The Weakness Interview Exposed and How to Avoid it
Have you noticed that there are some people in the world that just aren’t right? I mean here you are looking for a job. Show up to the interview with the best intentions of getting hired. And that’s when it happens. BAM the hard nosed unfriendly negative interviewer from HELL. How do you know they are the negative interviewer from hell?
They are asking you questions that are trying catch you up and expose a weakness. In fact most of the questions your getting are positioning you somewhere between a rock and a hard place. And I mean a VERY hard place.
These series of questions are what select groups on the inside of the Human Resources industry call the weakness interview. They also go by other names. The purpose of the weakness interview tactic is to obviously ask tricky questions. They call it the weakness interview because it is usually the part of the interview where they examine you for weaknesses (DUH moment right? Yeah it was for me too).
The weakness interview is usually given to you partially in your second round interviews. However, receiving these questions say more than 4 of them in your 1st interview could mean several things.
- Could be a hard nosed interviewer.
- The company may have had issues with people who previously held the position your interviewing for.
- Another could be that the company your interviewing with has a very picky and selective corporate culture. An example would be any industry that focuses on a specialty trade like engineering. Certain investment groups also fit into this category.
These are not good signs if your receiving these tough interview questions i8n your very first interview. But don’t panic just keep reading because it is not what they throw at you it is how you handle it.
Below are two key examples of questions in a weakness interview.
“Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn’t like you. What did you do?” – Now in all fairness this isn’t necessarily negative but it does set you up to be studied. See a skilled interviewer isn’t just looking for your answer but your reaction to their question.
NOTE: always keep your poker game face on! Do not visualize or relive the negative moment or person inside of this question. Now this may be a no brainer but it is easy to forget where you are when answering. That’s the genius of the question.
So in addition to your poker game face also mind your body language. No folded arms (a sign of defense) no change in your tone. Do not adjust your chair. Every reaction and interaction will be assessed.
Now as for the situation always follow these guidelines
- Never make negative comments about the person who didn’t like you
- Always focus on a professional situation versus a personal one
“Describe a situation where you messed up, or your results were not up to your supervisor’s expectations.” - Same rules go for the first question. And with this question presented you now have a advantage. Because now you can prepare your situation.
What NOT to include in your situational mess up
- Negative comments
- Negative opinions about your supervisor or co workers
- Excuses on why you made the mistake instead of taking responsibility for the mistake.
What you SHOULD include in your situation
- Any mistakes that might be common in your industry.
- What you learned
Remember in both cases of weakness interview questions you can be prepared. Now that you have heard it from an expert you can use this to your advantage. Here is a great tool to help you prepare.
In conclusion being prepared for the weakness interview approach involves conflict preparation. Whether in your in your 1st or advanced round of interviews. These questions can be swift, sneaky, deadly, and tricky. And being prepared for them can mean the difference between you being hired or hearing the dreaded and typical “we will call you.”