Sad Songs Are Nature's Onions

"For the sickness, that be spreadin with the quickness Remedies, cousin I be doin on my enemies Penalty, then I drink forties to they memories" - "Release Yo' Delf" by Method Man

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Question

The job interview. Just the thought of it can conjure up feelings of dread in even the stoutest of individuals. All of that pressure and attention, focused squarely on YOU. Stay calm. Stay calm. Breathe. Smile. Don't lie. Don't tell the truth. Tell them what they want to hear. Make them think that hiring anybody else for this position would be a grievous error that will haunt them for the remainder of their waking lives. Who are you kidding - you don't even know what the hell you are applying for. What the hell is a Head Technical Lead anyways? When is this going to be over? Where's my mommy?

Interviews have never really bothered me, except for one part. This question has invariably come up in every interview I have ever done: "So, Mr. Gillis, what do you think are some weaknesses that you possess?" I hate this question with every fibre of my being. It's not that I have a problem with listing my weaknessess. In fact, I am quite good at listing my weaknesses. Too good. If the interviewers gave me a few hours, I could show them, in explicit detail, every single one of my weaknesses and character flaws. I'd have pie graphs, and flow charts, and Power Point presentations. I would wow them with my extensive knowledge of my own flaws and ineptitudes. Now, I do realize that all an interviewer is trying to establish with the question is how you will deal (or plan to deal) with your own limitations. All you have to say is some bullshit like, "I am slightly lacking in leadership abilities, and I plan to do this, this, and this to improve them." Accentuate the positive. That seems easy enough, but my first instinct whenever I am asked that question is to blurt out, "ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, I'll tell the truth! I can't do this job! I'm incompetent! A fraud! I'm sorry! I have no marketable skills! Please don't hurt me!" I never say this of course, but I feel this, even if I don't believe it. I get this tight feeling in my chest, and start thinking "Well, here it is. Here's where they expose your lie. They've finally found you out."

I hate that question. Fuck that question. Only a sadist could ask a question like that. It is the Godzilla of interview questions, and I am Japan.


  • At 1:46 p.m., Blogger kait said…

    I've always been fond of:

    "Sometimes I will take on too much work, and do other peoples work. For example if someone is not doing their job properly and they are not doing important things, I will just take the job on myself."

    See it's a flaw (overworking yourself) however it is also a strength (takes initiative to make sure the job gets done).


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