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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


I would suggest explaining how you turned a failure into something productive or something you learned. George Zastrow

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Daniel’s Answer

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:

Make a list of common interview questions which speak to failure.
Saved!
Try to ensure that at least 1 of your 5 stories can fit any given question.
Saved!

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Chris’s Answer

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.


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John’s Answer

You don't have any "failures" You have learning opportunities. You learn something from every "failure". The most important thing is what you learned and what you will do differently the next time.

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Juan’s Answer

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.


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Kaitlyn’s Answer

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.


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Stephanie’s Answer

yes, by all means talk about a recent failure. A failure that you had in the third grade is not relevant. However, the main thing the interviewer wants to see is what you learned from that failure. There is saying that failure is a wonderful teacher so show the interviewer that you are not the person that keeps making the same mistakes over and over and are able to reflect in a thoughtful way about what you learned and what you will do differently. Or even more importantly, how you can apply that learning to a larger situation.

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Stephen’s Answer

With more companies using the behavioral style interview format, questions around failure often come up. The interviewer is looking for a time when you failed or faced adversity, and how you were able to learn from those mistakes and apply them later on.

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.

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Akshita’s Answer

It's okay to talk about your failures in an interview. The best way to answer the question about a failure/ weakness is by admitting it and then talking about the steps you are taking to overcome those failures/ weaknesses. You can use a STAR : Situation, Task Action Result, to describe ypur answer in detail.

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Luke’s Answer

This question is a great chance to share a real failure and the lessons you learned from the failure. Share a real failure, one with a clear learning lesson relevant to the position you are interviewing for at the time. This question shouldn't be scary, but mistakes can be made on both sides: don't overshare something too personal that you haven't learned a tangible lesson from, but also don't share something that is not a failure as most employers only care what you learned from the experience and want to hear you speak about it.

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Erik’s Answer

I would not reveal your "failures" for the sake of revealing it. Common questions during an interview may lead you to believe you have to talk about failing but the intent of the question is to see what you actions you took and the result. In other words, you want to show that you made significant strides in your development. That's what an interviewer wants to see.

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Victoria’s Answer

Hi!
This is a great question, especially because we're often told to talk ourselves up in interviews. How can we talk ourselves up and at the same time be transparent about our failures, right? Once you understand why interviewers ask that question you understand how failures and your reactions to failures are a great way to put yourself at the front of the pack. Here are two reasons they might ask and how you can answer...

1) Interviewers ask about failure because they want to understand how you handle failures. Of course, we all would hope that we never fail, but the truth is that inevitably, we will. So what happens when you do? Do you cry or blame others and go into a hole? OR do you "fail fast", learn from it and look for a way to turn that failure into a success? Its those who can do the second- fail fast and turn failure into success, who will lead the pack. We all fail. Employers want someone who can do it the right way. Show them that's you. Give examples when you can.

2) Interviewers ask about failures because they want to understand how you view risks and failures. Failure and risk inevitable go hand and hand. The more risk you take on the more likely it is you'll fail. Employees need people who are more or less open to risk based on the role. For example Innovation and Sales teams need to be very open to risk, while finance and Accounting are more risk-averse. Different companies may also have a culture that is more open to risk and don't always see failure as a bad thing. Be sure to research the company culture and the role you're applying for. Know how comfortable they are with risks and failures.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Emily’s Answer

"Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better." - Samuel Beckett
Failure is scary - the idea of it, even just the word. But if we can change our perspective and embrace failure
as an opportunity to learn or to change, we'll be able to get out of our comfort zones and encourage growth.
Calculating risk is normal - should I or shouldn't I, what are the benefits v. costs, do I really have what it takes,
what will happen if I fail - or what will happen if I succeed? Taking on a challenge takes courage and commitment.
Sure, you may fail, but you'll be better equipped to take on the next challenge that comes your way. Be resilient.
Admitting failures requires a sense of humility and strength. When someone asks you to share a story about
one of your failures, they really want to know if you are bold enough to take risks, humble enough to admit your downfalls,
and strong enough to bounce back. That way, next time, you'll be able to fail better - and keep learning from mistakes,
pushing boundaries, and pressing forward.

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Howard’s Answer

Yes!!By all means you should talk about your failures.. Those experiences help build character and show potential employees that you are open to grow and learn. psychology teachers us that without conflict or failure, there is no growth. Please keep in mind that you should be prepared to share what you learned from your failures and what you can do to prevent similar experiences in your personal or professional life in the future.

