How to Answer “Tell me about a time you failed” Job interview question

In this post article, you will learn how to answer this very difficult interview question, “Tell me about a time you failed.” Now, lots of people fail their interviews because of how they answer this question and the aim of this post article is to make sure that you don’t fall into the same trap as everybody else. At the end of this article, you will learn tell me about a time you failed interview answer.

To help you pass your interview, here is what this article will cover

  • Why the interviewer is asking you the difficult interview question. You need to understand why the interviewer is asking you the question so you can then answer it correctly.
  • Example of how not to answer this interview question.
  • Brilliant example answer that you can use in your interview and this response is applicable for all job roles.

So why is the interviewer asking you this interview question?

  1. The interviewer wants to be assured that when you do fail, you own up to it;
  2. you then put things right and then;
  3. you learn from the experience.

So those are the three reasons why the interviewer is asking you the question, “Tell me about a time you failed”.

Example of how not to answer this interview question, “Tell me about a time you failed”

So here’s an example of how not to answer this difficult interview question.

Question: Tell me about time you failed when I failed?

Wrong Answer: “I don’t fail, I’m a perfectionist, so everything I do is always done on time to the right standard, I never fail, I haven’t failed previously and I will never let you down. Basically, failure is not in my dictionary”.

So I am sure you will agree that that was a really poor answer because you said that you never fail. Well, the truth is we all fail from time to time. So never say in response to this interview question, that “you never fail”. Don’t say that you a perfectionist because the truth is, none of us are perfect.

How to Answer Tell me about a time you failed

Question: Tell me about time you failed when I failed?

So below is Tell me about a time you failed sample answer. This is a really good response that can be used in all type of job interviews.

Perfect Answer: “When I first started work in my previous role, I was keen to make a positive impression on my manager and my work colleagues. My manager gave me a really important task to complete. Now, in my eagerness to do a good job, I failed to listen to the brief properly. So when he was giving me the instructions, I was writing down what I thought I needed to do, and I only focused on the end goal of what he wanted me to achieve.

That meant that when I finished the project and I presented it to him, I failed. I’d made a mistake because I’d missed of one really important element of the project. So as soon as he made me aware, I was obviously very disappointed in myself. I apologized unreservedly. I said, Yeah, I’ve made a mistake and I told him the reasons why. I said I didn’t listen properly. That’s not like me, I apologized.

I went away and I actually if I recall, I worked additional hours that evening to put it right, and I never made the same mistake again. I never failed in that particular fashion again. So moving forward, I always made sure that I listened carefully to all instructions to thorough notes and completed all projects to the required standard.”

Now, that was a much better answer to that question, “Tell me about a time you failed.” You need to honest about the fact that you had failed and you immediately owned up to your failure and you explained why you had failed. So that shows that you are observant about your actions and you are not afraid to put your hand up and say, yes, I have made a mistake. You apologized to your manager and you then took responsibility for it and you put things right.

Thanks for reading this post article and I wish you all the best for passing your job interview.

by Scholars Hub

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