Nancy Roman

Another Branch Of The Brag

I am greatly amused (when I am not greatly annoyed) by the Humblebrag, and the subset that I have classified the Bummerbrag.

Yes, people love to sound humble. It doesn’t matter if they are secretly boasting, if it’s just a modest, self-effacing little brag.

And I’ve noticed yet another branch of demurely-wrapped arrogance.

The Job Interview Weakness.

Did you ever notice that when a job interviewer asks a candidate “What’s your greatest weakness?” that the answer is much closer to a virtue than a fault?

Perhaps EXACTLY like a virtue?

“I’m too trusting.”

“I’m too stubborn. When I am faced with a problem I won’t stop until I find the solution.”

“I’m too self-effacing. I let others take credit for my ideas.”

“I’m such a perfectionist.”

“I put in too many hours at the office, and I find myself at the end of the year with all my vacation time.”

“I hate to see someone struggle. I will stop and help others no matter how busy I am.”

I never liked playing that game. So although I am just chock full of virtues I could pretend were faults, I always tried to give a real weakness in answering that job interview question.

However, I made sure my weakness didn’t have anything to do with the job.

I usually said, “Weakness? Well, I can’t really carry a tune.”

Weirdly, I never got the job.


But don’t you just wish someone would tell you what their REAL on-the-job weaknesses?

Think what an accurate impression you’d have about work life with these guys:

“I sometimes lash out at my co-workers for no reason.”

“I don’t have the patience to proof my work, so I make a lot of careless errors.”

“I’m late three times a week.”

“I hate pressure and deadlines. I usually wait until the last minute and then ask for an extension.”

“I need to check my text messages at least every minute.”

“I cry once a week.”


Yeah, we have lots of co-workers who got the job, but instead of answering,

“I’m too hard on myself”

They should have been honest and said,

“I don’t always remember to flush.”




  1. I surf the web, text frequently, sometimes Tweet, and am late almost every day. And I can’t seem to get fired.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been known to pilfer Post-It-Notes.


  3. Ray G

    You have described so many co-workers and bosses!


    • But I bet they didn’t describe themselves that way in the job interview.


  4. It’s an awful game, and pointless. I suck at it of course.


    • That would be a good answer to the question, “What is your weakness?” – “I suck at answering weakness questions.”


  5. absolutely hilarious! Love this even more than yesterday’s post and I loved that one a lot 🙂 MJ


  6. Deb

    I personally think that when the interviewer asks the interviewee if they have any questions about the position or office their response should be, “Yes, can you tell me what your weakness is, please…”


    • The answer would probably be: “I have a weakness for hiring the bottom of the barrel.”


  7. I have screwed up a number of times at work, yet still have a job. They must love my bubbling personality — and my errorless work. But I’m only human. I do look at my smartphone other than at lunch and break. Bad girl.


    • More people just leave their phone on their desk now. But it might even be easier to work with one hand, and hold the smartphone in the other.


  8. My, oh, my – loved this posting. Thank you. I always hated that question about my greatest weakness. (And why put greatest and weakness in the same sentiment?) How about this weakness? “I drink my lunch (breakfast) most days.” “I always manage to fall in love with every boss I’ve ever had.” “My Crohns always acts up when I’m under pressure.” Now THOSE are weaknesses.


    • Ha! That might get the interviewer’s attention! And you might want to explain that those are only your top three.


  9. Such a stupid interview question. Must come from a list of questions given to people who don’t know how to interview people for a specific job. It’s a guessing game to figure out what they want to hear – and for what reason?
    There’s always the “like to take off my shoes when working at my desk” (but make sure to smile and wiggle those pretty little toes with perfect nail polish?)


  10. Way back, I was told to always say “I’m a perfectionist about my work.” Ummm, not exactly.


    • “Close enough.” That’s my motto. Perhaps not the best motto for an accountant. But nevertheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Karron

    Why would anyone answer that question honestly? I can only imagine the college student interview. Uh, I smoke pot, uh a lot? Having hired my share of people over the years, it quickly became clear that everyone lies on their applications and in the interview process. Now we have the internet, that makes it easy to find out dirt on people, but it still doesn’t give one a true understanding of the personality of a person.

    The interviewee that makes me crazy is the over eager, chatty Cathy, brimming with energy, I can do anything, here is my life story candidate. After five minutes, I want to yell, SHUT UP for five seconds for heaven’s sake and let ME ask the questions.

    My answers? “I don’t really have any great weaknesses, that would imply incompetence and/or the inability to correct said weakness. (pause) Wait, what was the question?” Ask a dumb question, get a dumb answer.


    • I just interviewed someone who finished the answer to every question with “etcetera, etcetera.” Well, if there’s more, how about telling me more?


      • Karron

        Oh goodie, someone who is incapable of finishing a thought. This is not an audition for The King and I.


  12. Ha! My go-to line was always, “Well, sometimes I take things a little too personally, because I really care so much about all of the work I do.”


  13. lifeunderacarolinamoon

    I’ve always wanted to answer that interview question with “Well, I never take anything seriously. To me — EVERYTHING is funny!”


    • Neither of us would be lying if we said that!


  14. It actually is a stupid question, what moron is going to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.

    “I actually do not like people very much, think most are too stupid to breath without a reminder.”

    Do you think I will get the job?


  15. My response to my weakness is “when I’m stoned I can’t keep my hands off my female co-workers”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: