What if we had to tell the real truth when asked about our weaknesses?

  1. 16 The standard advice during interviews when this question comes up is to pick a mild fault and put a positive spin about how you are dealing with it successfully. I suspect interviewers foolish enough to ask this question hear a lot about perfectionism and workaholic behaviors.
    For fun I thought about what I would say if I had to speak the real truth with no softening or anything else.
    Would I really say that I am generally unassertive and conflict avoidant.? There is a lazy streak present where I am always tempted to take the easy way out. I work part-time because I can and would rather not deal with all the stress of full-time work; it also lets me avoid staff meetings and nursing committee requirements. Hire me and you can be sure I will never be voted nurse of the year.
    What would you never say for that interview question?
  2. Visit  RNperdiem profile page

    About RNperdiem

    RNperdiem has '14' year(s) of experience. From 'Apex, NC, US'; Joined Dec '06; Posts: 3,334; Likes: 5,490.

    65 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  sno963 profile page
    13
    I never understand questions about weaknesses and "where will you be in 10 years?" If I were an interviewer I would know these questions are unfair and will almost never yield a truthful (truly) response.

    If I were to answer this question I would say I will come in every day and work very hard, but I am not going to suck up to you/coworkers, I will probably not add you/coworkers on facebook, and I will probably never go out with you/coworkers outside of work.

    I personally don't view this as a weakness, but it sure has given me a lot of flack over the years I've been working.
    Last edit by sno963 on Feb 6, '13 : Reason: Clarification
    Genista, joanna73, serenitylove14, and 10 others like this.
  4. Visit  Rhi007 profile page
    1
    I would say 'I suck big time at maths!! So much so i used a calculator in year 6 in tests...it's the whole patterns thing'
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  5. Visit  brown eyed girl profile page
    1
    This is weird that I'm seeing this after my beginning a new thread but.....I'm weak with dosage calculations because, I next to never have to use them in LTC.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  6. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    19
    "Don't put me on a floor where there are a lot of patient families bringing in food. I'll scarf all of it."
  7. Visit  somenurse profile page
    15
    "uhm...my weakness? I get nervous at job interviews! I tend to think of the perfect answer as i am driving home.."

    fireball78, poppycat, kogafietsen, and 12 others like this.
  8. Visit  netglow profile page
    19
    I love that behavioral question: "When have you really ****** up, and how did you remedy the situation"

    Answer: "I almost let a patient bleed to death, but then got him some blood so he was fine, and then cleaned up the floor so nobody would slip..." LOL wouldn't that be great just to see the look on their faces?

    or,

    "Do you believe it's OK to break the rules in order to get things done in order to please the client?"

    Always the answer is: "No, O.M.G!!!!! you cannot break the rules, it is forbidden! and you won't go to heaven then when you die either. " LOL.
  9. Visit  somenurse profile page
    5
    Truthful answers i have given in the past, included

    "I once had a tardy problem while raising children. Getting everyone organized and out the door at proper time, was occasionally difficult to achieve. But, once my children grew up and moved out, i realized *I* don't have a tardy problem."

    "I have occasionally had trouble delegating, and ended up doing some chore or task by myself, instead of delegating it. The drawback was, i would end up getting behind on my own list of tasks. I have since developed the confidence to be able to effectively delegate."

    ^both of those are actually true, of me. I really did have trouble asking others to do this or that, in the past.

    (feedback welcome--i've never ever been in position to hire people, wonder how those do land in the ear of an employer.) I suppose neither one recognizes an ongoing CURRENT problem, though....of which i have a few!! ha ha!!
    serenitylove14, netglow, barbyann, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  buytheshoes11 profile page
    1
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    "I have occasionally had trouble delegating, and ended up doing some chore or task by myself, instead of delegating it. The drawback was, i would end up getting behind on my own list of tasks. I have since developed the confidence to be able to effectively delegate."
    I have used the delegating example in an interview. This was the most constructive (but true) thing I could come up with for a weakness!
    somenurse likes this.
  11. Visit  brown eyed girl profile page
    1
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    "uhm...my weakness? I get nervous at job interviews! I tend to think of the perfect answer as i am driving home.."

    I thought it was just me!
    somenurse likes this.
  12. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    11
    If I was really going to be honest:

    "Don't expect me to follow 'rules' that I don't agree with/don't see the point of just because "that's how we do things here", I'll speak my mind and challenge you every time."