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Shawn’s Answer

YES! Every one fails, it is important to show you can admit when you are wrong and can learn from it. The important part is to pick the times you failed and fixed it and make it your own story. Spin it and work through it.

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Beverly’s Answer

Hello! It is great that you are preparing now for your future interviews. I would not recommend that you volunteer failures. I would encourage you to be prepared to answer to failure if asked. During behavioral interviews you may be asked for a time you failed, something you liked least about the job you left or are something you feel would be an opportunity for you in the job you have applied for. It is best to speak directly about the task or event, and then offer a confident answer that speaks to how you overcame or how you turned it around, what you learned or how you grew from the experience. I recommend you keep an ongoing journal with your successes and failures. Be specific and document real time while it is fresh in your mind. This will be a Resource you can draw from as you prepare for interviews.


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John’s Answer

Failure can be viewed differently by different people. Mostly it is viewed negatively. My suggestion is to always put a 'positive' spin on everything; the risk you took, the challenges you overcame, the learning you gained from a situation that may not have gone your way, the time you went outside of your comfort zone, how you turned a bad situation into a good one, how your attitude and energy got you out of a bad situation, etc. Interviewers want to hear how you were able to stay focused, positive and decisive in tough situations. They/we all know that critical thinking, positive attitude and ability to overcome adversity and challenge is a far greater skill set for many jobs.

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Priyanka’s Answer

There is nothing wrong in talking about failures in an interview. Its not a failure though but one step before success. You will get to learn a lot from the failures which actually makes you strong in your profession.

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Sesame’s Answer

I think the most important information the interviewer would like to get from you is, when you are facing challenge or failures, what you've done to conquer the difficulty, or what you've learned from the failures. Everyone will fail for sure in certain area or during certain time of period, and it's not possible for a person to always succeed. The critical part is that, after failure, you can still stand up and try again with the experience/lessons you've learned from the failure itself. Not be afraid of failure, and you still have the passion to achieve something, that means you are not easy to be defeated, and it is a precious quality of the interviewee.

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Jo-David’s Answer

After interviewing over 1,000 candidates for various positions over the course of my career, I've always appreciated those that proactively brought up a learning experience/failure that they were able to turn into a successful outcome for the team or organization. If there is a failure, you want it to be recognized as early as possible so the right adjustments can be made which allows for an awesome outcome. So yes, go ahead and share it and how you were able to manage through it to create a win.

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Christopher’s Answer

In most interviews you will be asked about a time or situation when you failed at something. The goal is to be able to show how you responded. Did you learn? Did you change? Did a positive came from it? How did that prepare you for future failures? So it's always good to have a professional, personal, and academic example of this. If you do this you will be able to answer a wide range of interview questions in detail and with confidence. Remember to always be focusing on positives when answering questions.

Christopher recommends the following next steps:

Mock interviews is the best exercise
Saved!
Get a list of hypothetical interview questions that you can practice answering
Saved!

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Rose’s Answer

Yes, it is very important to be aware of at least one failure going into your interview, but make sure you talk about how you learned from that failure. It is very common to interviewers to ask you about a time you failed, so be ready for that question. One format that really helped me to shape my answer to this question was by using the STAR method to tell your story. The format is as follows:
1) Situation: Take about the background of the situation you are in.
2) Task: Explain the specifics about what you were supposed to be doing the time that you failed.
3) Action: Talk about your specific failure.
4)Resolution: Finish the story with a reflection on what went wrong AND how you showed measurable improvement in the future.

A brief example:
1) Situation- Freshman year I decided to sign up for a class on geology.
2) Task- For the final project, we were assigned a paper where we had to research a specific rock and discuss special properties about its material components.
3) Action- I ended up spending way too much time studying for all of my other finals and left the paper until the very last night to finish. I pulled an all nighter and was able to get it done, but when the grade came back it was much lower than I had hoped. It ended up significantly lowering my overall grade in the class.
4) Resolution- Looking at my final grades for the semester I was very disappointed in myself and knew I could have done better if only I had budgeted my time properly. The next semester I had another final paper to write for my history class. This time I started the paper long before finals week. Being proactive on the paper gave me time to put more effort into it. I was able to achieve an A in my history class and learned my lesson on time management during finals week.

