By Driri - 31/7/2021 08:00

Quickfire round

Today, I had a panel job interview with 3 people. My nerves got the best of me, especially when they asked me about my weaknesses. I gave them an answer, but they kept bombarding me with additional follow-up questions that I couldn’t think of the answers to. It got so bad, I was reduced to tears. FML
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By  Chazzster  |  22

I have had a few panel type interviews and I hate them. They can take turns firing questions at you while you are just one person to answer questions and unless you are very good at turning the situation around don’t get to ask many questions of them. But you rarely know what kind of interview you are going to walk into…

By the way, while ideally you need to do well at each stage of the interview, it’s the interview with the hiring manager that counts the most. For a professional being interviewed, there may be one or more “experts” in your field to let the hiring manager know if they think you are qualified for the position - These can be the most difficult steps for an applicant, but they are ultimately not necessarily the most important. The hiring manager makes the decision and a competent manager knows how to make an applicant feel more at ease so they can get a more accurate impression of the applicant. Your prospective peers within the company may not be so good at putting an applicant at ease. There is skill involved in conducting an effective interview regardless of if you are the applicant or the interviewer. One of the most basic skills required of a good interviewer is putting the applicant at ease so you get a real assessment of the applicant’s skills and experience. I would say that the people who broke you down emotionally did not have this skill and did not do a good job for their company.

Regardless of what we do or how good we are at our profession, you are going to have some interviews that don’t go well. Consider those as “practice” for a future interview that you are going to ace. Don’t give up - Regardless of how well or poorly you may do on one interview you can learn from that and use that experience in the future.

By the way “What’s your greatest weakness” is a well known trap question. The best answer is one that sounds like a weakness but is really a strength - Such as saying you are particular about getting the job done right, but you know you need to loosen up a bit. In most environments that’s actually a positive (unless the particular job emphasizes speed over accuracy).

By the way, one more tip - The more questions you ask of your prospective employer (as long as they are intelligent questions) the better it works out for you. You get to take a bit of the pressure off you and put them a little in the defensive while at the same time looking like you are genuinely interested in the company. Look them up online beforehand, see what their business is, see what their sales trends are, see what their history is. Then use that to ask a few questions that show you understand the business to some degree and are interested in working there. Ideally they are going to ask you about 2 or 3 questions for every one you ask of them. But you can prepare your questions beforehand after you researched the company a bit and it informs the choices you may need to make about the job, and it shows interest in their organization, and it takes the pressure off you for a little while in an interview. You can even write out your list of questions and refer to your notes if you think you might forget the questions under the pressure of an interview - It’s not a negative to to do this. A professional placement agent told me that a long time ago and it works.

By  RichardPencil  |  30

I love that question!

I tell them I have so many weaknesses that it is hard to rank them. I lie frequently. I steal office supplies. I shift blame to anyone but myself when something goes wrong. I eat too many treats in the break room. I make customers feel like idiots. I take credit for good weather. I show up late and sneak out early. I hit on hot coworkers and even some that are just so-so. Shall I go on?

I always get an offer on the spot. You should try this.

COMMENTS
By  RichardPencil  |  30

I love that question!

I tell them I have so many weaknesses that it is hard to rank them. I lie frequently. I steal office supplies. I shift blame to anyone but myself when something goes wrong. I eat too many treats in the break room. I make customers feel like idiots. I take credit for good weather. I show up late and sneak out early. I hit on hot coworkers and even some that are just so-so. Shall I go on?

I always get an offer on the spot. You should try this.

Reply
  RichardPencil  |  30

Thanks. There's too much scrutiny at the level. Stockholders, bleh.

I usually get a "Cautionary Tale" position in the Corporate Ethics Department. I give Oscar-worthy performances in the training videos.

By  Chazzster  |  22

I have had a few panel type interviews and I hate them. They can take turns firing questions at you while you are just one person to answer questions and unless you are very good at turning the situation around don’t get to ask many questions of them. But you rarely know what kind of interview you are going to walk into…

By the way, while ideally you need to do well at each stage of the interview, it’s the interview with the hiring manager that counts the most. For a professional being interviewed, there may be one or more “experts” in your field to let the hiring manager know if they think you are qualified for the position - These can be the most difficult steps for an applicant, but they are ultimately not necessarily the most important. The hiring manager makes the decision and a competent manager knows how to make an applicant feel more at ease so they can get a more accurate impression of the applicant. Your prospective peers within the company may not be so good at putting an applicant at ease. There is skill involved in conducting an effective interview regardless of if you are the applicant or the interviewer. One of the most basic skills required of a good interviewer is putting the applicant at ease so you get a real assessment of the applicant’s skills and experience. I would say that the people who broke you down emotionally did not have this skill and did not do a good job for their company.

Regardless of what we do or how good we are at our profession, you are going to have some interviews that don’t go well. Consider those as “practice” for a future interview that you are going to ace. Don’t give up - Regardless of how well or poorly you may do on one interview you can learn from that and use that experience in the future.

By the way “What’s your greatest weakness” is a well known trap question. The best answer is one that sounds like a weakness but is really a strength - Such as saying you are particular about getting the job done right, but you know you need to loosen up a bit. In most environments that’s actually a positive (unless the particular job emphasizes speed over accuracy).

By the way, one more tip - The more questions you ask of your prospective employer (as long as they are intelligent questions) the better it works out for you. You get to take a bit of the pressure off you and put them a little in the defensive while at the same time looking like you are genuinely interested in the company. Look them up online beforehand, see what their business is, see what their sales trends are, see what their history is. Then use that to ask a few questions that show you understand the business to some degree and are interested in working there. Ideally they are going to ask you about 2 or 3 questions for every one you ask of them. But you can prepare your questions beforehand after you researched the company a bit and it informs the choices you may need to make about the job, and it shows interest in their organization, and it takes the pressure off you for a little while in an interview. You can even write out your list of questions and refer to your notes if you think you might forget the questions under the pressure of an interview - It’s not a negative to to do this. A professional placement agent told me that a long time ago and it works.