for which you are applying? "My handwriting is awful (I should have pursued medicine!)" Or "I move my mouth when reading." LOL Like who cares!

Or give a weakness but explain how you work around it. e.g., "I am a terrible note taker. So I bring a tape recorder everywhere with me. I hope that would be OK in this position."
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:47 AM   #5
 
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I was coming to this thread to specifically say the same question, above, always gives me trouble, so it's one I tend to focus on and prepare.

I've always been told to make your weakness a strength i.e. "I'm very detailed oriented" or "being tenacious" something that CAN be negative but is really a sought-after trait
I typically answer in that way, so that's good I guess. Most often, I say something like I get lost in the details and am a perfectionist but that I am working on it by reminding myself of the bigger picture before starting a task and not being so completely detail oriented that I lose focus.

I'm also having a hard time with the "Why do you want to leave your current position?" I know not to speak ill of my current employer, and I wouldn't, but my current position is not challenging enough (and most days I sit around bored).
I think that sounds great! Or "I'm looking to take on more responsibility." Or "I'm looking for opportunities to grow professionally."

I don't think hiring committees really care what you say; ppl wanna be promoted and make more money. Everyone understands that.

They just don't wanna hear a ish show against the current/former employer.

As far as the biggest weakness...of course I've heard the suggestion (a hundred times) to name a trait that is actually a strength. But that just seems disingenuous to me.

Maybe the more real way to go is to give them an actual weakness but one that is all barely relevent to the position for which you are applying? "My handwriting is awful (I should have pursued medicine!)" Or "I move my mouth when reading." Like who cares!

Or give a weakness but explain how you work around it. e.g., "I am a terrible note taker. So I bring a tape recorder everywhere with me. I hope that would be OK in this position."
Thanks for the help! I really like your ideas! I always thought the giving a strength as a weakness was odd to me and was an insincere answer. I mean, what's a better way to tell if a person has prepared for an interview? But then again, I've interviewed people before and some people are quick to incriminate themselves. I think the giving a solution to it is genius! That way, you show that yes you have flaws, but you can work with them to be a promising employee. You're making me feel so much better about this. I've interviewed a ton of times before, but I always get nervous.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
 
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Hello all! I have an interview coming up and was wondering what the toughest interview question you have been faced with was and how did you answer it?

I always find the "What do you consider your greatest weakness" question the most difficult. Any help is greatly appreciated, as these always make me nervous.
I was coming to this thread to specifically say the same question, above, always gives me trouble, so it's one I tend to focus on and prepare.

I've always been told to make your weakness a strength i.e. "I'm very detailed oriented" or "being tenacious" something that CAN be negative but is really a sought-after trait
I typically answer in that way, so that's good I guess. Most often, I say something like I get lost in the details and am a perfectionist but that I am working on it by reminding myself of the bigger picture before starting a task and not being so completely detail oriented that I lose focus.

I'm also having a hard time with the "Why do you want to leave your current position?" I know not to speak ill of my current employer, and I wouldn't, but my current position is not challenging enough (and most days I sit around bored).
My answers to these are usually something like...

What is your biggest weakness? (if dealing with the public) I can be a shy person, but through experience I have definitely learned to come out of my shell and most people can't even tell I'm shy anymore. OR I tend to be a perfectionist and sometimes it might take a few extra minutes to look over details so I know I don't have to go back and correct anything.

Why do you want to leave your current position? (If new job is different than my current) I'm looking for something that I can call a career and stay at for the long haul. -You can also say something about the work not being challenging enough to add on to this- OR (if same type of job) I am looking for a job that has more advancement opportunities/more responsibility, and my current place of work really doesn't have that opportunity.

The toughest for me to answer is - Tell me about yourself? Ugh! I hate it! I never know what to say.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:51 AM   #7
 
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Those are great answers!!! Thank you so much for the help!

I never know how to answer that one either and typically end up going backwards from my current position and list my experience and education. Kind of like a summary of me education and experience and then we can elaborate from there.

I'm especially nervous about this interview because it is only going to be 30 minutes. Most interviews I've gone on are usually at least 45 minutes.

I also really hate the "tell me about a time when..." questions. I tend to freeze up or stumble while trying to remember and speak at the same time.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
 
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It seems like all the interviews I have been on in the past 6 years have been all "Tell me about a time when.." questions. I think I've mastered these by now, though lol. My favorite response to "Tell me about a time when you've witness a friend or co-worker stealing and what did you do?" is "I don't surround myself or am friends with these types of people, so I can't really give you an answer."
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:02 PM   #9
 
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Again, another great answer! I've never actually been asked that question though.

I mainly get the "tell me about a time when you disagreed with a decision your supervisor made and what did you do?"

