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What is your greatest weakness?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Shania, Feb 5, 2001.

  1. Hi guys, Im preparing for an upcoming interview and was wondering how to answer such a question. I know many people might say a typical thing, like "I work to hard".. or along those lines, but I want to say something that doesn't sound egotistical. Anyway, how have you answered such questions and please give examples if possible. Thanks.
     
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  3. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    The best answer to ANY interview question is the honest answer. People can sse through lies, and BS like "I think I study TOO much!"

    I said I was a procrastinator. It's the truth. I was only asked that question once, and he followed with "Well, you've obviousely overcome any serious problems if you've made it to this point." Which I thought was a very nice thing to say; however, I'm sure plenty of people with problems much worse than procrastination have made it into med school!
     
  4. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    One more thought. I think the only reason they ask that question is to see how you'll respond. Think about it. If you were interviewing somebody, you don't care what their bigggest fault is, you just want to see if they feed you a bunch of BS, or a truthfull answer. That's just my opinion anyway.
     
  5. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    The worst answer one can give to a question like this is something along the lines of "I'm a perfectionist." As for me, I consider myself very stubborn, and I tend to ignore the advice of others. Sometimes it's for the better, but other times, it's for the worst.
     
  6. Linie

    Linie Senior Member

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    As long as you sound sincere, you can really say anything. I actually don't think that "I work too hard" is such a bad answer. Of course you can put it a little better, and a little more convincingly, such as "I tend to get overextended because I get excited about too many different projects. At times I've had to give up projects part way through or have ended up doing a sloppy job because I was stretched too thin."

    I was recently asked this question in an interview for residency. I gave the answer above, and then said that another area where I think I could improve is in patient care, because I tend to get emotionally attached to patients, and sometimes have trouble watching them suffer. I have had to excuse myself at times to go cry, and I think it has more than once prevented me from handling a situation in the best possible way because I lacked the necessary perspective.

    Although I do sincerely believe that this is a weakness, I was also acutely aware that the interviewer would perceive this as a strength -- without me having to point it out to her. In fact, she was so convinced, she pointed it out to ME. She said, "You know, I do that too, and sometimes it does get in the way, but for the most part I consider it a strength. Hold onto that feeling, because it makes you a better patient advocate."

    I think the best thing to do is sit down and think about what your weaknesses REALLY ARE. (Duh.) But be honest with yourself. And then be wiley and think about how you can turn it around to your advantage. You don't need to kiss ass to do this either, because you can write out the entire equation, complete with total humility, and let them figure out what it all adds up to.

    Of course moo won't like this advice because s/he doesn't like any advice, or at least doesn't follow it. [​IMG]
     
  7. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    On my first job interview, I was asked that question and misinterpreted it. My answer? Vintage clothing and bad romantic comedies. I don't recommend this, but it did make my future boss laugh.

    [This message has been edited by Nanon (edited 02-05-2001).]
     
  8. KMorris3

    KMorris3 Senior Member

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    I think the best thing to do is to honestly state one of your greatest weaknesses, and then explain what you are doing to work on the problem. At my interview, I stated that one of my greatest weaknesses is that I have trouble getting involved in activities in the absence of friends or at least someone I know. Then I said that this past semester I had made an effort to correct the problem by doing some independent things. I added that I hope to continue that trend in medical school. You know what? They bought it! No, I'm just kidding. One of my weaknesses is my lousy sense of humor; but I'm working on that.

    [This message has been edited by KMorris3 (edited 02-05-2001).]
     

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