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Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on that criticism?

1 of 15 Scenario Based Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on March 23rd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

This question is another way for an interviewer to ask you what your weaknesses may be. When you are thinking about examples of criticism, it's best to show that you want to grow as an employee and that you can handle constructive criticism because it helps you learn and improve the quality of your work. Give examples that would not make you exempt from the role. For instance, if you are interviewing to be a bus driver, you do not want to say that your manager called you a terrible driver!

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I was instructed to create some presentations for our events. After my manager reviewed my work, some of the slides required the additional copy, and he had different design concepts in mind. He had a background in graphic design, and since I do not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I thought they looked very professional and in the following presentations, I tried to include those design concepts."

Answer example

"A couple of weeks ago my manager asked me to increase my typing speed. I did not think it was slow at all...about 60 words per minute, but he wanted me to speed up anyways. I have been taking typing tests at night to work on this skill. So far, I am at 72 words per minute."

Answer example

"My director sat me down last year and asked that I get my documentation in a little bit faster than I have been. I did not disagree with his feedback. I know that I prefer working on the floor, and less on my computer. I now ensure to give each task a better balance."

Answer example

"I have a marketing director focused on using team-based apps. I am not as well versed in them as he would like me to be. We primarily use Trello, so I have been taking some time in the evenings to watch YouTube videos and other online tutorials. I am learning some great ways to utilize the app's features and some shortcuts too."

Answer example

"When I was first stepping into an assistant manager role, I received the feedback that I was being too much of a friend to the associates and needed to be firmer. This concept was hard for me to hear, and initially to incorporate into my actions, as my promotion occurred overnight. However, I wanted the promotion and extra responsibility, and sometimes that means making tough decisions or uncomfortable moves, so I listened to my manager when she told me this. I knew the right thing to do; I just had to force myself to be uncomfortable and make it happen. Ultimately, it came down to having clear expectations and holding the associates accountable to meet those expectations. I could still be their friend, so long as everyone was doing their job and living up to their expectations. It was a great learning experience for me and helped me grow professionally."

Answer example

"I was very eager to climb the ranks in my most recent position. My manager, and the VP of Sales, really appreciated this hunger and grit. However, I did receive the feedback that I needed to slow down. As frustrating as it was, I listened. I dedicated my time to learning as much as I could in my current position and paced myself much better post-feedback."

Answer example

"A piece of constructive feedback my Principal recently gave me was to be more adaptable to the input of the middle school teachers. I know that I can be reluctant to change when I feel like it isn't always in the best interest of the curriculum or children, but I indeed took it to heart and have since been more open to their input, suggestions, and direction in how they want to steer the curriculum."

Answer example

"I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time."

Transportation Manager
Answer example

"No example comes to mind. However, I would always remain calm and professional, and would do my best to follow up with the person in question so as to obtain feedback. I always welcome constructive criticism as it enables me to better myself and improve my work."

Fashion Designer
Answer example

"No example comes to mind. However, I would always remain calm and professional, and would do my best to follow up with my superior so as to obtain feedback. I always welcome constructive criticism as it enables me to better myself and improve my work."

Optometry School
Answer example

"Last year I received a low grade on a chemistry project. When I approached my professor about the low grade, he said to me 'You can do better. I expected more from you'. I was taken aback at first but once I had time to absorb what was said, I realized that he expected more from me because he had high expectations of what I was capable of doing. It was a compliment, and a challenge, all rolled into one! I re-did the assignment with more gusto and passion the second time around. My grade improved significantly and I did thank that professor for holding me to a higher standard."

School Counselor
Answer example

"Before I react, I try to assess first if it was a negative or a constructive criticism. Constructive criticisms are helpful, so when I receive one, I reflect on what I did and try to look at it through the eyes of my critic. Then I take note of what I need to improve on or change moving forward. But if it's a negative criticism that was given just for the sake of criticising, I ignore it and focus my attention on more important items."

Entertainment Anchor
Answer example

"I believe that criticism has shaped my career and made me a better person over time. I even ask for suggestions on how to improve my work after a while so I know where I can continue to grow."

Answer example

"I always remain calm and professional, and would do my best to follow up with my superior so as to obtain feedback. I always welcome constructive criticism as it enables me to better myself and improve my work. For instance, while working for (X company) as (X position title), (X further information regarding the particular situation where you reacted to criticism, how you welcomed it and took it into consideration.)"

Corporate Copywriter
Answer example

"I appreciate any feedback managers give me. I am always striving to be the best worker I can be and one way to do that is have those who know the field and company best to guide me in the right direction."

Host or Hostess
Answer example

"I stay calm and relaxed when I receive feedback from a customer or a manger. I take time to think about what they said and how I can do a better job in the future."

Quality Control Manager
Answer example

"I am good at receiving feedback from my team. A few months ago, during a performance review, my supervisor asked me to update my skills in SAP. I realized that since my promotion I didn't use the program as often anymore, and I was getting a bit rusty. I was sure to practice it in the coming days and was back to a more than acceptable standard shortly after."

Answer example

"I find that every job requires different standards of my writing and storytelling, and I am willing to accept some constructive criticism to help me adapt in the right way for the job. I also believe these changes will be for the best, helping me become a better screenwriter overall."

Occupational Therapist
Answer example

"As a person that is continuously looking to improve in my career, I take criticism to heart and appreciate any feedback that comes my way. After a recent patient was discharged from our skilled nursing facility, my manager gave me feedback on my interaction with the family with the patient. The daughter of the patient had complained on my approach to explaining the therapy the patient would need once he returned home. She thought my approach was not personable and more of a text book approach. I welcomed this feedback from my manager to help improve for the next time I had to work with a family. I had let the personal side of the job move to the side in order to be e ducational in manner and I have focused more on the personal side of things since then."

Human Resource Specialist
Answer example

"Often times, I seek out feedback from my peers, leaders, and mentors as a way to continually improve. One of the most useful criticisms I have ever received has been honest and straightforward about how to adapt my talents to better support the team."

Electrician Apprentice
Answer example

"When I first began my apprenticeship, I was given feedback on my job site habits. My supervisor asked me to be more aware of where I was leaving my tools. I was newer to the career and would sometimes be so focused on the task at hand that I would become forgetful. The criticism he offered helped me to realize that I was a bit messy on the job site. I made sure to clean up after myself consistently after that."

Audio Engineer
Answer example

"I sometimes enjoy receiving some criticism on my work because I want to grow from my mistakes. I would rather be told how to do something right than be doing it wrong for longer."

Film and Video Editor
Answer example

"Any criticism, despite being "

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 08/29/2016
Last modified on: 03/23/2019

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