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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


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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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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.
Try to ensure that at least 1 of your 5 stories can fit any given question.

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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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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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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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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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Arturo’s Answer

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:

Perform a practice interview with someone else and ask them for direct feedback.

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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.


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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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Jillian’s Answer

Talking about times where you weren't at your best aren't failures if you learned from them. Take the opportunity to share what you learned and what you would do next time. Sometimes we learn more from failure than success.

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Kim’s Answer

It’s definitely good to understand your opportunities and be able to speak to them. You don’t necessarily need to volunteer them unless asked, but you will likely be asked about them in some form. Being able to identify them shows that you have self awareness. You should also be able to speak to what you are improving on those opportunities. Additionally, if it is specific to an actual event, what did you learn?

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Elana’s Answer

Great question!
You will probably be asked to give an example of a failure, challenge or difficult experience. Have an answer ready, not about your personal life, where you show how you've grown from that experience.

Good luck!

Elana recommends the following next steps:

Think about 2-3 professional or school challenges
What was your roke and responsibility?
What actions did you take?
What skills did you demonstrate?

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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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Aman’s Answer

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.


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Dawn’s Answer

Yes, you should talk about your failures and what you learned from them. Don't be afraid to fail but be self reflective so you can improve.


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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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Raji’s Answer

You may approach this part as opportunities, recognizing these opportunities and speaking to them shows a lot of character and courage.


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Greg’s Answer

I think it's perfectly ok to discuss failures. While you want to make sure you balance this with success and accomplishments - it's great to demonstrate when you may have taken a risk and most importantly what you learned from it.


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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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Jatin’s Answer

Yes, there is no harm in talking about failure in your interview. Consider yourself better than those who even didn't attempt it. Failure is a sign that you attempt and first step towards solving a problem is to attempt. You should always present it in positive way, in the sense of your learnings from it. It is great if you have a ready example of any such incident where you failed and used those learning to produce better results. It may be from technical perspective or time management or may be anything else.

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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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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.

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Richard’s Answer

Everybody goes through failures and talking about failures in the interview is fine but interviewer should get a feeling or be convinced that you were about to learn something from the failure.



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Jesse’s Answer

Don't volunteer the information, but if presented with the question; speak to the lessons that you learned from failure. Set the expectation that you are flexible, insightful, and can move forward instead of being consumed and overtaken by failure.


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Eric’s Answer

I think this is a good question. If I were the hiring manager, the key point is ... i would like to hear what did you learn from your failure experiences. You know, everybody got failure experiences. But not everyone learn form failures. So got lessons from failures is very important for everyone.

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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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Jake’s Answer

Sharing failures is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign that you are comfortable with vulnerability.
In an interview setting, it is tough to know the delicate balance between sharing too much or too little.
However, you should get a feel for the person asking the questions. If they want more or ask clarifying questions, give it to them.

Now, when sharing failures, it is critical to share what you learned from the failure and how that learning experience has helped shape decisions in your work or like now.
When conducting an interview, I like to ask the interviewee one thing they learned from each job experience. Often times this is where the vulnerability will show as they respond with a learning moment.

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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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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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John’s Answer

Yes, but be sure to include how you got passed the failure. Don't give a list of excuses explaining how it happened. Being able to identify a failure, own it and get passed it is very valuable.

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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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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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Roopa’s Answer

I would suggest don't focus so much on the failures but instead on the learning and how you bounced back. Build a story around the success after a temporary setback.


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Erica’s Answer

If you are directly asked about any failures, then that would be the only appropriate time to mention one. The one failure that you expand on should be one where you learned a lesson from. Good luck.

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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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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.

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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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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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Veronica’s Answer

Great question, this topic is one of the most difficult to answer during an interview. If asked, then you should share. In additional to sharing the failure you should also explain the takeaway. How did you overcome this failure and what did you learn from the experience.

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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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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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Lakshay’s Answer

It all depends on how you have dealt with that failure. If that failure helped you in some positive aspect where you were able to learn and apply a workaround which averted that failure happening the next time, then it should be okay to talk about in the interviews only if asked. The basic reason for an interviewer to ask that question is to know if you were able to grow from that failure and how.


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Greg’s Answer

Great question to ask. I would recommend avoiding that question unless you are specifically asked this question . Most employers will not ask this question anyway. Sometimes by providing too much unneeded information people sometimes can talk themselves right out of a new job . Always focus on the positive things you've done at your previous job and the good feedback and relationships you've created.



