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Q  "Top 10 stupid inteview questions"
I have been to a lot of interviews in my time, and it always happens. The person interviewing me always asks the same question: "What are you strong points?" And then it comes, the next question: "What are your weak points"? I have heard a lot of ideas about what is the proper reply. What is your view of a good answer or way to answer these questions? I always struggle with this.

A  Ah, more of the Top Ten Stupid Interview Questions. There are lots more than ten of these, unfortunately. My other favorite is: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" The Smart Aleck Headhunter Answer: "Do you keep your employees for five years?"

Hand the interviewer one of those "Top Interview Questions" books that include canned, rehearsed "Top Interview Answers", and ask him to just read it. It'll save you both a lot of time. :-) That's really how silly the whole thing is.

I believe in being honest, and in focusing on what matters most in the interview: the work. There's no real "answer" to these questions. But there is a sound approach, and here's how I'd approach this:

"I'd be glad to help you assess my value in regard to this job. Let's lay out a clear idea of what specific kinds of work this job involves, and I'll do my best to show you how I'd do it. I think that will help you get a better idea of how I can be most valuable to you, and where I might need a good manager's guidance. Just so you understand my professional ethics: I don't believe in pretending I know something when I don't. But I'm very good at learning quickly and making that learning pay off for my employer. Now, here's what seems to be the challenge of this job and how I'd tackle it..."

Your goal is to show your strengths in regard to the specific work involved, and to discuss where you might need to learn more/new skills and how you'd apply them profitably. This requires a discussion, not that you "list" your "strengths and weaknesses". It also requires a lot of hard, honest thinking on your part. That's what The Four Questions in my book are all about.

Hope that helps you out!

The Headhunter


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