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BlackRedline04
02-06-06, 10:44 PM
I have my Oral Interview this wednesday with LAPD. I have taken it before, years ago, so I basically know how it goes. There is one question that they always ask that I don't know how to answer.
What are your greatest weaknesses?

I have been thinking about the answer to this for weeks, and I know the best answers are honest ones (obviously). What I am asking is, what are some good and bad examples of which weaknesses to use? No one likes to talk about what they are bad at, and I'm not looking for the right or wrong answer here, just some examples so I can get an idea here. I have found hundreds of examples of strengths and good qualities, and with those ideas I have been able to realize what my own strengths were.

I mean, what weaknesses can a police officer really afford to have? Everything I come up with in my head sounds like it could be disqualifying. And I'm not trying to lie or cover anything up, I just would like to hear some examples of what others have used. Thanks for the help :)


RGratton
02-06-06, 11:10 PM
I told one interviewer that my weakness was answering introspective questions… it worked since he gave up and moved on (although, I really wouldn't recommend saying that) :)

Be honest. Sometimes I tend to bite off more than I can chew. I tend to sacrifice my personal life for work or my education. Back up what you say with examples so they know you aren't just BSing them. My boss would actually get after me for staying up too late doing work and was constantly trying to get me to take a break. My teachers would ask me how I turned in such quality work consistently... I never went out on weekends and I completely killed my social life.

Mike925
02-06-06, 11:37 PM
Any of the weaknesses you have thought of will be fine; the key is in how you present it. For instance, if you say you are a "procrastinator" make sure you talk about how you are trying to get out of that bad habit by "...." etc. Don't make it sound like you are a saint, no one is perfect, but don't overplay it either...just be honest and you will be fine.

Same goes for strength. Find what you think is your biggest asset, talk about why it is important and how you worked towards being that way. If you are "persistant" and "hard working" then talk about situations where you didn't give up and pushed yourself even harder, etc etc.

Now, don't go and quote me or anyone else that helps you with this question; be honest and true to yourself. If you say you are "hard working" and you get to the academy and don't finish your homework or bomb a test they will know you were lying. Good luck and you'll be fine.


Unit19
02-06-06, 11:39 PM
Rgratton is dead on as is Mike. Make your weaknesses strengths in disguise. Don't say " I have a temper and like to hit things. Make it more like. I am a perfectionist. I hold people to the same standard as I do myself. I am a work aholic.

NOW I do believe in being honest. Do you see where I am coming from here? Sit down with pen and paper and if you want it bad enough and put great thought into it then it will come. Oh yeah Good luck in the interview!!

westend
02-06-06, 11:46 PM
For me it was easy, I'm 5'6" and 140 lbs so I listed my lack of size for a weakness, but gave them reasons that i can overcome that weakness.

BlackRedline04
02-06-06, 11:57 PM
I feel like my biggest weakness is public speaking (not that I can't do it, I just don't like to, and i wouldn't consider it a strenth). I have also been told I am stubborn and impatient, but I don't know if those are the examples I should use. In the workplace, I can pretty much overcome any weakness because I feel like I have to, whereas at home, for example, I am completely different. But I know they want to know examples that pertain to the workplace.

BlackRedline04
02-07-06, 12:02 AM
For me it was easy, I'm 5'6" and 140 lbs so I listed my lack of size for a weakness, but gave them reasons that i can overcome that weakness.

Can I say my biggest weakness is my upper body strength (being a female), but that I am currently working out to build muscle? Or do they want a personality weakness?

mxwelch
02-07-06, 12:17 AM
I have my Oral Interview this wednesday with LAPD. I have taken it before, years ago, so I basically know how it goes. There is one question that they always ask that I don't know how to answer.
What are your greatest weaknesses?

I have been thinking about the answer to this for weeks, and I know the best answers are honest ones (obviously). What I am asking is, what are some good and bad examples of which weaknesses to use? No one likes to talk about what they are bad at, and I'm not looking for the right or wrong answer here, just some examples so I can get an idea here. I have found hundreds of examples of strengths and good qualities, and with those ideas I have been able to realize what my own strengths were.

