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Are you ready to answer questions about your career goals? Browse questions below or request one-on-one coaching with an interview expert.
Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
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Example #1
"Last year, I had a management position that would have offered me the leadership experience for which I was seeking. Unfortunately, I turned down the offer for fear that I was not yet ready for the responsibility of being a leader to so many people. My lack of confidence in myself got in the way. I recognized that lack of confidence in myself and changed turned it around by attending three leadership workshops over the next year. Now I am bursting with confidence and am ready to take on this leadership role with your company."
Example #2
"As a nurse administrator, I have always worked in hospitals. I took the opportunity to work in home health and found that the driving and lifestyle was not for me. I stayed on and trained my replacement; however, the entire experience set me back about one year in my career."
Example #3
"I would say the biggest misstep I've taken professionally was not being a stronger advocate for myself and my goals earlier in my career. I think I was too concerned with being liked to be a true advocate for what I wanted in my career. Because of this, I believe I was twice passed up for promotions for which I was well suited. I'm embarrassed to say that it took me getting burned twice to make a real change. That said, I have certainly learned from it and have, I believe, perfected the art of self-advocacy!"
Example #4
"Preceding my better judgment, I chose to join a business who did not have a great reputation. My interviews went well, and I liked the leaders, but it turns out it was a bit of a facade. There were no real policies in place, many unhappy customers, and a lot of defective product. I left after just two months and recalibrated my search, along with the way I vetted future employers."
Example #5
"Before beginning a career in marketing, I worked as a recruiter for a temp agency. The work was fast-paced and taught me a great deal about the importance of organization and recall; however, the environment was negative. People were not showing up for work, others not getting paid properly. The role quashed my creative mind, so I chose to leave. This misstep is what catapulted me back to college where I completed my marketing degree."
Example #6
"This is such a common occurrence in a sales role-- they want you to sell, so they oversell you. While I can usually see it coming, I have been fooled before. In a previous role, the recruiter reached out to me with all of the right buzzwords. Even after meeting the key players, I didn't sense anything was off. Unfortunately, it was only after a few months that the house of cards came crashing down. The company had the funding and the right names behind it, but it was all a smoke show. I remained there until it was clear that the company was going to run out of money, so I chose to move to the next role. Overall, it was a great learning experience, and I met some great friends and clients throughout the process."
Example #7
"The only time I can point to would be that I didn't go back to work sooner after I had my kids. I don't feel it was a wrong decision, per se, but at times I wonder if I should have gone back a few years sooner. I have always known I wanted to be a teacher and it is the only position I've held, aside from being a server while attending school, so I'm pleased to report that I feel I've made overall great career decisions from start to finish."
Example #8
"Last year, I was offered an executive chef position that would have offered me the leadership experience I was looking for. Unfortunately, I turned down the offer in fear that I was not yet ready for the responsibility of being a leader to so many people. My lack of confidence in myself got in the way. I recognized that lack of confidence in myself and changed turned it around by attending 3 leadership workshops over the next year. Now I am bursting with confidence and am ready to take on this executive chef role with your organization."
Example #9
"Last year, I was offered a management position that would have offered me the leadership experience I was looking for. Unfortunately, I turned down the offer in fear that I was not yet ready for the responsibility of being a leader to so many people. My lack of confidence in myself got in the way. I recognized that lack of confidence in myself and changed turned it around by attending 3 leadership workshops over the next year. Now I am bursting with confidence and am ready to take on this leadership role with your company."
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