Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Answering Leadership Questions

Ace 1000s of Interview Q&As

Tell me about a time when you took charge of a situation but the outcome was disappointing.

Example #1
"(Situation) When I first joined my current company, the mandate was to focus on the professional growth of the team. (Task) I had big plans to overhaul the existing sales team and send them on a business development workshop weekend. (Action) Once I announced this plan, I lost of the employees ended up quitting because they didn't understand what this growth opportunity would have allowed them. Looking back, what I should have done was build a stronger rapport with my new team before sending them to a weekend workshop. They felt it was a punishment of some sort, which wasn't the case at all. (Result) I learned my lesson, hired some stellar sales staff, and forged ahead! My new team ended up gaining strong momentum and finished the year 124% above budget."
Example #2
"(Situation) This year our HR Manager was on maternity leave, and someone needed to take control of the company's most recent hiring fair. (Task) As the HR Assistant, I was next in line to take over the event. (Action) I worked hard to plan and leverage the few connections that I had. I attempted to build excitement through social media posts and our company e-newsletter. (Result) In the end, the hiring fair was not as successful as previous hiring fairs and, despite my best efforts, I didn't see the results that I was hoping. I will continue to learn the recruiting field and won't give up despite this disappointment."
Example #3
"(Situation) Last month, we had a last-minute order come through from a customer, but our production scheduling manager was out sick. (Task) Although out of my wheelhouse, I was next in line to answer the clients' needs. (Action) I tried to get the order in place for our client quickly, even putting in overtime and making urgent calls to other departments. (Result) Despite my best efforts, I missed the deadline. The client was upset with us, so I took the brunt of her disappointment and promised her that the company would work hard to make it right. I am currently collaborating on a fix with the production scheduling manner; however, I am confident that we will find a way to re-establish the clients' trust."
Example #4
"(Situation) A few months ago, my agency needed to change to a more reliable email marketing service provider. (Task) As the Digital Marketing Director, I was the right person to take charge of the project. (Action) I oversaw the migration of our email marketing provider to a new, much better one with more robust features and analytics. (Result) However, in the process, we lost one of our primary email lists in the migration. Luckily, the list was recovered by our IT team after about three weeks. This situation was a substantial disappointment initially, but it taught me to always back everything up and move extra carefully, even on a tight deadline."
Example #5
"(Situation) The store where I work is known for its beautiful seasonal window displays. (Task) As the newest merchandiser, I was eager to learn and asked to take charge of the spring window display. (Action) I completely underestimated how challenging the job was and, despite my research and the tools offered to me, it was a flop. (Result) My boss was nice about the situation, and we worked together to make the display better. I was happy that I tried, and I learned a lot about visual merchandising along the way. I continue to learn more every day!"
Example #6
"(Situation) Last year, I introduced the idea of 'lunch and learns' to boost team morale. (Task) As the Sales Manager, I noticed that the teams' energy had dwindled, and I wanted to encourage them. (Action) I put together a series of learning sessions, and they were well-received for the first few weeks. (Result) However, attendance in these sessions flopped after about six months. The team morale was so low that it became apparent that everyone needed to use their lunch breaks to disconnect from work so they could be more impactful overall. Looking back, I would have scheduled these meetings once every month rather than once each week to avoid this type of burnout."
Example #7
"(Situation) Every spring, our high school seniors have a 3-day camping trip. (Task) This year, I took charge of planning the event. (Action) Despite speaking with other teachers who had led this event in the past, I truly underestimated the scope of work and planning. Quickly falling behind, I recognized that I bit off more than I could chew and ended up recruiting another teacher to help me plan the trip. (Result) In the end, the trip was a success, and I'm glad that I decided to ask for help when I did."
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
About Our Approach to Q&As
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.