Should I talk about my failures when being interviewed for a job?
I read an article about how a recruiter who interviews students got an answer of "I expect failure" from one of the students. Then they went and wrote an article on how this answer was amazing. Should I do the same and state some failures like struggles in class or should I keep that to myself. #science #technology #mathematics #interviews #interview-questions #failure #job-application
Questions speaking to your failures, weaknesses or difficult issues you had to handle are common in interview scenarios. It is important to give an answer covers the following key points:
- Shows your humility by taking ownership of the failure.
- Talks to what you did to fix the situation at the time.
- Speaks to what you learned to help avoid the issue happening again in the future.
I would avoid trying to use tactics to avoid giving a real answer, like the classical 'weakness is a strength' approach. The interviewer doesn't want to know how tricky you are. They want to know that you know how to handle failure and grow as a person.
I recommend you do some google searches and make a list of common questions which speak to these difficult times. Then, try to identify at least 5 times in your past where a situation occurred so that you can use to speak to the question. Try not to over-prepare for the specific interview questions. Your answer will feel more genuine if you can fit one of your chosen stories to whichever question comes up in the interview. Just keep the 3 points above in mind when picking which story will best fit the question you have been asked.
Daniel recommends the following next steps:
I wouldn't volunteer the information, but I have had 3 Interviews where the question came up: "What was a difficult situation that you had to deal with, and how did you go about solving it". There will always be challenges which you will have to overcome, and the ability to deal with them calmly and effectively is a rare skill which companies find invaluable. However, opening any conversation with 'I expect to fail' could go just as much against you as in your favor. Be prepared to talk about your problem solving methodology, your reactions to stressful situations, and your any strengths that you may have in working with others. These are universal concerns for all employees. It is true that failure is inevitable, but the lessons learned from hardship are the ones that stick with you.
It is ok to talk failures during interviews with the objective to speak to learning experiences gained from those failures. The most successful people fail over and over again in their journey but all learn from those experiences.
Yes, you absolutely should.
Try to reframe your thinking. Instead of referring to your missteps as failures, think of them as opportunities. An interviewer is asking you about a time where you felt like you failed because they want to see how you learned from that opportunity and what actions you took to improve and move forward.
You will need to have a measurable result from the failure, so try to have two scenarios ready for this question - the failure, and then the example were you used what you learned from that failure to succeed later on.
These types of questions also show your critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities. We have all failed at something, so not being able to provide an example of failure would come across as dishonest or disingenuous.
I would not recommend proactively bringing up failure.
always be ready to share what you learned from each 'opportunity' how did it help you grow? Don't lie or evade. People are human, we all experience 'learning opportunities'. It's how we use them is what matters.
When asked about how you overcame a failed project, or failure in general, it's important that you be truthful, but always speak to how you overcame it and what you learned from the process.
Lessons learned is very important in any industry, and your ability to show how you can learn lessons from your failures is very important.
Best of luck!
Failure is when one gives up. Example, Usain Bolt did not run fastest in his first run, was that his failure ?
Similarly during an interview, it is always a good story to tell the challenges you faced, and how you overcame those. This will make you more relatable and honest.
Depending on the person doing the interview, one of their questions may be to share a time when you failed. This would be a great opportunity to do just that. Good luck!
You can talk about failures if you've learnt from them. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. But people who learn from those mistakes and strive to become better are successful.