Your Greatest Weakness?

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Do you ask candidates, “What’s your greatest weakness?”

I stopped asking that question back in 1999 when I finally got a clue. I never really knew why I was asking a candidate about his weaknesses in the first place — especially when I am supposed to be using a behavior-based interviewing tool that tricks the interviewee into telling me his greatest weakness with pseudo-science and bad psychology.

What do you do with the answer, anyway? It is difficult to measure the response, and the interviewee is ready with a stupid answer every time I ask the question.

  • I don’t like to delegate.
  • I work too hard.
  • Sometimes I care too much.

Okay, buddy, great.

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Also, here’s some breaking news: I think the question makes the interviewer look like a dork who doesn’t know how to play the game above a 5th grade level.

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So here are my questions.

  • As a Recruiting/HR professional, do you ask it?
  • What do you want to hear?
  • What is your greatest weakness?

I am totally bad at math and I talk too much.

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