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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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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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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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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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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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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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Melanie’s Answer

Dear Deanicia,

Great Question!

A common question asked during an interview is, "Tell me about one of your weaknesses".

I believe that in many cases, a weakness can also be viewed as a strength. For instance, when I first became a leader, I would raise my hand for everything. I wanted to get involved and challenge myself.

It became evident that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. My then leader gave me great advice. "Sit on your hands"..."Give others a chance to show what they've got and you should do what you do, and do it well." We never want to spread ourselves so thin that we don't deliver, or deliver a product that is mediocre.

This said, when asked, “Tell me about one of your weaknesses”, I might respond accordingly, "One of my weaknesses is also a strength. I like to get involved so I volunteer a lot. But sometimes, I need to recognize my capacity, and let others get involved."

This response lets the hiring manager know that you are a go-getter who has excitement and enthusiasm AND that after given some great advice, you still volunteer but recognize your limits."

Hope this example helps you better understand how to position your response regarding failures or weaknesses for I believe in life that there are no failures, only lessons.

Best Wishes!!

Melanie recommends the following next steps:

Start thinking of those "failures" as lessons and "weaknesses" as "strengths" =)

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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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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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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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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
Get a list of hypothetical interview questions that you can practice answering

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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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Dan’s Answer

There is strength in admitting failure as long as you learned from the experience. In most interviews the question will come up " Tell me a time when you worked on a project and it didn't go the way you envisioned." This is a great time to tell of a time when your original approach didn't work but the knowledge you were able to achieve. This shows you growth and that you are humble.


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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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Jennifer’s Answer

It depends on how you think about your failure, and you did learn from your failure and overcome it, the story should touch the interviewer' s heart

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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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khushboo’s Answer

We should not talk about the failures until you have been asked to throw light on your past. If you choose to tell about the failures with the positive learning from your experiences.


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Akshama’s Answer

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.


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Erica’s Answer

If you are directly asked about any failures, then that would be the only appropriate time to mention one. The one failure that you expand on should be one where you learned a lesson from. Good luck.

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Chandra’s Answer

It depends on how the interviewer ask and how you would get benefited in the interview.
Obviously failures teach lesson in life and help us not taking wrong steps in future.

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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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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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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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Amrita’s Answer



An employer will ask this question (and other questions about failure) for a number of reasons. Firstly, she or he may want to test your ability to cope with failure. Secondly, she or he may want to see whether or not you are willing to push yourself (through failure) to become a better employee.

When answering this question, you want to acknowledge that failure does happen, but emphasize that when you fail, you always learn from your mistakes, and become a better employee as a result. You also want to be clear that you do not fail too often.

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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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Ateeb’s Answer

Rather than simply listing failures what employers like to hear is how you learnt from any shortcomings or issues. This shows that you are able to adapt to potentially challenging situations.

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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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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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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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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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Nicki’s Answer

In many cases, the interview will include behavioral questions that are designed to understand a specific situation, what action you took, and what was the outcome. If you have a good example of a risk you took or something you did and the results we not ideal, focus on what you learned from that experience and what actions you will incorporate going forward. Ideally, you want to keep your answers specific to the positive aspects of the situation and not the negative.

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Ateeb’s Answer

First of all I would rephrase "failures" as learning opportunities. Everyone makes mistakes no is perfect, but being able to reflect and learn from these mistakes is what will stand you out from other candidates. With that said unless prompted in an interview I wouldn't willfully disclose any "failures".

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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.
Practice answering questions confidently - use a friend or use a mirror to see how you look.

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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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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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Sam’s Answer

You should spin your "failures" into opportunities to overcome. If you experienced a "failure," share what you learned from it and how you overcame it. If it was a failure that you could not overcome, share what the gap was that you were not able to bypass it. If you cannot elaborate, then do not include it. The key is demonstrating shared learnings and problem solving.

https://www.workitdaily.com/job-interview-talk-about-failure


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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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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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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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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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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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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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DWAYNE’s Answer

Speak about how you overcame obstacles in previous career roles.

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Teresa’s Answer

I do agree that it's important to talk about challenges you have faced. We all have opportunity to grow and learn from events that may or may not have gone as we had hoped/planned. Each experience is just that, an experience..... I would not classify anything as a failure. I would, instead, refer to them as 'opportunities to improve'. When in an interview I would use examples of 'overcome challenges'. I talk about what made it a challenge and how I was able to learn from it. Then I would talk about how I could do it differently next time given the same situation.

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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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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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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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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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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