in an interview or just talking with a potential employer, how would you respond to this question while being able to pull out positives in your “weaknesses” without it sounding like complete BS (i.e i work TOO hard, i care TOO much… that kinda crap)
You need to be able to evaluate your skill sets as a designer and give a truthful answer. I think in general weaknesses should probably reflect skill set areas, rather then mental emotional ones. Saying “I’m too lazy and unmotivated” probably won’t go over too well. But saying something like “my form development skills aren’t as strong as I think they need to be” or “I tend to struggle with CAD modelling” can be honest as well as something that an employer says “well he recognizes an area of improvement and I’m willing to hire you as long as you focus on improving on it”
My typical response to the question was: “My greatest weakness is that I start sneezing uncontrollably when I hear these stupid standard cookie cutter interview questions pulled out of some dusty old book from the 1960’s.”
And when I hear this one “where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” I start vomiting blood profusely.
Really though, it’s best to be honest about a weakness and to demonstrate your ability to compensate for it. Saying something about how you really focus on your job and spend a lot of time at the office may sound like a good deal to them, but an HR rep may see potential relationship problems brewing (if you’re married lets say) or an inability to complete work in a timely fashion.
I know that my weaknesses relate to dealing with large groups of people on a project. I like to put as much as a I can into the design and development before turning it over to someone else. And when I turn it over, I don’t like nitpicking back and forth about nuances. I feel like getting input internally, from a client, from sales, from marketing etc. is a tough set of fences to straddle, I prefer to deal one on one and that has always had great results.
I notice a lot of the first things that come to mind are jokes…
what if one were to answer with a joke?
For example, one pulls a Michael Scott:
“What are your weaknesses?”
“What are they? Oh I don’t know… I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering…”
Just something completely ridiculous… do you think the employer would think that immature or get a kick out of it, assuming you followed it up with a legitimate answer… haha like “I make jokes at possibly inappropriate times, such as job interviews.”