Nov 22, 2009

Interview Question: Your Weakness?

Although I've not interviewed for a full-time teaching position per se, job interviews are job interviews. Some of the questions, from stories I've heard, are identical and as equally nerve-wracking as for non-teaching jobs.

The one I hate most is, "Tell me about your greatest weakness." My problem is, I don't focus on my weaknesses. I focus on the things I can do with excellence.

Some good advice is to answer the question using the phrase, "My growth areas are..." We all have areas in which we can grow, if doing so is an effective use of our time. I cannot hit the high notes when I sing, sometimes. Should I work on that, or is my energy better spent using the gifts and talents I have?

As a guest teacher in hundreds of classrooms, I can tell you what my weaknesses would be in the position of full time teacher. If a principal ever asks me the weakness question, I'm ready. Here's my answer:

"I missed those teacher's in-services on time-travel, mind reading, and human cloning. It's unfortunate, because I know that those skills would make me much more effective in my job. However, until I have the opportunity to make them up, I operate as effectively as I can within the boundaries that I can only be in one place at a time, I cannot read minds, and there is only one of me."

Come to think of it, those skills would make me a more effective parent, too. Good thing there's no interview required for that.

What can you do with excellence within your boundaries today?

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