greatest weakness

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Anonymous User
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greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:09 pm

choosing between:

1) holding myself and others to high standards
2) being too detail-oriented
3) being too assertive

which should i choose? i need to choose one where i can show that i've made concerted efforts to overcome the weakness, but for any of these i feel like I would be talking to in generalities. like what could i have concretely done to overcome any of these weaknesses? (esp #1?)

can i say something like "i tend to hold myself and others to high standards - not only in terms of work product, but in terms of [basically everything in life but so general!], but i'm working on being more realistic" - like why is that even a weakness? because it only sets me up for frustration? talking in circles here, sorry.

just don't quite know how best to articulate this one.

thnx a lot

Danteshek
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Danteshek » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:16 pm

"I'm not sure if I can answer that question. Ask my references."

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glitter178
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby glitter178 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:choosing between:

1) holding myself and others to high standards
2) being too detail-oriented
3) being too assertive

which should i choose? i need to choose one where i can show that i've made concerted efforts to overcome the weakness, but for any of these i feel like I would be talking to in generalities. like what could i have concretely done to overcome any of these weaknesses? (esp #1?)

can i say something like "i tend to hold myself and others to high standards - not only in terms of work product, but in terms of [basically everything in life but so general!], but i'm working on being more realistic" - like why is that even a weakness? because it only sets me up for frustration? talking in circles here, sorry.

just don't quite know how best to articulate this one.

thnx a lot


the first two aren't weaknesses. what they want: i am bad at (x), but i am working on that by doing (y).

Anonymous User
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:19 pm

glitter178 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:choosing between:

1) holding myself and others to high standards
2) being too detail-oriented
3) being too assertive

which should i choose? i need to choose one where i can show that i've made concerted efforts to overcome the weakness, but for any of these i feel like I would be talking to in generalities. like what could i have concretely done to overcome any of these weaknesses? (esp #1?)

can i say something like "i tend to hold myself and others to high standards - not only in terms of work product, but in terms of [basically everything in life but so general!], but i'm working on being more realistic" - like why is that even a weakness? because it only sets me up for frustration? talking in circles here, sorry.

just don't quite know how best to articulate this one.

thnx a lot


the first two aren't weaknesses. what they want: i am bad at (x), but i am working on that by doing (y).


ok, very helpful thanks. so i can say i'm too assertive and i'm overcoming it by being a better listener and being more patient? i dont know, i dont want to come off as bossy.

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The Platypus
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby The Platypus » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:choosing between:

1) holding myself and others to high standards
2) being too detail-oriented
3) being too assertive


http://colossus.mu.nu/archives/252220.php

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Haymarket
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Haymarket » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:42 pm

Just tell them that you worry your penis is too big. And then wink at them. That should get the right message across.

I know that's what gdane will do.

henry flower
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby henry flower » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:43 pm

What about these two answers to this annoying question:

(1) "I can sometimes have a tendency to get caught up in the details. There's a certain point where tinkering with the structure of a sentence to find the most elegant variation, or experimenting to find the best way to phrase an argument stops paying dividends. However, law school has really helped me break this habit---if you spend time re-writing sentences for style on a 3-hour exam, the curve will kill you, and my internship helped even more, because judicial resources are limited. I think usually you find that your initial intuition was spot on, but it's important to develop a good sense of judgment as to 'when to stop' and I've been striving to do that. Editing the written work of others and having trusted editors helps too."

(2) "I'm sure I have plenty, but one weakness is that I have too many interests. We've talked about some of them, music, sales, marketing, journalism, social work, and so on. Being a jack-of-all trades can have its advantages, but you don't want to be unfocused or sacrifice expertise to try to learn everything. But law school and my judicial internship have really helped me hone in on litigation as my primary interest, so I am really focused on that. And one nice thing about the legal field, is that, while you might become an expertise in a certain kind of claim or procedure, you might apply that expertise to so many different situations---environmental claims against an energy company here, false advertising claims against a telecom provider there---that you get exposed different areas while you develop expertise."

Anonymous User
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:45 pm

I was never asked this question during any of my screeners or any of my callbacks (so probably something like 60 interviews and it never came up once).

Anonymous User
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:09 pm

Whatever you do, don't say too detail-oriented. It's really cliche.

RPK34
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby RPK34 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Don't give the "oh, this is a positive that I'm going to label as a negative" thing. I used to do interviews, and every time I heard "I'm a perfectionist," or "I'm too detail oriented," or "I care about my job too much" it made me want to cringe. And those two answers you just posted are cringe-worthy.

