I hate being asked about my weaknesses in job interviews. Actually, I hate the question, period. I don’t like admitting weakness, because usually it backfires in some way. But it also makes people feel closer to you, because it humanizes you. So…here’s me being human.
I suck at math.
Actually, I don’t suck at math. I won awards for math. For an English major, I have a surprisingly logical, analytical brain. But I’m only good at the theoretical part. It’s the life skills part I suck at.
- Balancing my checkbook. Okay, I never do that. Seriously. The last time I balanced my checkbook was in accounting class in high school. I got a C in accounting. Because my teacher was kind.
- Getting anywhere on time. This is me. To the great frustration of…everyone.
- Judging distances. My car is easy to find in a crowded parking lot: It’s the only blue Mazda with a jagged silver pinstripe down the passenger side. (R couldn’t find matching paint to cover it up, so he improvised.)
I’m awkward and anxious.
Not in a cute way, either.
- I am not capable of being cool. Really, I am so not cool.
- On a related note, I am not good under pressure. Throw too many balls in the air, and I turn into this:
- I’m a worrier. Possibly on an OCD scale, to be honest. I have elaborate rituals and organization systems to deal with my absolute lack of chill. Yes, I am organized. But I’m organized in such a way that I can’t let anyone else touch my stuff because I can’t trust them to put it back in the right place, which is not exactly a selling point.
I am not a people person.
I don’t have a network because I cannot network. It’s not a matter of shyness or nervousness in the face of the unknown. I’m just…better in print.
- I am no good face to face. I have no idea when to greet people, what to say when we part, or really what to say in between. I suck at small talk. My attempts at humor often tank. And there’s that whole physical contact thing to contend with.
- I hate talking on the phone. My delivery pizza consumption skyrocketed when they enabled online ordering. I’d eat toast rather than have to call someone on the phone.
- Crowds are my kryptonite. Too loud, too chaotic, and way too many people breathing my air. I get overwhelmed, and then…well, see the bullet point about being under pressure.
I am not the best groomed person in the world.
I am clean, because I have allergies; I bathe every night before bed at a minimum. But that’s the best I can say about my appearance.
- I haven’t known what to do with my hair since 1986. I had pretty hair as a child. Then I started going through puberty and it went nuts on me. Products, implements, accessories…nothing tames this mop. It has a life of its own, truly.
- I look like an unmade bed most of the time. I have zero sense of style, no ironing skills, and no idea how to attractively dress my postpartum body. But my clothes are clean, at least.
- I haven’t plucked my eyebrows in two years. I don’t get close enough to my face anymore to know if it makes a bit of difference. And even if it did, my allergy-red eyes would draw attention away from their fleekness. I’m as inept at makeup as I am at hair, so it’s not like this inattention is wrecking my overall polish.
I’m not saying I don’t have other flaws, but these are the ones that tend to make the most difference in the business world. And they’re precisely why I am so grateful to work from home. Online, nobody can see my rumpled yoga pants.