A man and a woman looking at the camera

In my opinion, there are two particularly dangerous exercises during a job interview which can, if the answer does not suit the recruiter, forever tarnish the chances of a candidate who is nevertheless promising: what are your main assets and your main flaws? and why do you want to leave your current business?. I tend to prepare them carefully before any interview. Responding to them not only allows you to do a real job on yourself and to know your real motivations at the moment, your limits, and more generally, the way you look at yourself, but also to succeed – or no – a real exercise of openness towards the one who could well be your future employer. Two excellent reasons not to be wrong, then.

What are your main strengths and your main weaknesses?
Whatever the answers given, we must at all costs avoid the pitfall of ease: answer according to the desired position but in total contradiction with the profile presented since the beginning of the interview.

I remember this candidate that I had received in order to place him on a politically sensitive project with one of our clients. It was difficult to believe him calm, composed and discreet when the flow of his voice made him almost incomprehensible, when we saw his hands shaking under the table and he was wearing a neon green tie over a black shirt. All the more so since he had shown himself incapable subsequently of finding any fault whatsoever.

I did a lot of work on myself a little over a year ago, following an interview which, if it had been conclusive, had shown me my limits in such an exercise, in order to to find the points that truly describe me. After all, the people sitting in front of me are likely to have to put up with me on a daily basis, no need to lie to them, they would see it soon enough. Not only has this been very profitable for me since I no longer need to respond to chance, but in addition, I can now work in depth on what is wrong. Suffice to say that this return to oneself does not happen by itself, since, as Spinoza and Comte put it so well, “you cannot sit at the window to watch yourself go by in the street”.

Why do you want to leave your current business?
Therein lies the most perilous part of the exercise of frankness, and it is better to be a little too frank than not enough, under penalty of appearing suspicious, even if it is also necessary to know how to put the forms there.

I had the opportunity to hear from a candidate a while ago, who was unable to tell me why he wanted to change company, and whose obvious embarrassment had put me on the line. by ear to the point of making me deepen the usual research. Contrary to what he had wanted me to believe, he was no longer in his company from which he had been dismissed two months earlier after a flagrant offense of theft of equipment.

I try as much as possible not to speak badly of the company I work for (not the current one, but in general) when I explain why I want to go elsewhere to see if the grass is there. is greener and the coffee sweeter. I therefore try to formulate the reasons starting not from what I reproach him with, but rather from what I am looking for. The limits of the employer or of the current mission then come naturally, and we pass for someone who is both more diplomatic and much more positive.