Admit to having a weakness. Obviously choose one that isn't an auto-ding. Don't say "I don't like working on other peoples schedules." But chose something that's an honest answer and something that employers have criticized you for.

Anonymous User
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:28 pm

any good examples?

JJW
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby JJW » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:46 pm

I tend to loosen the reins with people who have a good handle on the project but not so much with those who are struggling. This can be regarded as favoritism, but IMO it is a personal communications challenge I need to resolve.

Tried it. Looked like the interviewer was OK with it. Still not sure.

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fatduck
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby fatduck » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:06 pm

"i'm a really terrible interviewer"

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PaulKriske
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby PaulKriske » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:10 pm

fatduck wrote:"i'm a really terrible interviewer"



Think this could this be pulled off?

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KMaine
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby KMaine » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:11 pm

I am lazy and I try to get by doing as little work as possible.

Anonymous User
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:34 pm

Biggest weakness - all the dead bodies in your basement freezer.

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GeePee
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby GeePee » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:00 am

OP: don't think too much about this question; it won't make your interview. Personally I think anyone that would ask this question is kind of a douche or way too bored with interviewing to be someone the firm should send to do recruiting. Nevertheless, it happens. I don't think the strength disguised as a weakness is always terrible, but it seems somewhat insincere. I think the only terrible answers are things like "I'm lazy" or "working in diverse environments" or "wine."

I got this question twice at screeners, and got callbacks from both. My answer was something like, "I'm prone to procrastination but I never miss deadlines. So I used this to help me by scheduling more aggressively, always keeping a calendar with me, and motivating myself by becoming accountable to others. I have learned to manage my time very well, especially in situations when I am very busy. (2 quick anecdotes to explain)" The answer took about 30-35 seconds, and although I don't think it was perfect, I think it was satisfactory.

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romothesavior
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:38 am

RPK34 wrote:Don't give the "oh, this is a positive that I'm going to label as a negative" thing. I used to do interviews, and every time I heard "I'm a perfectionist," or "I'm too detail oriented," or "I care about my job too much" it made me want to cringe. And those two answers you just posted are cringe-worthy.

Admit to having a weakness. Obviously choose one that isn't an auto-ding. Don't say "I don't like working on other peoples schedules." But chose something that's an honest answer and something that employers have criticized you for.

TITCR. Don't pick a weakness that is actually a positive; that's the worst thing you can do with this question. Also make sure it isn't something material to the job, like "I suck at legal research." Pick an actual weakness, and then explain how you have grown and how you hope to continue to improve in this area.

Also, this question scared me a lot going into OCI, and I don't think I was ever asked it.

henry flower
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby henry flower » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:15 am

Folks give the same advice over and over again, but nobody has an actual example. That's why I think it's just impossible to give a good answer to this question.

All you can do is hope not to embarrass yourself too horribly.

rad lulz
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:39 pm

"My mile time. I've started a training regimen to try to break 7 minutes."

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ilovesf
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby ilovesf » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:any good examples?

Mine is that I have a hard time balancing being really thorough in my writing and keeping it brief and concise. As a judicial extern this summer, I felt like I didn't want to leave out important issues and have it be overlooked because it could potentially affect the outcome of the case, so I included some issues that I later found out weren't that relevant. It's been difficult to get used to exactly how many aspects of a claim to discuss and in how much depth to treat each claim. This resulted in my drafts being too long and I needed to do significant edits. Then I said something about with each project I've done, I've tried to do an edit just asking myself if I really need to discuss the topic and to evaluate how it fits into the bigger picture. I have no idea if that is a good answer but it was honest and not something cliche.

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romothesavior
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:24 pm

ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:any good examples?

Mine is that I have a hard time balancing being really thorough in my writing and keeping it brief and concise. As a judicial extern this summer, I felt like I didn't want to leave out important issues and have it be overlooked because it could potentially affect the outcome of the case, so I included some issues that I later found out weren't that relevant. It's been difficult to get used to exactly how many aspects of a claim to discuss and in how much depth to treat each claim. This resulted in my drafts being too long and I needed to do significant edits. Then I said something about with each project I've done, I've tried to do an edit just asking myself if I really need to discuss the topic and to evaluate how it fits into the bigger picture. I have no idea if that is a good answer but it was honest and not something cliche.