Important notes: Really take the time to finish the story with a great resolution. The interviewers really want to see that you have learned from this mistake and made changes in the future. Also, think out of the box for your failure examples. A failure could be as simple as a time you did poorly on one test or as complicated as an entire presentation backfiring. There are no limits and you get to decide what your standards are for a failure. Finally, take the time to practice this STAR method and come up with a couple failure examples before your interview.


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Katya’s Answer

Hi Deanicia, I think it all depends on how do you think about your failures. I believe that failures are the way we learn and change. Therefore, using the word failure is not necessarily;however, interpreting as challenging situation you have faced in the past-I believe is a great way to share how you were able to manage a difficult situation, use your skills and knowledge, and resources, and still deliver on results to a certain extent.

When you are being asked if you ever failed - I believe in honesty because the truth is- we all failed at some point but sharing what you have learned from the situation is a way to show your attitude towards different tasks and how you adapted to a situation.

In my life experience- I never really had anyone asking me this questions-the focus of most interviews is to bring the best of you and allow you to share your success rate and not to see the other way around. You could be asked about your strengths and your weaknesses -this is another way for you to highlight you best competency and discuss challenging behaviors.

Show that you learned from the experience- be honest and don’t try to make excuses .

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Shantanu’s Answer

It all depends on the way you present it and the learnings you have learned out of it.
In most cases, it always helps if you are able to bring to the table your learnings.

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Aneree’s Answer

That is a great question. I believe that recognizing your failures is a good thing! What companies are looking for in terms of a candidate is someone that is able to recognize there weakness and the steps that are taken to grow and develop from those weaknesses. At the end of the day everyone has there failures but what is important is how you handle and grow from them. I remember being asked a similar question during multiple interviews where they asked about my strengths and weaknesses. The best way to answer this question is to list your weaknesses, how you have tackled them and relate them back to your strengths.

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Jimmy’s Answer

"I expect failure" seemed to resonate for that one recruiter, but I don't think it would work as well for most unless it's for engineers working in an AGILE development cycle. There's been a trend in the last few years towards "fail fast" and other failure-speak, but what they're really talking about is agility in quickly evaluating situations, learning from them, and adjusting as needed. I think framing your experiences in a positive way (rather than saying "failure") that captures your ability to evaluate and adjust would be more successful with a recruiter. Also, interviews are really more like a game where you're expected to present the best of yourself rather than a conversation focused on actual authenticity. I don't mean don't be truthful, just don't volunteer your challenges. Interviewers will almost always ask about those things. When asked about challenges or failures, which we all have, answer with a real-life example that shows how you recognized, adjusted, acted, and learned, and the resulting positive impact of your actions.

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Gopinath’s Answer

Yes, there will be instances an interviewer would ask around your weaknesses or setbacks.
Their intent is to understand and capture as to how you operated in such a drastic situation.
During an interview process, answers in the angles of STAR - Situation, Task, Action and Result approach would help to address any behavioural questions.

In my viewpoint, what there is a setback, I recommend not to look down on you in the first place (& do not shy away!)
It is crucial that you pick yourself up and stand upright with adrenaline pumped to see through the lenses of what happened, what did you do that didn't work, what you could have done differently and finally, take the lessons and take charge to bounce or make leaps forward!
This will exactly lead to your reflections and act as your answers for those questions.

Remember, the way you behave, think and feel is natural and so how you represent yourself in an interview is not just to get your foot at the door but also will draw the road for your journey with the company.

All the best!

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Jennifer’s Answer

in Hindsight, failures are where you learn the most and grow. For example. Thomson Edison failed hundreds of times before he got mastered the light filament in the light bulb. It is just like perfecting a recipe . Your love of anything will push you towards mastering that skill or talent.

Making a negative into a positive is another way to look at challenges in life. I hated speaking in public. as i would get nervous and forget lines or entire parts of my speech. I messed up so badly one time that i started to laugh at myself and just closed my eyes and did my lines perfectly. I found my friends were cheering for me and clapped when i stopped being so afraid. I continued to practice future speeches in the dark and become more comfortable speaking in public gradually. My teacher suggested i try being a MC for my cousin's wedding. Although i was scared at first, it was actually fun to just speak freestyle and be natural especially since it was in front of my friends and family.

After putting in the effort and not giving up, I am no longer scared of large crowds or speaking in front of strangers, I actually find that i enjoy making new friends when I am asked to be a speaker.

