Strength or Weakness
Posted: 9:31 pm
March 19th, 2011
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Boss

As you’ve read here for the past few years, we’ve been on a huge growth curve. Due to rather inadequate training and onboarding processes this meant a lot of interviews and lot’s of people to judge very quickly. But enough about the process, this one is personal.

One of the boilerplate questions we have to ask is “What would you say is your greatest weakness?” or “What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?”

First: You’d be shocked how stupid most people are: they answer it outright in a way that explains precisely why they are out looking for a job.

Second: It shows you that they have no idea how stupid they are. Listen, there is no such thing as a perfect employee and you’re not the first person I’ve ever interviewed. So if your weakness is “I’m too nice to customers” or “I work too hard” just go back to the used car dealership.

But like I said, this one is personal and this week someone asked me what my answer would be. Of course it depends on the role I was going for but if I had to answer honestly it’s typically that I bite off a lot more than I can chew. Now before you queue a fatass buffet joke about me, I mean that in terms of ambition. I often take on stuff that I’m either not capable of or am not sure how I’ll pull off in the first place.

It’s negative in a sense that I typically put in far too much work to get something done and grossly misjudge the amount of time needed to get something done. I’m pretty sure every developer (at least every developer I’ve ever worked with) deals with this issue, when you get down to the details creativity is the enemy of productivity.

It’s positive in a sense that I probably never would have made more than $50,000 if I only stuck to what I was good at. By constantly challenging myself I was able to build my company into something quite impressive.

Now, how does this impact my ability to get a job? Well, in an environment where I was left to make my own decisions, I probably wouldn’t fit. Nobody wants to hire a workhorse and work him to death because you’re back to hiring someone to clean that persons mess (and everyone leaves one). On the other hand, in a managed environment where creativity would be curbed by a decision maker and execution driven by someone that can actually do stuff, stuff happens.

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