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.
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.
Most employers aren't concerned when you make a mistake the first time. But when you repeat the same again and again they start to questions you on your ability to learn from mistakes. a mistake like that could cost them heavily as you keep moving higher in position and responsibility.
In most interviews I have been a part of there is some sort of question about a time that "things didn't go as planned" or a deadline was missed or some other "failure" that you may have experienced. When using any example think about what you learned from the experience and how you apply that to what you do going forward. Everyone knows that no one is perfect. If you are honest with what struggles you have gone through and focus how you learn from your mistakes and take action to ensure it doesn't happen in the future, a hiring manager will know that you can learn and not repeat the same mistakes multiple times.
Angie recommends the following next steps:
You should only talk about how you overcame your weakness and learning from difficult situations, you should always present yourself in a positive manner to the interviewer.
Its always good to talk about your past experiences and how it helped you to become a better person technically, the extra effort you put in, new skills that you developed.
I have found that interviews are a chance to show that you have learned from mistakes, and be honest about them - because everyone makes mistakes! The important part to highlight in your interview answer (and spend the most time on) is how you grew from that situation and what you would do differently the next time to have a better outcome.
Don't be afraid of this question. It typically is assessing your ability to learn and grow and be self aware. Address the question head on, prepare and list an example or two where you learned from a mistake or failure to achieve your goal. Be sure to share how you owned it, what you did about it and how that shaped you going forward.
Earl recommends the following next steps:
David recommends the following next steps:
Nothing wrong in talking about failures in an interview. However, it is very important to focus more on explaining what you learned from the failure and how the experience from the failure helped in subsequent similar situations.
Yes. At some point during an interview you will be faced with a question that addresses failure. Be ready to give a detailed example of how you failed and most importantly what you learned from it. As a G.M that interviews people often, I know people are not perfect. What I am looking for is your attitude and thought process after you experienced failure. Also, be prepared to discuss what you would do differently the future.
Arturo recommends the following next steps:
Often times, interviewers want to see that you are capable of accepting your failures and LEARNING from them. Failure is a learning experience and a normal one at that. Nobody expects you to be perfect. The most important part is talking about how you learned from that moment and how it has affected you positively in terms of your growth and progress.
Karla recommends the following next steps:
It shows great confidence in where you have come from and what you have achieved. Everyone talks about their successes and highlights, which is fine, and a great way to showcase your achievements. What is also important to note is there are hardly any success stories not having a background of either a string or at least one failure. It shows great strength of character if you are able to demonstrate both success and failure as learning opportunities.
Many interviews now include the question "Tell me about a time you have failed." So best to be prepared for this. Everyone fails, so pick an example that you learned from. E.g., "When I first was confronted with situation X, I wasn't sure how to proceed, and it didn't go well. But the next time, etc." Good Luck!
Most interviews I have conducted I will ask questions around a time someone was met with a challenge or unexpected situation/outcome. I was always more concerned with how the interviewee approached the challenge, their thought process and actions taken, and the outcome. When this comes up in an interview, the interviewer is looking to see if you are able to think critically during a challenge, make a decision and put it into action.
Nick recommends the following next steps:
Everyone has failed in some way or the other but the important thing that differentiates you from other people is your attitude to never give up and think smartly in difficult situations.
Same way you should address it during your interviews!
All the best :)
When interviewing you are going to be asked about previous work. The biggest thing I look for when conducting interviews is for the candidate to self reflect on previous jobs and opportunities from this position. If someone embraces their opportunities they are going to look for ways to improve and due to this become more successful. Whether you improve from feedback given or seek out help from a peer in regards to the failure you have gained more knowledge as an employee.