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Diane’s Answer

If a question comes up that asks about a failure, I think it is a good opportunity to show some genuine qualities that might not be uncovered in other interview questions. Have some experiences prepared ahead of time where things didn’t go as you had planned, be willing to admit you made a mistake or misjudgment, and explain how you reacted and what you learned. I find that a sincere and humble response to this type of question shows insight to a persons character and how they will respond to future failures - which will inevitably arise - as they do for all of us.

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Katherine’s Answer

Most employers want to know about a situation that was difficult and that you had to course correct. It's all about how you frame things and if you frame them in a way that shows that you learned - that's a positive. It means that you're flexible and adaptable and can have perspective which shows your able to grow in any situation.

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Heather’s Answer

As you probably already know, failure is a hot-button issue! So you want to be careful how you discuss it in an interview, and sound out your interviewer as you go. You can see the diversity of responses to 'failure' already illustrated here in the answers you've received. Probably each person will respond a little differently.

An important aspect of the potential for failure is that many people are scared to fail, and so fail to take even reasonable risks. I feel there's considerable payoff, not to mention leadership opportunity, where others have assumed there's impossibility, and you figure out how to make it possible. Whole companies have started in that space.

It's not unusual to be confronted with a dead end as you attempt to solve a problem at work. This could be seen as failure, but I like to think of it as Solution A that didn't work. There are still Solutions B through Z to be found and tried :)

Courage, tenacity, and effective problem-solving are all traits that come in quite handy at work, and what definitely is a good idea is to let an interviewer know you've got these in your back pocket.

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Rahul’s Answer

It’s challenging to detail one’s failures or setbacks to a potential employer. Yes it's good to be ashamed at times looking over your failures.
But, these questions are often necessary.
You should acknowledge your weaknesses and take responsibility for your failures.
This can also reveal the kinds of risks you take and the habits you possess, and define your own perceptions of success and failure.

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Kei’s Answer

Hi Deanicia.

This is a common question during interviews. I would not volunteer this information unless asked but I would rather call it learning opportunities versus failures.

When presented with this question, my best advice is to focus on the situation, what you did to correct it and what did you learn from it and how would you handle it differently if you encounter it again in the future.

Keep your answer to this question short and sweet.

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Vidhi’s Answer

Talking about your failures in an interview could be good reflection of your ability to try new things, take risks, accept mistakes, learn from setbacks and above all ability to bounce back.

It is rightly said "Failures are the stepping stones to success". While talking about failures, it is important to put them in the right perspective. The after-effect of the failure is much more important than the failure itself. So make sure that your narration covers the insights on what lead to not achieving success. What life-lessons your learnt from the failure. What helped you to bounce back and continue the journey.

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Esther’s Answer

Deanicia,

Good job on doing your research! We all make mistakes -- every day! And that's okay because we are not perfect. It's important to know our failures and be able to talk about them when asked during interviews. Because how we handle things that don't work out will probably tell someone more about you than your successes.

I went through an interview recently and was asked about a failure and I wasn't prepared for it! it was awkward not being able to think of a recent scenario. It made me realize that I don't spend enough time reflecting back on the things that happen throughout the day and what I could do better.

Check out this video about being in the learning zone. It is very inspiring and has great reminders:

https://www.ted.com/talks/eduardo_briceno_how_to_get_better_at_the_things_you_care_about?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tedspread

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Aaditya’s Answer

My opinion is Yes. Why shy away from one's struggles and failures.! Failures are what define us.
In any industry, you will numerous challenges every morning you come to work. What matters is the resilience and your capacity to address and learn from them.
Your attitude towards failures can become an important barometer in understanding how you approach an unfamiliar situation, something not uncommon in today's job environment.!

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Cristol’s Answer

Never expect to fail, always expect to succeed! But if you do fail at something, always learn from the mistakes and don't dwell on them. Always demonstrate how you are someone that will turn a negative into a positive situation, that is what interviewers are looking for. Also, I recommend jotting down these type of situations so it's easier to remember the details of what went wrong and how you made it better when telling the story in an interview.

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Lisa’s Answer

Great question! I would recommend being ready to talk about a failure during an interview. The interviewer is asking to understand how you handle adversity. The way you respond speaks volumes about your attitude and how you approach life and work. Some people are crushed after a failure and need others to pick them up. Some vow never to try again, or blame others without taking any personal accountability.  Being able to share your personal story of how you made lemonade out of a lemon speaks volumes of your pluckiness and tenacity, both valuable traits to an employer.  Good luck at that next interview!


