Job interviews: how have you failed?

Do you go into interviews with fingers crossed that they won’t ask you about … (insert your worst work experience here)?

If you are selling yourself as a person with experience, you should not claim that you have not failed. No one will believe you and the conversation will stall. How can you discuss your failures?
Examples might be:

  • I failed to get a position I thought I really wanted.
  • I have sometimes failed to achieve balance in my life because I used to get overwhelmed by stress.
  • I once failed to understand the needs of my boss that were largely unspoken.
  • I have not always been patient with people I see as time-wasters.

Any of these sentences should not stand alone, but should be a launch into how you lost your focus and then regained it. Failure can lead the way to acquiring a new skill, brushing up on an old one, or developing your people skills. Show yourself to be a work in progress. Add these thoughts to your failure statements:

  • My goals were not so clearly defined as they are now
  • I have learned how to set limits
  • I’ve learned to ask for clarification
  • I’ve learned to be more tolerant of other people.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently – Henry Ford
If you need to practice your explanation on a career failure before you go on an interview, please contact me through Together we can brainstorm your options for telling the story truthfully and professionally. Your future is at stake.


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