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mummer43
02-23-04, 12:10 PM
I have an interview coming up and I know I'll be asked this question. I have a pretty good handle on my strengths, but it's the weaknesses that I'm having a hard time with. I know I have weaknesses, but for the life of me, I can't think of any that I can use in the interview.

Can anyone give me any advice?


oscarmitre
02-23-04, 12:56 PM
Difficult to answer in the abstract. Strengths and weaknesses relative to what?

Perhaps too much self-confidence could be a weakness? Bit tongue-in-cheek there but if I were interviewing you for a position and you told me you couldn't think of any weaknesses that you had then I would suggest you are not really all that self-aware. All of us have weaknesses, knowing them and accepting them is important for our self-development because unless we know them we can't work on them.

On the other hand in an interview situation you don't want to say "I know I can't make the grade on this or that". Not a good idea. Anyway if you can be a bit more specific it might help in getting responses.

ruthless013
02-25-04, 06:36 PM
i was asked that once on a job interview. totally unprepared, i stammered, and coughed up 'perfectionist' as a weakness. it's a weakness because it can slow you down at times where perfection isn't required - and because it's unsually unattainable anyhow. generic, but i got the job.

since that time, i came up with a better one. 'i don't like to ask for help' it's a weakness that you can turn into a positive... "i don't like to ask for help because i like to figure things out myself. it's not always the most efficient way to learn, but i learn better that way.'' (this obviously does not apply to emergency situations)

hope that helps.


mummer43
02-26-04, 10:52 AM
I would say strengths and weakness as they relate to the job. I made a list of both and here are my weakness:

I takes things too personally sometimes.

I'm a pessimist and I dwell on the negative.

I worry too much what people think of me.

I over analyze things instead of taking them at face value.

From what I've read, the best way to present your negatives is to turn them into a positive.

ogdogg16
02-26-04, 11:09 AM
I takes things too personally sometimes.

I'm a pessimist and I dwell on the negative.

I worry too much what people think of me.

I over analyze things instead of taking them at face value.


Now I'm definately not an expert, but to me these sound like weakness which could demonstrate someone is not capable of being a police officer. For example, would a candidate snap and beat someone up if they were called a racial slur or something like that because they took it too personally? I dunno, thats just my .02. Let me know if I'm on the right track.

mummer43
02-26-04, 11:25 AM
Now I'm definately not an expert, but to me these sound like weakness which could demonstrate someone is not capable of being a police officer. For example, would a candidate snap and beat someone up if they were called a racial slur or something like that because they took it too personally? I dunno, thats just my .02. Let me know if I'm on the right track.

That's a concern I guess. I will say that I've never done anything like that and I've been in LE for that last 5 years.

harley27
02-26-04, 03:52 PM
mummer, I know where you heard that and know where you will hear it again. Not sure what they are looking for there though. The interview is based on benchmarks. I always thought interviews based on benchmarks meant the interviewers already know the answer(s) and if you state them you get credit for that benchmark. I would find it hard to believe that you would meet more benchmarks by naming more weaknesses. I struggled with that one last year and I'm sure I will struggle with it again this year. Then again their benchmark scoring may be different than the benchmark scoring I have seen in the past.

mummer43
02-26-04, 04:26 PM
mummer, I know where you heard that and know where you will hear it again. Not sure what they are looking for there though. The interview is based on benchmarks. I always thought interviews based on benchmarks meant the interviewers already know the answer(s) and if you state them you get credit for that benchmark. I would find it hard to believe that you would meet more benchmarks by naming more weaknesses. I struggled with that one last year and I'm sure I will struggle with it again this year. Then again their benchmark scoring may be different than the benchmark scoring I have seen in the past.


I've already said in interviews that in realtion to the job that I felt that I had no weaknesses. And that my educational, professional and personal experiences more than prepare me to take on any challenge the job throws at me.

Stump
02-29-04, 07:37 AM
I'm my own toughest critic. I beat myself up much more than anyone else could. LOL

Zippo
03-01-04, 01:28 AM
In my opinion, you should explain your weakness along with steps how you would improve upon it. For example, let's just say my weakness is the inability in public speaking, so I decided to attend a course on public speaking to improve on my weakness.

mummer43
03-01-04, 08:41 AM
In my opinion, you should explain your weakness along with steps how you would improve upon it. For example, let's just say my weakness is the inability in public speaking, so I decided to attend a course on public speaking to improve on my weakness.

That's a good idea... now if I can only think about what to say.

oscarmitre
03-01-04, 05:51 PM
If you can't find any weaknesses Mummer43 then I wonder about the wisdom of trying to find some. Not being a smart-**** here but if I were interviewing someone who had a good work record and interviewed well and I gave them the strengths and weaknesses question I think I would be able to pick an insincere response.

It sort of reminds me when I was a kid and I would go to Confession on Fridays and since I had been really good since my last Confession I felt I had to make up things so I could actually confess and get my penance. I'm sure the Priest knew I was being less than honest but went through with it anyway.

Others may have a different opinion but if you answer "I have no weaknesses that I am aware of and none have been pointed out to me during my service thus far " then it would be honest and would come across as being honest. Just make sure it doesn't appear arrogant to the panel or that might be a minus for you. One of the panel may take you on over it but if that is what you believe and your service shows it then stick with the honest answer not a contrived one.

mummer43
03-01-04, 08:20 PM
If you can't find any weaknesses Mummer43 then I wonder about the wisdom of trying to find some. Not being a smart-**** here but if I were interviewing someone who had a good work record and interviewed well and I gave them the strengths and weaknesses question I think I would be able to pick an insincere response.

It sort of reminds me when I was a kid and I would go to Confession on Fridays and since I had been really good since my last Confession I felt I had to make up things so I could actually confess and get my penance. I'm sure the Priest knew I was being less than honest but went through with it anyway.

Others may have a different opinion but if you answer "I have no weaknesses that I am aware of and none have been pointed out to me during my service thus far " then it would be honest and would come across as being honest. Just make sure it doesn't appear arrogant to the panel or that might be a minus for you. One of the panel may take you on over it but if that is what you believe and your service shows it then stick with the honest answer not a contrived one.

I understand where you're coming from. If you read one of my posts above, I've actually used that answer before but I said I don't have any weeknesses relative to the job. I have weaknesses, I'm not saying I don't, I just don't know how to present them or if I should at all.

My interview is next week, so I have to sort it out soon.

mummer43
03-01-04, 08:22 PM
I've already said in interviews that in realtion to the job that I felt that I had no weaknesses. And that my educational, professional and personal experiences more than prepare me to take on any challenge the job throws at me.


What do you veterans think of this answer?

Stump
03-15-04, 07:32 PM
That is a little bit cocky, I think... but my response is a little late.

How'd the interview go?

baseballguy
03-15-04, 08:54 PM
harley, how many times have you been thru the hiring process?

harley27
03-15-04, 09:29 PM
harley, how many times have you been thru the hiring process?
This is 3rd time. 1998,2002,2003

mummer43
03-15-04, 10:03 PM
That is a little bit cocky, I think... but my response is a little late.

How'd the interview go?

Check your PM.