How to respond to "What is your Biggest Professional Failure?"


1. Own your failure: Be vocally self-critical and don't point fingers.

2. Quantify your failure: Be specific about how much revenue you lost or what were other quantifiable costs of your failure.

3. Give a different example where you won: Provide a different example, where you used the learnings from your failure to achieve a positive outcome.

4. Link your earlier failure with your more recent success: Explain clearly why you wouldn't have succeeded without the learnings from your prior failure.


How NOT TO respond to "What is your Biggest Professional Failure?"


1. Beat yourself up: Keep going on about what a poor job you did.

2. Say that you don't have a big failure: We all have made big mistakes and it's always better to be truthful about it.

3. Say that your biggest failure is something trivial: Don't offer a small mistake (or an overused strength) as a big failure, because you risk being labeled as someone who "rests and vests."


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