I mean, what weaknesses can a police officer really afford to have? Everything I come up with in my head sounds like it could be disqualifying. And I'm not trying to lie or cover anything up, I just would like to hear some examples of what others have used. Thanks for the help :)
It should be a lot easier naming weaknesses than strenghts. Only you can answer it. What would make you a better applicant? There must be something that would make you more desirable, that would be a weakness.
Personally, when I took the oral board physical conditioning and the lack of a college degree was mine.

The Boneyard
02-07-06, 12:31 AM
Like Mike925 said, be honest with your weakness and tell the oral board what steps you are taking to turn that weakness into a strength or getting rid of it. I just had my oral board a few weeks ago, and when I was preparing for it, this question was one of the harder ones and I thought a lot about it. Luckily for me, I wasn't even asked this question. I don't think they are speciafically looking for a personality weakness, but most people use them. Pick one weakness (not that I am assuming you have more than one ;) ) that you have tried to do somthing about to improve, westend's was a really good example of this. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

BlackRedline04
02-07-06, 12:46 AM
How about difficulty in expressing my feelings?

mxwelch
02-07-06, 01:14 AM
How about difficulty in expressing my feelings?
Feelings? They won't ask you to express feelings. They want your opinion on what you consider an area of weakness and I'll agree with the poster who said you should also give steps that you're taking to correct the problem.
If you can't communicate then you'll have a very hard time making it through the process.

"Sir(or Maam), one area I've identified as a weakness is ....... To correct this I've ........ because I consider it an important step to being more qualified for this position."

Mike925
02-07-06, 01:17 AM
"Sir(or Maam), one area I've identified as a weakness is ....... To correct this I've ........ because I consider it an important step to being more qualified for this position."

Perfect! The finishing line about "important step..." is even better.

Remember, articulation is the key to having a good weakness or a bad weakness. If you catch my drift.

Ironhead
02-07-06, 01:23 AM
"What is your greatest weakness?"

*Pause* .....

Look slightly embarassed .......

"I am not the type of person that dwells on my weaknesses, not that I don't have any, I just find it a difficult question ...(short pause)... Ok - I think that my greatest weakness is that I am sometimes too much of a perfectionist. At times I have continued to perform a task over and over until it is perfect when it didn't need to be. I occasionally have to remind myself that in certain situations, "good enough" truly is "good enough."



How's that ??? :)

mxwelch
02-07-06, 01:25 AM
"What is your greatest weakness?"

*Pause* .....

Look slightly embarassed .......

"I am not the type of person that dwells on my weaknesses, not that I don't have any, I just find it a difficult question ...(short pause)... Ok - I think that my greatest weakness is that I am sometimes too much of a perfectionist. At times I have continued to perform a task over and over until it is perfect when it didn't need to be. I occasionally have to remind myself that in certain situations, "good enough" truly is "good enough."



How's that ??? :)
BWHAHAHAH!!!!
"Thank You, we'll let you know something in a few days":D

Figgy
02-07-06, 11:25 AM
A friend of my mother's was a Deputy Chief in a nearby city, when I was going for an oral interview (not his Department) he told me to be prepared for that question. He told me that when asked he said, "Honestly, I'm sure I have one, but I can't think of any right now." I didn't think I could pull that off so I was prepared with something else but the question didn't come up in that interview. (And I didn't get that job.)

I went in for another interview in another city and told them that I get frustrated when other people don't do their jobs. Apparently this went okay for me because I passed that part and am still in the process.

Mz Cheyenne
02-07-06, 11:33 AM
I have always hated that question. Every job I've ever interviewed for they ask it! You need to be honest, they'll be able to tell. Maybe your strength area is your people skills (a good one) and maybe your weakness is your computer skills (which you have been working on to improve by doing XYZ). When you do give them a weakness, I would follow it up with how you plan to improve on that particular area. Good luck to you! :)

CamoShark
02-07-06, 04:40 PM
I told them my weakness was that I didnt speak spanish but that I planned on learning in the future.

