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When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

25 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know how you react when it comes to setbacks in the workplace. Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

Admin
Answer example

"I allow myself a moment to be frustrated when a setback occurs, but never publicly. I may go for a quick walk on my lunch break, for instance. When a setback occurs, I prefer to take from the experience rather than have it take energy away from me."

Manager
Answer example

"Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better."

Marketing
Answer example

"Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused on my project despite the challenges that come my way. I am a creative thinker, so setbacks are often used as a new jumping off point to something even better."

Retail
Answer example

"When working in a customer facing role, as I do, setbacks will happen on a regular basis. I recall one time when I hit my weekly sales target by just a hair. Ten minutes before closing, a customer returned an item purchased from me. It put me in the hole! Ugh! It felt like such a burn. With that said, I took that enthusiasm and applied it to my following weeks' KPI's and knocked it out of the park."

Sales
Answer example

"Salespeople are competitive and thus, tend to take things personally when setbacks occur. I become internally frustrated when my goal fails or a perceived "done deal" falls through. When this happens, I will go through a mental rundown of what I could have done differently. It can certainly be emotionally taxing, but I also learn a ton from processing these mistakes."

Teacher
Answer example

"I need to understand that setbacks happen as a teacher. Whether it is a student's learning, a policy change, or lack of funding. When these setbacks happen, I improvise, as all great teachers must do!"

Cost Accountant
Answer example

"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

Optometry School
Answer example

"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be very disheartening, especially when involving a project that I have put a lot of time and effort into. I understand that setbacks happen often, and to everyone - despite their level of expertise or years of experience. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to internally debrief, get some fresh air if possible, or discuss what I could have done differently with a mentor. Then, I move on. Rather than dwell on my mistakes, I choose to learn from them."

Kitchen Manager
Answer example

"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief with my team and discuss what we could have done differently. Then, we implement what we learned, and we move on!"

Archivist
Answer example

"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

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Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 01/07/2017
Last modified on: 03/23/2019

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