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David’s Answer

I've interviewed many people and this is a common question. As a few others have indicated, focus on what you learned and what you'd do differently. In some cases its not failure because you made a mistake, but rather you may have been testing out a theory, or maybe more information came to light after you started. Don't be afraid to share those. Being afraid to fail stifles creativity and innovation. Fail fast if you have to and learn quickly. On the other side, if you failed because you were unprepared, you should have a very good explanation of what you've learned and how you've already modified your behavior as a result.


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Daniel’s Answer

The ability to relate between different people from different backgrounds is one of the strongest traits in building a connection, and one of the things that makes anyone great at what they do is by learning from the many mistakes they have faced.

By talking about failures, you show humility in being able to accept mistakes and take accountability, but what will allow you to shine is how you overcome, learn and show tenacity. From experience of conducting interviews, the discussion on this topic and how others find resolve during failures reveals most about one's character. In my opinion, gauging character is the unwritten intuition on selecting successful candidates especially when the candidate pool all look the same "on paper".

Having said that, I wouldn't frame your interview around failures all the time, but there is a balance to prove that you're not perfect either. If needing to talk about failures and challenges faced, I would also ensure it's "relevant" to the position/question. Some positions are looking for your ability to be process driven/accurate in what you do, while others are seeking curious/thought-leaders who challenge the status quo. It's the latter where experimenting with ideas, possibly failing, then repivoting will be a very strong trait.

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Tosin’s Answer

While you don't want to oversell your failures, showing a potential employer you have learned something from a past mistake could actually be a good thing. As a matter of fact, I have been on a few interviews where I was directly asked about past mistakes and what I learned from them. Everyone makes mistakes and your interviewer is not ignorant of that. The important thing is what steps you have taken to prevent such mistakes from occurring again and how you have learned from the past experience. I would personally not dwell too much on this particular issue in an interview, but don't be scared to go there, rather be prepared for this question.

All the very best!


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Swetha’s Answer

Yes Definitely. Failures are something that give us experience and Failures are stepping stones to success.

When you tell the interviewer about your failure you can also explain him how you overcame yourself morally also and if you have actually understood anything from your failure and how to over come it.

Do not think of FAILURE as a failure. Most of the times it just the beginning of a story, if you learn something from it and move forward in your life you create a great story/life. So failure is nothing to hide from.

Just small example would be my preparation for GATE exam to get into IITs. During my first attempt I failed badly but later I understood the mistakes I did and learned from them and tried to avoid them on my next attempt I topped the Exam.

And discussing such stuff with interviewer will make them think you are a strong personality. So definitely go ahead. ALL THE BEST


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Jason’s Answer

You can talk about failure if you're able to show that you learned from it and improved. I think you show maturity if you can identify something that went wrong and speak to how you made adjustments going forward.

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Michael’s Answer

I often ask one or two questions looking for examples where things didn't turn out as expected. I'm not looking for someone to promote their failures, but to show what they learned from them and how they improves the next time a similar situation came up.

Like others have said, you don't need to lead with your failures, but don't be afraid to speak about them.


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William R’s Answer

"I Never Lose... I either Win or I Learn." ~ Nelson Mandela
"If you are not making Mistakes - You are not trying hard enough!"
Any manager with experience will expect failure. The faster you Own those mistakes the faster they become learning opportunities - and if you share what you learned from that mistake... Can it really be called a failure in the end?
HTH! You are asking the right questions - Keep on it.

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Matt’s Answer

If you bring it up, make sure you understand the situation you were in and why you failed. Also understand that you knew what it would take to improve the next time the scenario came up. Be able to specifically discuss the action you would take and what the results would be from the change. Its more important to admit failing than to lie.

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Scott’s Answer

Hello,


There is nothing wrong with using failure as an interview example or talk track during an interview. The trick is what the end result is from the failure that you have encountered.


If you are taking what you have failed at, and showed how you have grown from it and have overcome the initial failure then it shows how you have grown as either an individual or a leader. I would not recommend just talking about a failure you have encountered and not adding anything to it.


Best regards.

Scott


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Jabari’s Answer

If asked, you should always give an honest answer. You should also be prepared to add what you *learned from that answer, and what you would do differently if faced with the same situation again.

