Advice and Examples: Tell us about a time when you failed.
Tell us about a time when you failed.
The hiring company is looking for evidence that you can recover from a disappointing outcome. The goal of your response is not to focus on the failure. Instead, it's to showcase your ability to recover from the failure. Your answer should highlight your tenacity, dedication, and drive, even when things don't go as planned.
Even the most notable professionals have stumbled and recovered from professional failure. Being unable to speak about failure will give the hiring managers the impression that you lack self-awareness and have little desire to grow and learn. For this reason, avoid giving a response that sounds as though you have never failed.
How to Answer
We all fail occasionally, and there is no need to be ashamed of defeat. The magic is in the lessons we learn from these situations. Speak about the outcome of a project/task that was not what you wanted it to be, but you were able to recover. Perhaps you were better off in the end or learned a valuable lesson.
Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell us about a time when...' are best answered using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Organizing your response using this storytelling framework will ensure that you provide the hiring managers with the right amount of information and detail.
Outline the roadblock you faced, and share how you approached the situation to ensure a good recovery. Discuss your level of dedication, even in the face of failure, and how you will make an impact in this new role.
What You Need to Know
The average HireVue interview takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. This one-way video interview typically includes 3-5 questions. Depending on the hiring company's parameters, the HireVue platform will generally give you 30 seconds to prepare a response and up to 2 minutes to answer each question. It's important to note that HireVue stops recording as soon as your time limit is up, so it's better to run under time than overtime.