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Answering Behavioral Questions

Ace 1000s of Interview Q&As

Tell me about a time that you failed. How did you get back up again?

Example #1
"(Situation) One of the bigger perceived failures that I can think of was not graduating as soon as expected, with my university degree. (Task) I had detailed plans laid out and was eager to graduate with my degree in 2018. (Action) I encountered a few personal factors that pushed my graduation date back one year. It was a bit embarrassing at the time, but I made the best of it by keeping a positive mindset. (Result) In the end, I am thankful that I could complete my degree at a comfortable pace. I finished with excellent grades as well."
Example #2
"(Situation) My former employer put me through a last-minute advanced Excel course that I ended up failing. (Task) I was unprepared for how challenging the course was, and should not have agreed to begin with an advanced-level course. (Action) I told my boss that I was not excelling in the class. We discussed this failure together and realized that I was not yet ready for the advanced level coursework - I was more of an intermediate level user. To fix the situation, I studied online for a few weeks and then re-took the course when I felt more prepared. (Result) This approach worked much better, and I finished with 92% the second time around."
Example #3
"(Situation) Last year I had a larger staff turnover percentage than usual. Hiring the wrong person is an expensive and time-consuming mistake, so I was undoubtedly frustrated and discouraged. (Task) As a seasoned Manager, normally, my hiring process is airtight, but it is not perfect. (Action) Rather than lose confidence in my abilities, I engaged the Human Resources department in simplifying our onboarding and training process. (Result) Since this change, we have not lost any employees in the last 18 months, which is a fabulous record for our company."
Example #4
"(Situation) A few months ago, our group had a marketing campaign that completely flopped. (Task) It was up to me as the Marketing Director to get down to the heart of the issue. (Action) I called a group meeting. Then, as a team, we broke down each component of the project until we knew where we went wrong. In retrospect, I could have done better by breaking down the clients' vision further, from the beginning. (Result) We re-did the campaign, and the second time around, it was a major success."
Example #5
"(Situation) Earlier in my career, I was not good at graciously receiving feedback. (Task) Had I been able to receive feedback without becoming defensive, I believe that I could have grown in my career much faster. (Action) Last year, I took a workshop on giving and receiving feedback, which helped a great deal. (Result) Now, I understand how to have these types of conversations and how to implement the constructive criticism that I receive."
Example #6
"(Situation) I had a misstep in my sales career a couple of years ago. You can see the short stint at Company ABC on my resume. (Task) Before joining their organization, I should have asked more questions regarding their success level and how their current results reflect their future goals. (Action) The company was in serious financial trouble, and I was unaware. They went into receivership, and I lost my job. (Result) Now, I ask many more questions before joining a new company. My success and the company's success should go hand in hand."
Example #7
"(Situation) Last year, I missed a major marking deadline. (Task) I was newer to my teaching career and, although it is a steep learning curve, that was no excuse. (Action) I have spent the past eight months working on my time-management skills through online workshops. (Result) I took that missed deadline very hard. I do not like to disappoint anyone or fall short of expectations and will never do that again."
Example #8
"Currently, I handle anywhere from three to thirty calls per hour, on a twelve-hour shift. This volume means that I can take upwards of 350 calls per shift, as a Police Dispatcher. I love working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment not only because I enjoy the challenge but also because the days go by so fast. Rest assured, I am ready to meet the needs and volume of your department."
Example #9
"At my last role, I was an usher at a local movie theatre and a customer complained that the picture wasn't in the correct screen ratio for the previews. The movie started at the point when they came to complain, so I apologized and rushed upstairs to the projector room to correct the issue. Later on, they complained to corporate and said I should have done more. I agreed, I should have stayed after the movie ended and apologized again to the patron and if they were still unhappy offered them free tickets to their next visit."
Example #10
"I was tasked with increasing standardized test scores for math by 25%. I worked hard all year and was able to increase it by 19%. So I looked back on the year and took stock in the things that I could do better. I asked teachers for feedback, and I asked the principal for feedback as well. I even sent a survey to the students' parents. I took all that information and identified areas of improvement. Then I made a plan to improve on each area and invited school leadership to give me feedback and suggestions."
Example #11
"I remember the first time I had to talk to a parent regarding a student who was caught pushing another student. However, the parent was not that amenable to meeting with the school due to her busy schedule. I was a bit too assertive when talking to her which angered her, and so she didn't attend our initial meeting altogether. I apologized sincerely, and explained to her the urgency of the meeting, and we were able to settle the issue. So if I could redo that incident, I would have been more diplomatic when I first talked to her so we could have settled the issue sooner. Because of that, I realised that I should also learn how to talk to parents because it is a part of my job."
Example #12
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Our interview questions are created by writers, most of whom have a long history of recruiting and interviewing candidates. They do not necessarily have experience interviewing or working with the companies, careers or schools they may write for on We strive to match our experts' background and expertise with the appropriate question sets found on our website.