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Bobby’s Answer

I would be prepared to answer the question if asked during your interview; however, you could also use your "failed" experience to showcase or highlight other attributes and qualities about your work ethic in a positive way even though you may not be directly asked. Life is not perfect and you will experience some level of failure in your career (and in life); how you handle the failure by learning from mistakes and negative situations will set you a part and make you more successful down the road. Just don't let failures get you down or stop you from accomplishing your goals.

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Ravi’s Answer

Absolutely, Please remember all successful leaders had numerous failures. It is very important you list the learning you had from your failures.

Ravi recommends the following next steps:

Keep a list of your failure, learning from and how you overcome.
Saved!

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Aditya’s Answer

You can surely mention them. If at all it is going to help in anyways in your that job or if it is related to that job position you are applying for. You then also mention what did you learn from that failure and how did you overcome that weakness

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Denise’s Answer

Admitting to failures is part of being successful. The best lessons are learned through failures. It's not the failure that determines a person. It is what you do after the failure that defines you.


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Rob’s Answer

For me as a leader in our company, this is a common question that I normally ask during the interview process so I think being ready to answer this and giving specific examples is instrumental into a good interview. I would also put yourself in the shoes of the person interviewing you. I like to also ask the question, "how would I know you are doing a good job?" I would suggest being ready for this question too.

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Uday Rao’s Answer

Definitely you should have failures to learn the values its good if you mention and explain how you can across the problem how it helped to resolve this inspire many students for interview preparations .

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Cathy’s Answer

In an interview, don't use the word 'failure', call them 'opportunities'. In most interviews that I conduct, I'll ask for the candidate to tell me about a time where your plan of XYZ didn't get executed on correctly, what did you do to correct it? I'm not so worried about something not working - nothing works ALL the time, I'm more interested in how you overcome challenges, your creativity and how you may influence others. Focus on the things you've done successfully and be able to turn your opportunities around to a positive note.

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Donna’s Answer

These are very common questions during an interview. Be honest, put some thought into it prior to going to the interview. Your interviewer is looking for how you handle failure and if you are able to rebound from it and learned from the experience. If you don't have failures you are being innovative and that is something business are looking for, Innovation. Speak to the situation the whys behind the failure and what you learned from it, how did it ultimately turn out.

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Dinesh’s Answer

Yes, definitely. You should talk about your failures in the Interview. But not love failure and all.
In the same way, you should take about how you have recovered from the failures to show how mentally strong.
That will definitely inspire the interviewer.

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Sanford’s Answer

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!


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Ganesh’s Answer

We always learn something new from the failures or mistakes that we face regardless whether it is person or work life. How lessons learnt be utilized effectively to avoid the problem on the next time is the key to success.

There is no problem in telling such experiences to your interviewer. They would be also more happy and interested to hear such experiences and how you have overcome those. It is a measure of your talent as well how you have a handled a difficult situation.


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Robert’s Answer

I was told by a manager once that we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. I have had a ton of success in my career, but it was my failures that made me into a better employee. If I was to bring up my past failures, I would almost treat it as the "what's your biggest weakness" question that is often asked in interviews. I would bring up the failure, but then i would talk about what i learned from it and what kind of success i found as a result of the failure.

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Connie’s Answer

Absolutely, it demonstrates your authenticity and turning a negative into a positive situation. We tend to be focused on providing the right response and not being true to ourselves. Your potential employer wants to know you.

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Anthony’s Answer

I have been through interviews and I have also interviewed others for multiple different positions. To me, interviewing is selling yourself to the hiring manager. In sales, you don't want to lead with anything that can be interpreted as negative. I know there can be a tenancy to at times bring up failures in interviews to showcase authenticity, but I would discourage doing this unless its followed up with a fantastic success story. If you are asked directly about something that would bring up the failure, DO NOT lie. Address it.

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Angel’s Answer

If you have to talk about your failures always remember to mention how you learned from it. Learning is never looked at as a failure. Also use the sandwich method. Start with something positive then mention your failure and end the answer with something positive/how you learned from it. Make yourself shine even when its dark outside.

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celeste’s Answer

Absolutely! Talking about "failures" can be a very positive thing if you talk about them in the context of it was a learning opportunity and this is how I handled the situation. Because is a failure a negative thing when the outcome is growth and opportunity?

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Cheryl’s Answer

If there is a relevant time in the interview to interject the subject of the failure, I would highlight it. It is to your advantage for the hiring manager to know that you can accept the failure and what steps you did or learned from it; therefore the ability to improve the process next time. It also shows integrity and honestly about yourself; that there is always room for improvement in all of us.