    "Don't expect me kiss your behind, I don't care about winning brownie points."

    When I really get asked this question, I make up some nonsense that's partly true but can be spun in a positive way. I absolutely ABHOR this question... the interviewer knows the interviewee is going to lie. I remember discussing this with a friend when I was interviewing last year and we both agreed that no one would ever tell the honest-to-God truth when asked this question in an interview- she said her biggest weakness is that she's always late (which is true, I usually wait between 20-40 minutes for her when we go anywhere) but that she would never admit to that in an interview because that would undoubtedly lead to her not being hired.
  13. Visit  DawnJ profile page
    5
    As my boss, I will tell you what I think and not sugarcoat it. I will be direct/frank/hardline with you, but that doesn't mean I can't sugarcoat or soft sell it to others when I need to.

    And yes, this has gotten me into tangles in the past, at least until they get used to me
    anotherone, GrnTea, serenitylove14, and 2 others like this.
  14. Visit  MedChica profile page
    8
    Quote from RNperdiem
    The standard advice during interviews when this question comes up is to pick a mild fault and put a positive spin about how you are dealing with it successfully. I suspect interviewers foolish enough to ask this question hear a lot about perfectionism and workaholic behaviors.
    For fun I thought about what I would say if I had to speak the real truth with no softening or anything else.
    Would I really say that I am generally unassertive and conflict avoidant.? There is a lazy streak present where I am always tempted to take the easy way out. I work part-time because I can and would rather not deal with all the stress of full-time work; it also lets me avoid staff meetings and nursing committee requirements. Hire me and you can be sure I will never be voted nurse of the year.
    What would you never say for that interview question?
    LOL
    That is funny.

    Weakness:
    - Expect me to find a way to not attend staff meetings, i.e., organized b--ch sessions.

    - I can supervise. Doesn't mean I like to. The whole supervisory aspect of nursing was something that I hadn't foreseen. So far? I dislike it. I absolutely see and respect our nurse aides as professionals. However, some of these people? My God...it's enough to make you lose every last bit of your professionalism. Management needs to stop hiring any and everyone and start pushing some aptitude tests. I'm so serious. These individuals create more work for the other aides AND the nurses. They're not new aides, either.

    - I can lead. I just don't want to. Some do well in the background and that's me. I'm the backup. I'm the quarterback. I'm the support, not the lead. I'm not the performer on-stage. I'm the assistant pulling the strings, feeding lines, sewing up hems, screwing around with spreadsheets, on the phone with promoters and making the magic happen.
    I am pushed into leadership positions because... I don't know why. People misread my talents. I excel at leading (seemingly) because I'm anal, a bit of an authoritarian (leadership style), good at solving problems and very good at managing 'things'. I don't seek leadership/management positions unless I have to, however, because I hate having to manage 'people'.

    - I am a work-horse and I've never considered that a virtue. I care way more than I should about organizations and such. It's very easy to guilt me into picking up extra shifts. Probably because I spent so much time in the military. I have a weird need to be 'loyal to' an entity. LOL
    I am used to being 'voluntold' to do things. I am used to orders and it's not about mindlessly following orders. It's more, like, if something needs to be done and it's within your ability to do it...then you just do it. You step up and 'handle' it.
    You move 'with a sense of purpose'. Going 'above and beyond'... is what you're supposed to do.
    ...and I am trying to change this about myself. Really.
    That sort of attitude doesn't work in civilian world. In civilian world, being like that doesn't get you anything but 'used'.
    I'm just being honest, here.
    The more experienced nurses aren't like that, I've noticed. They're more hard-nosed about everything. I was asked and agreed to work a position. Well, we were short-staffed the days before and I was feeling sick. They told me, "Just call in. Staffing is a management issue. Don't kill yourself for this job. It's not like you're fighting for your country. It's not that serious..."
    I did the shift anyway because I thought, "Well, what about the patients? What about the other nurses that have to pick up the slack...?"
    I think I need to be more like my experienced coworkers. They'll tell you in a heartbeat what they're 'not gonna do'. LOL

    - I have issues with delegating. I sometimes don't know how to pass the reigns.

    - I'm not a true people person. I'm an introvert. Not sure how or why I like healthcare...because people don't do anything but sap me of my energy.


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