Management Tip of the Day: The dreaded interview question

Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:18pm EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - There are some steps to take to avoid tripping up over one of the most hated job interview questions, according to Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org www.hbr.org. Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"One of the most hated, yet frequently asked, interview questions is, 'What is your greatest weakness?' We all have faults, but the last place we want to talk about them is in a job interview.

Next time you are up for a job, take these three steps to prepare for this dreaded question:

1. Prepare an answer. Yes, you need one. Make it brief, honest, trivial, and not a fault. If possible, use something out of your control. For example, 'My biggest weakness is that my professional network is in Boston, but I'm looking to relocate to Los Angeles.'

2. Get input. Run your answer by a few friends and colleagues to make sure it sounds reasonable.

3. Ask a question back. In the interview, deflect the attention away from you by ending your response with a question for the interviewer."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "The Worst Interview Question (and How to Answer It)" by Priscilla Claman.

(For the full post, see: here)

 
<p>Hays Recruitment Consultancy Section Manager Ignacio Ramos (R) interviews Vicente Balmaseda at the Hays offices in downtown Madrid December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>