Recently, I have gone through several interviews with very different companies. Each company had different ways of achieving their success, so why did they ask the same interview questions? Canned questions are a big annoyance to me. The question that burns me to the core,  is the dreaded “what is your weakness?” followed up with “Don’t be afraid to answer, everybody has a weakness.”

Asking this question to me is not really getting you anywhere in the interview process. Just as you researched the best questions to ask a job candidate, that candidate researched how to answer questions in a job interview.

What exactly are you looking for when you ask the weakness question? “I love chocolate.” ;”I have poor upper arm strength.”;  or do you think you would actually get someone to say “I don’t know how to answer a phone”?

Many job seekers do not even know what their weakness is, especially as it relates to a job position. If you have a candidate that believes in their skills and believes they can make a difference in your company, they don’t have a weakness yet. Does the weakness that occurred in company A really make a difference to company B, maybe, maybe not? If there was a weakness from the last company it could be that their training was not sufficient. It is up to you, as an employer to make sure that your staff members do not have weakness and are trained properly.

So, if you really want to know where your candidate needs to improve,  you can ask in a way that is not so abrasive. Try asking instead “What skills can our company help you improve upon?” Asking the question in this way will more likely get you an honest to goodness answer instead of what career sites are telling them to say.

Looking for the right interview questions to ask from an online source is fine, just put them into your own company words. Tailor the questions so it pertains to the work that will be expected because asking canned questions will only get you canned answers.

Happy interviews!