The weakness question represents the most common and most stressful one posed during interviews. Yet in today's weak job market, the wrong answer weakens your chances of winning employment.
Some people offer replies they mistakenly assume that bosses love, such as 'I am a perfectionist.' That response 'will be used against you' because you appear incapable of delegating, warns Joshua Ehrlich, dean of a master's program in executive coaching sponsored by BeamPines Inc., a New York coaching firm and Middlesex University in London.
一些應聘者會給出誤以為老板會喜歡的答案，比如，"我的缺點是過于追求完美"。對此埃里奇(Joshua Ehrlich)提醒說，這個回答會對你求職不利，因為它顯得你似乎沒有能力授權給他人。埃里奇是一個由紐約職業培訓機構BeamPines Inc.和倫敦米德塞克斯大學(Middlesex University)合辦的經理人碩士班培訓項目的負責人。
A careful game plan could help you cope with the shortcoming query in a way that highlights your fit for a desired position. Job seekers who field the question well demonstrate that they can 'take initiative and improve themselves,' Mr. Morrow says.
The key? Thorough preparation. Career specialists suggest you take stock of your weaknesses, focusing on job-related ones that won't impede your ability to perform your duties. Tony Santora, an executive vice president for Right Management, a major outplacement firm in Philadelphia, says an information-technology manager flubbed a 2007 interview by choosing a personal foible as his reply: 'My true weakness is that I am a terrible cook.'
關鍵在哪里？那就是充分的準備。職場專家建議，你可以整理一下自己的缺點，挑出其中跟工作有關、但又不會妨礙你行使工作職責的方面。費城大型職業介紹機構Right Management執行副總裁桑特拉(Tony Santora)說，2007年一位IT經理在參加面試時，在有關缺點的問題上敗下陣來：他的回答居然是，"我真正的缺點是，我的烹飪技術很糟糕。"
Rehearse your responses aloud, role play with a friend or videotape
yourself -- but don't memorize your words. As you review the video, look for aspects 'you would like to change so you can continue to get better as you practice,' says Peggy Klaus, a leadership coach in Berkeley, Calif.
The IT manager changed his tune after practice sessions with fellow job seekers and a counselor in Cincinnati for Right Management. He instead said he worked such long hours that he found it difficult to stay current with world events. So, he spent 30 minutes every evening catching up at home.
When the manager pursued an opportunity at a global drug maker, his revamped response 'really resonated
with the interviewer,' says Mr. Santora. The manufacturer hired the man.
It's equally important that you consider an employer's corporate culture. While being interviewed by a start-up, 'you could say, 'My weakness is I get bored by routine,'' says Ben Dattner, a New York industrial psychologist.
Ideally, your reply also should exclude the word 'weakness' and cover your corrective steps. Dubbing your greatest fault a 'window of opportunity' signals your improvement efforts should benefit the workplace, says Oscar Adler, a retired Maidenform Brands sales executive and author of the book, 'Sell Yourself in Any Interview.' For instance, he suggests, a salesman might note that he sold more after strengthening his facility with numbers.
理想的情況是，你在回答中應盡量避免使用"缺點"這樣的詞，同時還可以提到改正措施。Maidenform Brands銷售主管、《在面試中推銷自己》(Sell Yourself in Any Interview)一書的作者阿德勒(Oscar Adler)說，將你最大的缺點轉化為"機會之窗"，表明你的改善措施將使工作受益。比如他建議說，銷售人員可以說，在強化數學能力后，銷售業績上升了。
When an interviewer pops this nerve-wracking query, your body language counts as well. The wrong nonverbal cues undercut your credibility. Certain candidates hunch over, glance furtively around the room or wring their sweaty palms. 'They sort of look like they're being asked a question they can't handle,' says Mr. Adler.
Maintaining eye contact, regular breathing and a broad smile impress employers that 'you're prepared for the weakness question,' says psychotherapist Pat Pearson, author of 'Stop Self-Sabotage!'
心理學家皮爾森(Pat Pearson)說，保持視線接觸、正常呼吸和明朗的微笑可以讓雇主覺得"你對有關弱點的問題有所準備"。皮爾森著有《停止自我摧毀》(Stop Self-Sabotage!)一書。
For the same reason, you seem thoughtful if you pause before responding. But don't wait too long. 'If you're going to take a minute,' Mr. Morrow cautions, 'I've just identified your weakness.'