BlackRedline04
02-08-06, 12:34 AM
I told them my weakness was that I didnt speak spanish but that I planned on learning in the future.


Thats funny, I was just thinking today that I could say that exact same thing. And/ or lack of college degree (that I plan on getting in the future).

mxwelch
02-08-06, 02:01 AM
Thats funny, I was just thinking today that I could say that exact same thing. And/ or lack of college degree (that I plan on getting in the future).
Problem solved. :)

Ironhead
02-08-06, 02:10 AM
How about ....

...... Look like you were slapped in the face .........

"Weakness ??? I think that once I've been here awhile you will discover what most people that know me already know to be true - I really don't have any weaknesses. I will say that my 'weakest strength' is my confidence, but I work on it every day."



How's that ?!? :D

westend
02-08-06, 02:26 AM
I told them my weakness was that I didnt speak spanish but that I planned on learning in the future.

Maybe I should have used my lack of Bosnian, as a weakness. There was one Bosnian in my testing group, and he will most likely be hired.

BlackRedline04
02-08-06, 04:40 PM
Well it turns out they didn't even ask me that question. Was pretty simple. 3 interviewers, one was playing bad cop, one was nice, the other one looked bored. I wasn't that nervous, but the only thing is that I'm in the middle of a crappy cold, and I kept losing my voice. They said its a pass/fail, so i have my fingers crossed. The guy who's playing bad cop kept bringing up that I didn't have a college degree, even though I explained to him why I wasn't able to finish (work was priority), and said I was planning to finish my degree online, but did not want to put myself in debt before I was hired, since good credit matters a lot.
Now its just waiting!!! :o :rolleyes:

jbake37
02-09-06, 02:45 AM
Were the questions pretty basic and simple?

BlackRedline04
02-09-06, 09:17 PM
Where the questions pretty basic and simple?

Oh yea. Nothing like before. No racial/ ethnic questions. I guess they look at your background packet and point out your weaknesses for you now :p

I did notice that, besides the first main questions, they were all very similar. I could have used the same answer for many questions, so it was hard to keep thinking of something new to say.

jbake37
02-09-06, 09:19 PM
How long were you in there for? Did they ask you any questions other than backround related stuff? Sorry for the stupid questions, this is the only real part of the process that I am worried about.:confused:

BlackRedline04
02-10-06, 02:52 AM
How long were you in there for? Did they ask you any questions other than backround related stuff? Sorry for the stupid questions, this is the only real part of the process that I am worried about.:confused:

I was in the waiting room longer then the actual interview :p

It really didn't take that long, maybe 20 minutes.

They mostly asked problem solving/ personality traits questions. They each had a folder with about 20 pages of questions that they could chose from depending on what they want to ask you personally. They did not seem to dig as deep this time.

I really hate interviews in general. Especially when there are multiple people interviewing me. One thing I noticed is that they did not take notes during the interview (they didn't even have the materials for note taking). I heard them talking as soon as I left the room, so I guess they discuss it and decide if its a pass/fail. The officers tried to show no emotion to my answers, probably part of the test. The personnel lady that was in there was very nice. She made me feel more comfortable in the interview because she made small talk and seemed to like my answers.

I think I passed, but I'm still a bit nervous. I know they interview tons of people, and since they are hiring like crazy right now, I dont think they will fail someone in the interview unless they really dislike you. They will just DQ you in another part of the process if that applies.

mxwelch
02-10-06, 03:56 AM
I was in the waiting room longer then the actual interview :p

It really didn't take that long, maybe 20 minutes.

They mostly asked problem solving/ personality traits questions. They each had a folder with about 20 pages of questions that they could chose from depending on what they want to ask you personally. They did not seem to dig as deep this time.

