By: Louis Falcinelli

Interviews for anyone can be quite nerve-racking, especially in today’s shaky economy, many-a-times you seem to be bobbing and weaving, when it comes across more like a force-field or interrogation than it does an actual interview.

So what is a bottle rotter to do?


I can recall being at an interview, where I was so fine tuned, so perfectly prepped, I thought, there isn’t any question I can’t answer.

Q: What would you say are your strengths?

A: Efficiency. (I feel like this one covers it all.) To be efficient is to be on time, hardworking, and devoted.

Q: Where do you see yourself within the company?

A: Continuing to advance and progress. (They always love this one, cause it means you’re not going to flee.)

Then, the powerhouse question hit:

Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?

What?!?! Weaknesses? But I have no weaknesses, I thought. How can they ask such a question?! How do they expect me to answer this?!?!

Stumped, I quickly answered, something to the effect of ah… I… I would say, sometimes it’s hard for me to focus (inside voice: worst possible thing to say! cover!! quickly cover!!!) Not that I’m not focus, I can just sometimes I… um.. Too much of something can hinder someone’s ability to stay focused and not work as productive (inside voice: greeeattt! that just made it worse!)

They nodded and smiled, and needless to say, I didn’t get the job. It was after, as in…

during the ride home.. later on my bed, ponderingwaking up in cold sweats reliving it.. where I finally figured out what was going on.

I got it now! This was a trick question, a wild card that they throw into the mix  to see how well you fair. Obviously I hadn’t really faired. The whole point of the exercise was to be aware and ready, efficient, in the purest of forms, instead of just saying the word as a clever façade. It was to demonstrate it. I had learned a valuable lesson, something of “practicing what you preach,” and no that’s not just a Madonna song.

If given the opportunity to answer it again, I would combine what I had learned and build on it from the question, for instance, in the interview do over (if ever such an incredible thing existed) and that question came again:

Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?

Here would be my genuine answer:

A: I would say that sometimes, for all my strengths of being an efficient employee, I may overwork myself in the process, and need to take a moment, as to not lose track at the task at hand.

Blam! I aced it! I provided the essentials as to what I can offer as a good employee and in the process admitted that I am not a robot and may need a moment to recharge just so I can go full force again. Something any respectable employer can surely understand.

Unfortunately, there are no interview do overs, or life do overs at that. Instead, I have to take what I’ve leaned and apply it the next time. So, until then…

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