There are lots of ways a potential employer will ask for information. They want to better understand you as a candidate, and that includes asking the hard questions. One common question is this: “How did you respond to failure at work.” They want to see how you handle yourself in difficult situations. Before you attend your next interview, consider this question and be ready to answer it. Here are some tips to help you prepare ahead of time.
Think of examples.
You don’t know exactly how this subject is going to be broached, but you know it will be. So, before your interview, take time to think up some examples from your professional experience that communicate how you handled failure. The key here is to have an example where you persevered or overcame an obstacle to turn the failure into success.
Talk to a colleague.
We all see ourselves through a very personal filter, and it may be difficult to differentiate your internal monologue from mistakes you’ve made in your career. Here’s where talking to someone else can be a benefit. A trusted colleague can give you their perspective of your experiences that help you see yourself through someone else’s eyes.
No matter what example you choose to share, be sure you’re being authentic. Don’t make something up and don’t embellish an experience to make it more or less than it really was. Honesty will be the most important part of answering this question. You don’t have to only say negative things about yourself, but know that lying about how the situation progressed won’t serve your future career goals.
Explain what you’ve learned.
Finally, the most important thing you can communicate to a prospective employer is what you’ve learned from your experience. So, talk about your mistakes or how you failed at something you tried to accomplish, but be sure to describe how that experience changed you and improved the way you approach other situations within your career.
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