Job Interviews-"What is your worst quality"

Australia
January 5, 2008 6:03pm CST
Don't you just hate this question? It stumps me every time but I've come up with a good response. 'I'd have to say my worst quality is that I sometimes don't stand up for myself enough'. It is very true and I think this is a decent answer to the question. It's better than saying 'Oh sometimes I'm a loud mouth and get on people's nerves and sometimes i upset people with the things I say about them-I'm too outgoing!' That would be bad. Have you ever been in an interview and just been stumped when faced with this question? What did you say?
4 people like this
17 responses
@drannhh (14662)
• United States
6 Jan 08
I consider it a hostile interview question and I feel that workplaces which promote hostile interviews also promote a hostile workplace, but I do realize I could be in a minority with that opinion. I believe the politically correct answer would be "Sometimes I push myself too hard" or some equally silly response. How about "I don't always give myself enough credit for the good things I have done?" I prefer interview which are objective and evaluate concert skills rather than just meansuring one's ability to suck up.
@drannhh (14662)
• United States
6 Jan 08
duhhh, "concrete skills" unless it is a career in music. If it were a position requiring keyboarding skills I guess I would have to say my fingers often fly faster than my brain, but then for sure I would not get the job. Oh, well!
• China
6 Jan 08
That is the truth, I think, that the question is a hostile one which we don't need to say anything about our ability. On contrary, It is a trap to entice the condidates but can be put it into a good use by conditates. Saying one's attitude according to the enterprise culture and position requirement...
@drannhh (14662)
• United States
6 Jan 08
Yes the rule is not to ever admit any actual negatives as then they think you would be too honest and tell the customers the truth. I think the question is to deflect innapropriate questions in a "nice" way. I can still remember when interviews thought is was OK to ask a woman applicant, "What makes you think you can do a good job here and still take proper care of your husband." Talk about hostility coming out.
@academic2 (7014)
• Uganda
11 Jan 08
Over confidence, experiene has shown that i have never failed any interview I moved to do, this has sort of made me feeling invincible when it comes to facing interviews, i know i have only been rather lucky that i have always sailed through, tomorrow i may not, but my over onfidence tells me i cannot fail which is a weakness!
@SViswan (12096)
• India
7 Jan 08
I think what would be a better option would be to say a negative quality which is actually a positive...something like 'I'm work too much...I don't know when to stop'. Well, the interviewer can't say 'sorry, we are looking for someone who doesn't work'!
@jennybianca (12919)
• Australia
7 Jan 08
It is a very long time since I have had a job interview. I would say my negative quality back then, & even now, if I had an interview, is speaking my mind too frankly. Employers dont like me being honest.
@kdhartford (1152)
• United States
6 Jan 08
The secret to mastering this interview question is to say something that is really a positive. Here are a few examples: "I work to hard." "I'm a perfectionist." "I tend to make everyone stay as late as I do." "My supevisor always makes me go home." "I tend to raise the bar." I hope this helps.
@PunkyMcPunk (1479)
• Canada
6 Jan 08
HAHA I love this question because I do answer it quite truthfully. I am a perfectionist. Now in life that can be hampering but in the jobs I apply for it is wonderful!
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
6 Jan 08
I hate that question just because it seems like in an interview you have to be really careful answering it. I answer it with I care about people too much and sometimes they take advantage. Precisely why I left my last job among other reasons. You do a boss a favor and suddenly your doing his or her job without the pay. This is just one of the worst interview questions ever and they always seem to ask it.
@raychill (6572)
• United States
6 Jan 08
In a job interview your worst quality is supposed to be a negative positive. For instance, "My worst quality is that I put work first" or "my worst quality is that I work too hard" "My worst quality is that I never want to leave work or go on vacations" etc. Not standing up for yourself is not really something you want to say in an interview...because that's an actual negative, whether it's true or not. This question is always a trick in interviews and you should never say anything negative about anyone or anything, including yourself, in an interview. So the negative should be able to be turned into a positive.
• United States
6 Jan 08
I do hate this question!! I usually answer it as the same as my best quality - I care about my work too much. That's both a good thing and a bad thing with me. I take pride in my work and that in turn makes me take it too seriously.
• India
6 Jan 08
I have never been face with this question though I have succeded in my 2 interviews.But when I read it,I was totally stumped.It was as if I had not thought about that question.I think I would say something like"I am so driven by the job I have that I am sometimes angry at others for not beibg as driven as me"It lets me getthrough another of my plus points.
@kellys3ps (3733)
• United States
6 Jan 08
I hate that question! Of all the interview questions in the world, that is always the one taht stumps me the most. I never really know what to say.
@lpetges (3037)
• United States
6 Jan 08
i answer that i find that question insulting, and if you really thought i would tell you that i have any bad qualities, then i must be ignorant.
@fairyanny (363)
• China
6 Jan 08
My teacher told me ,never let the leaders know your worst quality,especially in your job interviews.So all I should do is standing everyting happen to me...I wish I can manage it.
• China
6 Jan 08
It depends on the enterprise culture. When I got a notification for a job interview, I will spend sometime to research the company culture, then submit a worst quality but in fact it is not bad or sometimes is a advantage refer to their culture. For example, if the members at the company always work overtime, I will tell them that I always take things seriously and I may sometimes bother others after work...
@cristi12 (378)
• Romania
6 Jan 08
This is most of the times a trick question... if the interviewer knows his business, and a little psichology, a lot can be told about a person from the way they answer this question. That's why you should answer it truthfully, and if the truth is so unbearable, :P then, say the next best thing. But don't lie, at least not in an obvious way. If the interviewer senses you are lying you will be worse off than answering truthfully to begin wih. Stereotype answers will just show that you did your homework, read a bunch of interview guides and memorized some answers, so avoid these. Instead just try to find a believable answer. Something about you that is true, but at the same time, it isn't so bad that you can't tell.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
6 Jan 08
No i have never faced this and the reason is i was lucky enough to work for myself as a hair dresser, and i was my own boss as far as clients went, but i would do like you and say something that sounded good..I thought i would die laughing when you started saying things that you shouldn't say, like im a loud mouth etc etc..Lol..There is no telling what people will ask you these days, like have you ever stolen anything or told a lie,now you know they are not going to say yes...I think your answer fits really well as long as they don't take it like "Oh i can run over her" (smile)its so hard now days trying to get jobs and actually be happy about where you work, usually there are always the ones that drag around and expect you to hold them up...that makes for an unhappy employee..
@Zelmarq (11228)
• Philippines
6 Jan 08
I been through a lot of job interviews before but I have never tried this question before. IF i were asked I would answer is my mood swings. Im such a moody person and I get angry so easily, but through the years i have realized that holding my temper is like an act, you deal with it artistically.