I really hate interviews in general. Especially when there are multiple people interviewing me. One thing I noticed is that they did not take notes during the interview (they didn't even have the materials for note taking). I heard them talking as soon as I left the room, so I guess they discuss it and decide if its a pass/fail. The officers tried to show no emotion to my answers, probably part of the test. The personnel lady that was in there was very nice. She made me feel more comfortable in the interview because she made small talk and seemed to like my answers.

I think I passed, but I'm still a bit nervous. I know they interview tons of people, and since they are hiring like crazy right now, I dont think they will fail someone in the interview unless they really dislike you. They will just DQ you in another part of the process if that applies.
Man, you got off easy. My oral board lasted one hour, during which I was interviewed by 5 people. Four LEOs and one civilian. Two of the LEOs grilled me hard. No answer I gave seemed to be the right one. The majority of my questioning dealt with ethics and desicion making. I got yelled at once or twice even. When I walked out I felt like I had been gang raped (not that it's happened to me:p ). My suit coat literally had wet spots from sweat and I felt like I had swallowed a bale of cotton. I passed but it sure didn't seem like it at the time. You should be fine.

jbake37
02-10-06, 04:46 AM
Thanks you guys for the info.... Gotta get through backround first. Redline how long were you in backround before you got to the panel?

BlackRedline04
02-12-06, 01:03 AM
Thanks you guys for the info.... Gotta get through backround first. Redline how long were you in backround before you got to the panel?


I got called exactly a week later. But I did my poly a couple years ago and its still good, so thats the only reason it was so fast.

Idol25
02-12-06, 02:29 AM
Here are some ideas. I got this from the internet. http://www.peterursbender.com/quiz/swtable.html

This will give you an idea on what your weaknesses might be.

Type Strengths Potential Weaknesses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analytical Thinking

Thorough Disciplined Excludes feelings from decisions

Goes too far; perfectionist

Too rigid or demanding of self/others

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amiable Supportive

Patient

Diplomatic Tends to conform to wishes of others

No time boundaries; things do not get done

Not assertive or directive

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Driver Independent

Decisive

Determined Has trouble operating with others

Does not take time to consider other perspectives

Domineering; too focused on doing it "my way"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Expressive Good communicator

Enthusiastic

Imaginitive Talks too much

Comes on too strong

Dreamer; unrealistic

Mike Romeo
02-12-06, 02:32 AM
Everyone has a weakness. Just make a list of what you feel are your weaknesses. Ask your family or your friends about what they might think your weaknesses are.

Type Strengths Potential Weaknesses

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analytical Thinking

Thorough

Disciplined Excludes feelings from decisions

Goes too far; perfectionist

Too rigid or demanding of self/others

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amiable Supportive

Patient

Diplomatic Tends to conform to wishes of others

No time boundaries; things do not get done

Not assertive or directive

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Driver Independent

Decisive

Determined Has trouble operating with others

Does not take time to consider other perspectives

Domineering; too focused on doing it "my way"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Expressive Good communicator

Enthusiastic

Imaginitive Talks too much

Comes on too strong

Dreamer; unrealistic

I am done your signature!

jbake37
03-05-06, 05:54 AM
Any more tips on passing this interview?? Anyone , Anyone
Sorry for the thread hijacking:D

IronFist74
12-31-06, 09:20 PM
Man, you got off easy. My oral board lasted one hour, during which I was interviewed by 5 people. Four LEOs and one civilian. Two of the LEOs grilled me hard. No answer I gave seemed to be the right one. The majority of my questioning dealt with ethics and desicion making. I got yelled at once or twice even. When I walked out I felt like I had been gang raped (not that it's happened to me ). My suit coat literally had wet spots from sweat and I felt like I had swallowed a bale of cotton. I passed but it sure didn't seem like it at the time. You should be fine.

:D thats funny. My department is going to interview me the same way. I will just practice on everything that needs to be fixed. great post. What was the outcome of the Oral Redline? did you pass or fail?