I think that's a good one because most attorneys can relate to the process of fine tuning their legal writing skills early in their career. And its something that is great to recognize and I'm sure if your interviewer is a litigator they'll know the feeling, and maybe it will segue into a conversation about legal writing, being a young litigator learning the ropes, etc. At the same time, its not a fatal flaw or something that they'll have to completely train you on, which is good. I like it.


Like I said though, odds are you won't get asked this one.

rad lulz
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:26 pm

romothesavior wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:any good examples?

Mine is that I have a hard time balancing being really thorough in my writing and keeping it brief and concise. As a judicial extern this summer, I felt like I didn't want to leave out important issues and have it be overlooked because it could potentially affect the outcome of the case, so I included some issues that I later found out weren't that relevant. It's been difficult to get used to exactly how many aspects of a claim to discuss and in how much depth to treat each claim. This resulted in my drafts being too long and I needed to do significant edits. Then I said something about with each project I've done, I've tried to do an edit just asking myself if I really need to discuss the topic and to evaluate how it fits into the bigger picture. I have no idea if that is a good answer but it was honest and not something cliche.

I think that's a good one because most attorneys can relate to the process of fine tuning their legal writing skills early in their career. And its something that is great to recognize and I'm sure if your interviewer is a litigator they'll know the feeling, and maybe it will segue into a conversation about legal writing, being a young litigator learning the ropes, etc. At the same time, its not a fatal flaw or something that they'll have to completely train you on, which is good. I like it.


Like I said though, odds are you won't get asked this one.

I was asked in I think at least 3 CBs.

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ilovesf
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby ilovesf » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:any good examples?

Mine is that I have a hard time balancing being really thorough in my writing and keeping it brief and concise. As a judicial extern this summer, I felt like I didn't want to leave out important issues and have it be overlooked because it could potentially affect the outcome of the case, so I included some issues that I later found out weren't that relevant. It's been difficult to get used to exactly how many aspects of a claim to discuss and in how much depth to treat each claim. This resulted in my drafts being too long and I needed to do significant edits. Then I said something about with each project I've done, I've tried to do an edit just asking myself if I really need to discuss the topic and to evaluate how it fits into the bigger picture. I have no idea if that is a good answer but it was honest and not something cliche.

I think that's a good one because most attorneys can relate to the process of fine tuning their legal writing skills early in their career. And its something that is great to recognize and I'm sure if your interviewer is a litigator they'll know the feeling, and maybe it will segue into a conversation about legal writing, being a young litigator learning the ropes, etc. At the same time, its not a fatal flaw or something that they'll have to completely train you on, which is good. I like it.


Like I said though, odds are you won't get asked this one.


I got asked what the most challenging part of my summer was. Not exactly a biggest weakness question, but I think they still wanted some sort of answer where you have to talk about how you overcame some sort of work obstacle. I also got asked "tell me about an experience where you got negative feedback on a project and what you did to improve."

MissLucky
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Re: greatest weakness

Postby MissLucky » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:00 pm

ilovesf wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:any good examples?

Mine is that I have a hard time balancing being really thorough in my writing and keeping it brief and concise. As a judicial extern this summer, I felt like I didn't want to leave out important issues and have it be overlooked because it could potentially affect the outcome of the case, so I included some issues that I later found out weren't that relevant. It's been difficult to get used to exactly how many aspects of a claim to discuss and in how much depth to treat each claim. This resulted in my drafts being too long and I needed to do significant edits. Then I said something about with each project I've done, I've tried to do an edit just asking myself if I really need to discuss the topic and to evaluate how it fits into the bigger picture. I have no idea if that is a good answer but it was honest and not something cliche.

I think that's a good one because most attorneys can relate to the process of fine tuning their legal writing skills early in their career. And its something that is great to recognize and I'm sure if your interviewer is a litigator they'll know the feeling, and maybe it will segue into a conversation about legal writing, being a young litigator learning the ropes, etc. At the same time, its not a fatal flaw or something that they'll have to completely train you on, which is good. I like it.


Like I said though, odds are you won't get asked this one.


I got asked what the most challenging part of my summer was. Not exactly a biggest weakness question, but I think they still wanted some sort of answer where you have to talk about how you overcame some sort of work obstacle. I also got asked "tell me about an experience where you got negative feedback on a project and what you did to improve."


interesting. when your responses to both questions are the same, how did you handle it? or did you try and think up another example?




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