When it’s time to get ready for your interview making sure your prep is there is key. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your job interview. What do you most dislike about
When it’s time to get ready for your interview making sure your prep is there is key. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your job interview.
What do you most dislike about yourself?
The Real Question: If I rattle your cage, what will you reveal about yourself?
Top-line Tactic: Don’t mistake the interview room for your psychologist’s office. Reframe and answer in a professional manner.
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This one is the evil twin of the more common What are your greatest weaknesses? Question. While it covers similar ground, it’s broader, more personal and potentially more negative. Weaknesses can be remedied. A character flaw is harder to fix.
So why would an interviewer go for this more confrontational wording? 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.
Whatever the interviewer’s aims, yours are clear. Don’t answer the question as asked. This is an interview, not a session with your shrink, so you can leave the deepest recesses of your soul happily unplumbed. But you do 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 of areas in need of improvement. Humanize yourself with a forgivable flaw that doesn’t in any way preclude you from doing well at the job at hand:
Before I answer, I want to say that I don’t think there’s anything that I actively dislike about myself. Having said that, there are one or two character traits that I pride myself on more than others.
From quite a selfish point of view, if I had to pick something I’d like to improve, I suppose it would be how comfortable I am with delivering bad news at work. I guess I’m the same as most people in that sense—and I’m not sure it’s something that’s going to become easier as I gain experience.
I would prefer people to like me and I don’t relish confrontation—and that’s not always a useful trait to have, even if it makes the world go round most of the time.
It’s never been a significant problem for me at work—touch wood—but there have been times when I haven’t enjoyed parts of my job, such as when I’ve had to fire people or give a really bad appraisal. It would be a lot easier for me if I had a heart of ice, but that’s not who I am and, most of the time, I’m glad about it.
Or, as a recent graduate, you might say:
As I’m sure you can imagine, having just come out of college there are a couple of things I wish I’d done differently recently. I’m sure my 2:1 will weigh on my mind for a while—perhaps I’d like myself a bit more if I’d put in the extra 2 percent I needed for a First. I know my mom certainly would, anyway!
One thing that used to trouble me was how most of my housemates had a very clearly defined career path planned out in their heads, all the way up to which position they wanted to hold at a particular company by the time they reached their forties. I’ve never been like that, and I used to dislike the fact that I didn’t have much to add to those conversations.
But I’ve since realized that being a bit more open-minded has its benefits too. Take this job, for example. I may not know exactly where I want to be in twenty years, but I do know that your company’s various learning and development opportunities and flexible progression options are ideal for someone like me. I have no idea what stories I’ll have for my housemates at future reunions, but I’m perfectly comfortable with that.
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