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Mrudula’s Answer

Sometimes the interviewer asks you about your failures. in such situations, do mention that these are not "failures" but learning experiences. Also make sure to tell how you learnt from it. what steps you will take in future not to repeat the same thing.

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.

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Nick’s Answer

What are failures? They are learning opportunities. Unless you find that it brings value to the topic of conversation in an interview and you are able to highlight a scenario where you learned from a failure and had an opportunity to change a behavior or process to produce a different, positive outcome, I would not proactively bring it up.

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:

Anticipate interview questions where you are asked to tell someone about a time when things became challenging, didn't go according to plan, you had to work with a difficult task/coworker/customer/etc.
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Be able to answer clearly and concisely: What was the situation, what was your thought process, what action did you take, what was the outcome.
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Matt’s Answer

If you bring it up, make sure you understand the situation you were in and why you failed. Also understand that you knew what it would take to improve the next time the scenario came up. Be able to specifically discuss the action you would take and what the results would be from the change. Its more important to admit failing than to lie.

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Asha’s Answer

There is no harm in telling your failures, just compliment it with telling what were the lessons learned and how the failure was handled and fixed. Then it would turn out in your favor as a positive point.

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Roopa’s Answer

I would suggest focus instead on building a success story after a setback, on the lesson learned and how you bounced back


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Josh’s Answer

Having the confidence to discuss failures in an interview shows strong signs of humility, emotional intelligence and depending on the detail provided how coachable you are. I think the latter point is the most important, its not enough just to discuss your failures. Be sure that when discussing a failure you also describe in detail how you responded to the failure, what you learned from the failure, and any measures you took after to ensure that you would not fail again. As someone already stated, its a learning opportunity versus a failure, but only if you treat it as such and respond accordingly.

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Kathryn’s Answer

Heather, That's a great question! I think it's always a good idea to have an answer to this question handy - one that shows that you're creative and that you don't give up easily. Ask a friend or relative to practice with you so that you get comfortable speaking about your accomplishments. Best of luck to you in your future!

Kathryn recommends the following next steps:

Create some questions that a hiring manager might ask and craft good answers.
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Practice answering questions confidently - use a friend or use a mirror to see how you look.
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Kushal’s Answer

Each failure gives an opportunity for new learning. You learn from your mistakes. You can talk about failures but dont go so much in deep. Rather quickly shift to your learnings from the failures and try to show the positivity you have because you have overcome some failures.


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Earl’s Answer

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:

Write down 2-3 examples of where you did not achieve something that could be considered a failure and prepare how you will answer as stated above.
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Boopathy’s Answer

In my suggestion, please don't tell any failures as some interviewer don't like any negativity. Always the first impression is the best impression so try to emphasize positive things and impress the interviewer. If the interviewer specifically asks your failures then you can tell a failure but try to avoid talking about your personal failures.

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Dawn’s Answer

Everyone experiences failure—it's simply human nature. Ask any successful person, and they will tell you that the secret to their success is failure. Perseverance and an open mind are essential to determining what went wrong and finding learning opportunities. It’s all about how you react during and after a failure that directly determines how you will reflect upon, grow from, and handle failures in future dealings.

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Stephanie’s Answer

yes, by all means talk about a recent failure. A failure that you had in the third grade is not relevant. However, the main thing the interviewer wants to see is what you learned from that failure. There is saying that failure is a wonderful teacher so show the interviewer that you are not the person that keeps making the same mistakes over and over and are able to reflect in a thoughtful way about what you learned and what you will do differently. Or even more importantly, how you can apply that learning to a larger situation.

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Angie’s Answer

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:

Think of situations that did not go as planned and what you learned from it to avoid the same mistake happening again.
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Walt’s Answer

There are a lot of great answers here, so I will only add what I think is net new information... I agree that the key to talking about "failures" in an interview setting is refocusing the discussion on learning opportunities and change in action. I typically take that response one step further and try to use examples where I have already overcome the challenge, learned from it, and demonstrated results.

Whenever possible, I try to describe the results in specifics, or even quantify them. Doing so provides evidence that the "failure" truly was a learning experience and ultimately was something that made you stronger, smarter, and an even better candidate for the job.

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Kainat’s Answer

Absolutely!

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.


