How to Position Failure to a Prospective Employer

In a job interview, you want to put your best self forward, so it’s always uncomfortable when you’re asked to describe your biggest failure. It’s tempting to claim you’ve never failed at anything; however, the interviewer will see right through that.

As much as candidates dread this question, interviewers can’t get enough of it. From their perspective, your response offers telling insights, such as your level of self-awareness and if you’re able to learn from your mistakes. Chances are, this question will be asked during your next interview, so learn how to provide a flawless answer.

Choose a Real Failure

Trying to pass a minor mistake off as a catastrophe will get you nowhere fast. The interviewer expects a genuine response, so share something real. It doesn’t have to be the biggest mistake of your career — and probably shouldn’t be — but it does need to be an actual failure that really happened to you.

Share Your Reaction in the Moment

Part of your story should include an explanation of how you dealt with the mistake in the moment. The interviewer wants to hear you are alert and self-aware enough to realize something went wrong and responsible enough to own your part in it. Make sure your response doesn’t include a lack of hustle to try to fix the mistake or an attempt to pass the blunder off on someone else.

Explain How It Helped You Grow Professionally

The interviewer isn’t particularly interested in the actual failure itself. Instead, they want to gauge your ability to learn from it. Detail how this failure served as a major lesson learned by explaining what you took away from the situation. Your story will make a great impression as long as you saw the error in your ways and made the necessary adjustments to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s what you get from them that counts.

Need a little help finding a logistics job in Evansville or a manufacturing position in Henderson? The light industrial recruiters at Malone Staffing Solutions are here to help you find a rewarding opportunity that perfectly aligns with your skills and interests. Contact us today to start the next chapter of your career!


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