When I was in college and was starting to seriously look to where I was going to go after I graduated, I had a mock interview with the CIO of an insurance company in Minnesota. She was a graduate of BSU and had offered her time to help students improve their interviewing skills. As most interviews go (even mock interviews) I was asked about perceived weaknesses. My answers involved lack of experience in Linux and Mac OS along with not knowing a foreign language. These weaknesses were calculated, and she called me on it. She advised me to reflect on true weaknesses and develop them for my next interview. One of my strengths is that I take the advice of people I respect and admire to heart, and this particular piece of advice I took seriously. I reflected on my experiences and took it upon myself to discover my true weaknesses.

At my next interview (for an internship at the company I am now at) I came ready with one true weakness. I am a poor reader. Not only that, but I am weak when it comes to absorbing knowledge through reading. With this weakness it may hard to believe that I made it through my undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy (especially Philosophy) with as great of marks as I did. In the light of this weakness are the strengths that allowed me to overcome it. I was able to succeed in college because I am both an exceptional auditory learner and I excel at absorbing knowledge through “tinkering”. My father never understood why I could memorize song lyrics quickly, but I couldn’t remember what I read in a history book, his observation is indicative of these strengths and weaknesses.

I think that this weakness has subsided as of lately.  I have started to read more, especially books about software development, and I have felt myself improving at this. However, I thought it prudent to return to the concept of exploring weaknesses because it is important to know who you are. There is nothing wrong with weaknesses. We all have them. Being aware of them enables us to be honest about our abilities, and being honest about abilities is a desirable trait.

Though my interviews are long over and who knows when/if I will have another one, I still feel as if it is important that I continue to think about my weaknesses. I have shared this first weakness, and I plan to share more as I reflect upon them. For now, I have assignments to do.


Father, Husband, Software Developer, Podcaster, Blogger, Gamer, and the Future Leader of the Zombie Resistance. My thoughts are my own.

Posted in Advice
2 comments on “Weaknesses
  1. michael Scarn says:

    I thought your weakness was that you focus on your job to the exclusion of everything else in your life and that you tend to be disappointed when you fall slightly short of perfection.

    • Yeah, at least I didn’t pull that one :). “I am too hard of a worker” or “I am a perfectionist”, canned answers. I remember you once told me the *worst* possible answer to the weakness question… “I have no weaknesses, all perceived weaknesses are caused by [insert minority group].” Though, I suppose this would work if you were applying for a job with a fascist group or the KKK.

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