What is your biggest weakness?

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20160810
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What is your biggest weakness?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:51 am

I hate this interview question. I'm not going to come right out and tell them I'm a compulsive masturbator and I steal office supplies, but I also don't want to say something like "Well, sometimes I try too hard. I only know 3 foreign languages" etc.

Suggestions?

Total Litigator
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:08 am

Because I'm only a rising 2L, I've only had this question a couple times. I think I told the interviewers that I've had the tendency to be too comandeering in a team situation and avoid compromise. But then I told them a recent situation in which I realized that I was doing just that, and how I realized such behavior was detrimental and what steps I was taking to try and correct that fault. So personally I think the best answer to that question is to:

1) Identify a fault that the interviewer could subconciously construe in a positive light. For example, I say comandeering, but the interviewer might think, "Well at least he takes charge in a team dynamic."

2) Identify how such behavior is detrimental, ideally in a particular situation. This shows you can aknowledge your own faults and think critically about how to correct them.

3) Explain what steps you have been taking to overcome the weakness and capitalize on your related strengths.

When I did this during a mock interview, I had good feedback on my answer, so I think it worked at least once... Basically you have to strategically pick a weakness, and then qualify it in a positive manner.

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Teoeo
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Teoeo » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:23 am

Cryptonite.

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merichard87
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby merichard87 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:43 am

My golf game is weak. It got a chuckle out of an interviewer a few times.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby TCScrutinizer » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:47 am

Teoeo wrote:Cryptonite.


I'm going to save this one for OCI's.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby ZXCVBNM » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am

I said, "I have trouble controlling THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE." Austin powers style. Went over pretty well. I highly recommend it.

Total Litigator
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:42 am

Apparently I took this thread way too seriously lol
Last edited by Total Litigator on Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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eandy
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby eandy » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:44 am

Total Litigator wrote:Apparently I took this thread way to seriously lol

No, you didn't. People who don't take threads seriously in the "Legal Employment" section tend to get vacations.

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BLi
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby BLi » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:00 am

Excema.

rynabrius
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby rynabrius » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:09 am

I have a real problem with working too hard.

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20160810
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:12 pm

Total Litigator wrote:Because I'm only a rising 2L, I've only had this question a couple times. I think I told the interviewers that I've had the tendency to be too comandeering in a team situation and avoid compromise. But then I told them a recent situation in which I realized that I was doing just that, and how I realized such behavior was detrimental and what steps I was taking to try and correct that fault. So personally I think the best answer to that question is to:

1) Identify a fault that the interviewer could subconciously construe in a positive light. For example, I say comandeering, but the interviewer might think, "Well at least he takes charge in a team dynamic."

2) Identify how such behavior is detrimental, ideally in a particular situation. This shows you can aknowledge your own faults and think critically about how to correct them.

3) Explain what steps you have been taking to overcome the weakness and capitalize on your related strengths.

When I did this during a mock interview, I had good feedback on my answer, so I think it worked at least once... Basically you have to strategically pick a weakness, and then qualify it in a positive manner.


This is actually a pretty legit post. I always want to answer something like this, but I'm afraid step 1 will seem too obvious/disingenuous to them.

czelede
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby czelede » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:38 pm

I had this question in my first "real world" job interview. I said something to the effect of needing pressure to motivate me to work at maximum efficiency and how I am working towards becoming a more consistent performer. My interviewer at the time responded with "That's exactly mine as well!" and I ended up getting invited back for 2nd rounds on-site. Of course, this was not a law firm, so take that with a grain of salt, but I think you could spin something similar into a positive response.

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Warhawk
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Warhawk » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:47 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:I hate this interview question. I'm not going to come right out and tell them I'm a compulsive masturbator and I steal office supplies, but I also don't want to say something like "Well, sometimes I try too hard. I only know 3 foreign languages" etc.

Suggestions?


Actually I'm thinking the office supply line could be a hit. :lol:

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Warhawk
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Warhawk » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:48 pm

merichard87 wrote:My golf game is weak. It got a chuckle out of an interviewer a few times.


Ok, I'm stealing that.

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trialjunky
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby trialjunky » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:51 pm

men

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SamSeaborn2016
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:42 pm

I've been in the working world 7 years since undergrad and I've run into this one a bunch of times. I just tell the truth and let them know I am hold people to really high standards (sometimes higher than I should) and that I occasionally focus too much on the details. I've always had good success with interviews so I think I'm doing ok. I kinda want to go with the chronic masturbation answer, though.

Person
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Person » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:31 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:I hate that question.

Impatience (with stupidity and incompetence) is by far my biggest flaw, which is not an uncommon trait among super type A people. I usually say that as it is true, and not going to be anything very special. And try to say how I had some opportunity to work on improving that in a business setting (i.e. dealing with non-tech knowledgable clients or clients who couldn't give a flying fuck about licensing laws).


Do you worry that this might backfire and make you look arrogant?

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jayn3
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby jayn3 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:55 pm

Teoeo wrote:Cryptonite.

Kryptonite.

BLi wrote:Excema.

Eczema.


HTH

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Barbie
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Barbie » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:03 pm

I'm always just pretty honest. Most recently I said something along the lines of how I get easily distracted from aspects of my work that don't challenge me... which is veerrrrryyy true. Not sure how effective that was... but I got the job... hah

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jayn3
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby jayn3 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:07 pm

Barbie wrote:I'm always just pretty honest. Most recently I said something along the lines of how I get easily distracted from aspects of my work that don't challenge me... which is veerrrrryyy true. Not sure how effective that was... but I got the job... hah


oooh that could be a good one. it's absolutely true for me too....but saying "i need to be challenged" sends the message that you like to work hard. right?

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seespotrun
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby seespotrun » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:10 pm

jayn3 wrote:
Barbie wrote:I'm always just pretty honest. Most recently I said something along the lines of how I get easily distracted from aspects of my work that don't challenge me... which is veerrrrryyy true. Not sure how effective that was... but I got the job... hah


oooh that could be a good one. it's absolutely true for me too....but saying "i need to be challenged" sends the message that you like to work hard. right?

Or maybe it says "I'm above junior associate-level work." I don't think that's the worst thing you could say, but that seems a bit risky.

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Blindmelon
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:14 pm

I hate working. Or how about, I don't want to be a lawyer? I have a feeling honesty isn't the best policy in this situation.

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edcrane
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby edcrane » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:12 pm

One very awkward partner asked me this last year. I blurted out "tedium," which, in retrospect, was a pretty weak answer, given the sort of work that most junior level corporate lawyers do. Didn't end up hurting me, though.

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jayn3
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby jayn3 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:27 am

amyLAchemist wrote:Most corporate-type interviews I have had don't ask questions like this, but I have had the errant stupid question. So I guess it is good to be prepared just in case.


care to share examples of things they do ask?

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worldtraveler
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Re: What is your biggest weakness?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:28 am

I always want to say "upper body strength" when someone asks this question.




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