EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

While confession may be good for the soul, it is deadly when it comes to job search. The dreaded question: What is your greatest weakness?

This is one of those questions we could easily do without. And, they often catch us by surprise.

Enron aside, the problem is that most senior financial folks are very honest. I’m sure there is something about each of us we believe to be our greatest weakness. However, this is not the time to tell ANYONE about your secret concerns.

Okay, you do have to say something. To say you have no weaknesses comes off as conceited or worse arrogant. But what should you confess to?

My suggestion is that you target those things that people believe are true about accountants. Things like being overly precise at times or being so focused on your work that you don’t socialize around the office as much as you think you should. Being too honest when people ask your opinion is another good one. (In this case, you are learning to “sugar coat” things a little better while still speaking the truth). These are all, of course, aspects of your approach to performing your duties that you are working on improving. In fact, you have been making a determined effort to overcome these “deficiencies.”

You can pick just about anything you like, just make sure it is something curable.

I’m sure you know that the purpose of these “stress questions” is not to get the truth out of you or to embarrass you. They are designed to get you talking about yourself and to see how you handle them. The exact answer is less important than if you allow them to trip you up.

If you would like to get a file with a treasure trove of “trick” interview questions of all stripes, please visit our document download site and pick up the file called “Trick Interview Questions.”

If you would like to help us build a discussion on this particular question, please send your suggestions to [email protected] and Leslie will publish them under our Notes from Members section.

Regards, Matt

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