Absolutely correct 👍. Satyanarayan sahu

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Remy’s Answer

Talking about failure during an interview can be daunting! One of the best signs of a person who is successful is there willingness to not only experience failure, but to also overcome it. No one has zero failure, so recognizing your imperfections and your willingness to learn is a valuable skill to have. That being said, make sure that the failure is relevant to the position in which you are interviewing for- whether if its within the industry or if the lesson you learned was impactful. Also, make sure that there was some sort of resolution-basically do not tell a story about failing and just giving up- talk about how it motivated you or how it altered your next attempt. Good luck!

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Eric’s Answer

I find that when doing interviews it is important to explore the applicants failures. In fact, what is most important is what did you learn from the experience and how did you handle the failure. There is usually a question that is asked that explores failures so it is expectable to share.

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Jeremy’s Answer

Failure is a part of life. Everyone fails, fall short, and make mistakes. Recognizing the area's of opporunity where you could have done something different and how you applied that experience in a future situation shows potential for growth and development. Use it as a badge of courage and don't look back.

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Karla’s Answer

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:

Write down a failure that you have experienced and two lessons you got from it.
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Rajesh’s Answer

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Don't just end there. Explain (in a concise way) the experience where you failed in the SAR format. SAR stands for Situation, Action, Result. Another variation is called PAR (Problem, Action, Result). The central idea is that for any experience or story that you share in an interview, start with the problem statement or the situation that you found yourself into. This part gives a little background and the issue that you faced. The next part is about how you analyzed the problem and came up with a solution along with any interesting tidbit from the execution of your plan. Finally, you state the outcome of your actions. Now its possible that the result didn't really solve the issue that you faced so it could be considered as a failure but be crisp and don't try to blame others or give excuses. Own it if it was indeed your mistake and always share what you learnt so that it does not happen again. Interviewers are not looking for a perfect person. They want a genuine candidate who can own up to their mistakes and learn from it to avoid something like that in the future. This shows that you are coachable and willing to learn.

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Alan’s Answer

If you can talk about what you learned from a failure, yes. Many people would appreciate this but maybe not all, so I'm not sure if it should be volunteered information or not. I guess it would depend on the interviewer and type of place or company culture.


Trying and failing is one way to learn new things including when in a job and in building a career. Some interviewers and recruiters are going to prefer one who tries new things and learns from the failures.


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Natalie’s Answer

I would not voluntarily speak about a failure during a job interview. If you are asked a question about a time you failed, it is vital to talk about a failure as a learning opportunity and how you were able to problem solve or what you would have done differently/how you will take this lesson and apply it to future situations of adversity.

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Heena’s Answer

Failures is not something to be discouraged about. you can share the learning you got from the failures.


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Sherry-Ann’s Answer

This is one of my favorite questions to ask during an interview. How a candidate responds allows me to see how/if they will take ownership when a project goes sideways. Will they blame others or own-up to their actions. The best way to look at this is everyone has a project that goes sideways, gets behind schedule, or doesn't meet the intended goal - it's how the individual addresses and learns from it. When asked this, be sure to own up to the miss and focus on how/what you did to bring it back around and how you kept others aware of impact it might have on them or their dependencies.

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Ivan’s Answer

Focus on how you over come challenges rather that stating failures. It shows that yes, failures/bad things happen. But it is how you get back up that counts. Everyone fails, that is how you learn.


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David’s Answer

I think it's okay to talk about your failures as long as you can discuss what you learned from them and how that made you a better person and potential employee. After all, all humans fail sometimes. That's what can make us better if we are wise enough to learn the lessons from failure and brush aside the negative emotions that may be associated with failure. In fact I think that demonstrates that you are an honest person and smart enough to learn from setbacks which most people have. That also gives you the opportunity to talk about your life experiences and potential strengths that you have developed from these experiences.

David recommends the following next steps:

Be prepared to talk about your failures as long as you learned something valuable from them that made you a better person or potential employee.
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Epoch’s Answer

When interviewing for a job, the recruiter wants to know what you're good at so they would know where to put you. Talking about failures should be in the context of what you learned from it. For example, if you want a certain type of job and you're having difficulty getting hired but you still keep trying, that shows your determination, which is good.

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Virat’s Answer

In general your failures & short comings can be used against you so be generous to yourself not making yourself vulnerable.

Since we are talking of interviews & there could be one situation where the lesson learnt was well implemented to overcome the situation that you might have face. Keep that situation prepared & how to narrate it with the positive attitude. We all fail at some time. We need to accept & move on with positive attitude with learnings in mind & that is the intent of the question.