After going on a crazy amount of interviews, I have long given up the idea of trying to ace one. When I was hired for my last job, the only reason the interview went well is because the interviewers talked amongst themselves and didn't ask me any questions. Take note future employers, I have impeccable listening skills.
So now, my goal is to just not say anything awkward. That's it. But even with the bar set so low, I still manage to closeline myself with it every time.
One of the questions I stumble over is the weakness question. When I told an interviewer at DOWL HKM that I was impatient, she raised her eyebrows and said, "Wow, that was an honest answer."
Too honest? I think it was too honest. I decided I needed a new answer.
For my first interview in Colorado at a company called Cardno ChemRisk, I decided I had a great weakness to share. I was going to tell them, "I feel like I'm flexible, but to a point. In the making of a schedule, it can be as vague or as detailed can be, but once the schedule is set, I like to stick to it."
Thank goodness they didn't ask me my weakness, because they said, "At this job, you'll be working on a task, and then another one will come in and it will take precedent. Sometimes your whole day will be flipped upside down and your schedule will just fly out the window. How does that sound?"
I painted a smile on my face. "That sounds exciting."
I thought that since I had dodged the weakness bullet, this interview was going well. But then they asked me a simple game changer question: "What do you like about the admin role?"
I answered, "I like having the responsibility of being designated as the organizer or administrator, because if I'm not, then I'll let whatever group project I'm working on fail."
Shortly after that prize-winning answer, I flashed back to an interview at a media company I had in Alaska where the boss said simply, "So tell me about yourself."
I balked. "Well, I have a mom and a dad…"
Following the ChemRisk interview, I realized I needed a plethora of weaknesses I could grab from depending on the company. So when someone asks, "Audrey, what's your weakness?" I can respond with one of the following options:
1. Hot fudge sundae pop tarts. I would literally give away all of your company's secrets for a box of those. Why do you ask? Do you have a coupon?
2. Dragonfire. Also, I don't answer questions appropriately.
3. I'm not good at explaining things…and that's all I have to say about that.
4. I'm awkward and I don't know what to do with my hands. *strokes face*
5. Sometimes I yell at my sister when she doesn't even do anything wrong.
6. I don't have any relevant weaknesses.
Most recently, I interviewed for a marketing internship at a diving company. I was nervous the entire time that the one, dreaded question would come up: "So how do you feel about the ocean?"
As I chatted with the marketing director, just yucking it up, he said, "So, any interest in getting your diving certification?"
"Maaaaaaaaybe," I said slowly, laughing awkwardly.
"Oh? Why the hesitation?" He asked pleasantly enough.
"BECAUSE I'M SCARED OF WATER!" I blurted out, hoping if I said it quickly and loudly enough, he wouldn't actually understand what I said.
He laughed. "Like, you only drink Coke because you're so scared, or…?"
"Lakes. Ponds. I thought I had a traumatic experience when I was eight where the riptide was sucking me in, but really I was just standing in ankle deep water as the tide went gently in and out."
"I see," he chuckled, hopefully in a nonjudgmental manner.
"I'm also a really terrible swimmer."
Feel free to share your awkward interview moments in the comments.
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