I have trouble with that one. I don't want it to seem like I disagree with supervisor all of the time, but I also want to give an answer, because, let's face it, we all have disagreed with a decision. I usually say something about how I politely point out that I disagree and the points as to why and discuss it further until we reach an agreement or joint decision. Is that bad?
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
 
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Again, another great answer! I've never actually been asked that question though.

I mainly get the "tell me about a time when you disagreed with a decision your supervisor made and what did you do?"

I have trouble with that one. I don't want it to seem like I disagree with supervisor all of the time, but I also want to give an answer, because, let's face it, we all have disagreed with a decision. I usually say something about how I politely point out that I disagree and the points as to why and discuss it further until we reach an agreement or joint decision. Is that bad?
For this one, I've said that behind closed doors I've disagreed with my supervisor or asked for clarification but that I understand it is their job to make decisions and my job to support those decisions, so I support them once the decision is made (assuming it is not illegal or immoral)
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
 
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I used to hired for support and mid-level positions for many years. I don't suggest answering the what is your weakness question by disguising a strength as a weakness or any other manipulation. Most people hiring know this trick. It is, as spiderlashes said, disingenuous.

If you have a real weakness in any area not germane to the position you are applying for, you can be frank about that. If you are probed further in regard to the position you are applying for, be honest about the weakness and what steps you are taking to remedy it. Honesty wins.

Above all, try to have some practice interviews with friends who will be candid with you. In the interview you can always be frank about being nervous - it's expected. One really important trait to demonstrate is enthusiasm. Be sure to end the interview by telling the interviewer that you are really interested or even extremely interested in the position and why! Think up some good reasons in advance. Smile - !

Best of luck to you - let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:27 PM   #12
 
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Thanks everyone! I had the interview this morning. It went okay. It wasn't my best interview, but definitely not my worst. I think the thing that took me by surprise was the fact that they opened up with the "you're overqualified, why do you want this position and how can we be sure you won't leave in a few months?" Definitely didn't expect that to be the first question or thing we talked about, but at least we got it out of the way. I'm always hard at reading the interviewers. I think I'm too hard on myself and often will think it was a horrible interview when in reality it was decent. We shall see! I made sure to send a thank you to them as well, which reiterated why I would be a good fit and addressed the overqualification bit again. Now we wait!

They also asked to see samples of my writing at the end, so I have to email those over. I'm not sure what to make of that....
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #13
 
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Asking for samples of your writing means they are interested! They wouldn't bother if they weren't interested. So I expect that means that you did well during the interview.
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:13 AM   #14
 
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Thanks Curlypearl! I appreciate the feedback. =)
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:20 AM   #15
 
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I agree with curlypearl.. if they weren't interested they wouldn't even bother with it.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:15 AM   #16
 
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Thanks Sixel! I couldn't decide what samples to send. Most of them are from my time in graduate school. I've never had an interviewer ask that before.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:21 AM   #17
 
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Thanks Sixel! I couldn't decide what samples to send. Most of them are from my time in graduate school. I've never had an interviewer ask that before.
That could be very promising news.

But it could also be bc you are a POC (I think?). And oftentimes we're dismissed as having poor writing skills and a poor grasp of the English language.

Either way, you'll set em straight!
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:11 AM   #18
 
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Thanks Sixel! I couldn't decide what samples to send. Most of them are from my time in graduate school. I've never had an interviewer ask that before.
That could be very promising news.

But it could also be bc you are a POC (I think?). And oftentimes we're dismissed as having poor writing skills and a poor grasp of the English language.

Either way, you'll set em straight!
I might be missing something, but what is a POC?

Thanks! =)
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:08 PM   #19
 
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Thanks Sixel! I couldn't decide what samples to send. Most of them are from my time in graduate school. I've never had an interviewer ask that before.
That could be very promising news.

But it could also be bc you are a POC (I think?). And oftentimes we're dismissed as having poor writing skills and a poor grasp of the English language.

Either way, you'll set em straight!
I might be missing something, but what is a POC?

Thanks! =)
sorry...person of color
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:50 PM   #20
 
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That could be very promising news.

But it could also be bc you are a POC (I think?). And oftentimes we're dismissed as having poor writing skills and a poor grasp of the English language.

Either way, you'll set em straight!
I might be missing something, but what is a POC?

Thanks! =)
sorry...person of color
Ahhh, I get it! Lol. I'm so not with it sometimes.

I get what you're saying. I am a POC and I would have to agree that often times that is the case. The funny part is, the lady interviewing me didn't really speak English that well. She had a thick accent and I had trouble understanding her. Hopefully, my examples do set them straight!
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