"Cinta dan kebencian, hanyalah berjarak satu hantaman luka dan seribu lautan kenangan" — David Tandri

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What's Your Greatest Weakness?

Honestly, this is my personal most hated question in an interview. As for me, it is such a dumb question to be asked. What's the use of pointing out someone's weaknesses, while the purpose of hiring is clearly to find someone with great strength or new ability to succeed the previous (failed) worker, or as a significant addition to power up the team?

So the focus of interview is wrong. Job interview is not a private sharing session or family chatting. Such questions like "How many siblings you have? Are you single/married? What do you do at home when you are free?" are not even necessary to be asked! What has it got to do with the work exactly? If these questions really occurred, both the company and candidate are wasting their supposed-to-be-a-quality time. Ever heard of a clueless clue? That's the example!

Job interview is partly business discussion and partly skill discussion. Just like the principle of business, a job interview is a discussion about mutual benefit, which means the candidate and company reps (which do the interview) value each other and then decide whether this relationship worth a deal or not!

From company's pov, they would see what advantage the candidate could offer them in terms of business or operation, that makes the candidate worth given a seat in the company. This is why, I prefer quality questions like, "Tell me about your best achievement in past company? How much was your success rate in meeting your sales target or collection target or production target? What was your strategies to cope with this challenge and that challenge? So... all the talk is about facts and actual stats, not some cheesy psychology question that don't even worth a damn and has no impact to the company's business or operation.

The same thing goes to the candidate. Those who come to interview prepared enough and answerable to all questions above, should now see how much benefit the company could offer them. Does it meet your standard and paid off your skill? Could it be a long term career and let you learn and apply new things? Are they the type of company that is open and will support your work plan in terms of budget and resources?

That... is the ideal interview every company should conduct.

So is the "weakness" question even worth the time to be asked? Wait, you don't expect to test someone's honesty from a question like this, because lying is very easy at the first meet. Who would be so idiot to mention all their weaknesses, while they truly aware that by doing so would cut down their chance of being hired? The truth is, employees will give their honesty to company naturally if the management treat them right!

But some people will ask me, what if I got this question in an interview... what would be my answer? Some people expect I would answer cliche things like "I'm careless, I'm quite emotional, I'm a bad timing person, I'm bad at communicating, etc..." Honestly, I really feel like want to scold them for asking me this question, but since as a candidate I was required to give an answer and it's impossible to say "none" (because then they would response me very quickly, "So you have no weakness. Are you a God?"), I would give them this answer:

"My main weakness is that I'm merely a human being, which means I'm socially dependent, and that is the reason I can't work by myself and I need help. I need others. I need a team to work together. As long as I'm still in need of others, that would be my weakness. And since we sit under the same roof of company, then my weaknesses become their weaknesses, and theirs become mine. And we need to work together to cover each other's weaknesses. That's called teamwork."

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to speak out my answer, since I've never being asked about this "weakness" question. But for those who had, what did you usually response? Or maybe, you have any better idea of answer to fight this idiot question?

Medan, August 27th, 2015