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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?

23 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

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."

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Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 08/29/2016
Last modified on: 03/23/2019

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