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What is your biggest regret?

21 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Think about a time you failed, or made a big mistake. What would you change about that situation, if you have an opportunity for a re-do? Perhaps there is a missed opportunity that you still regret not taking. This question sounds more intimidating than it is. Even though the interviewer is asking about your most significant regret, you indeed don't have to share the worst mistake you have ever made in your life. Make sure that you keep your answer professional and career-related.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"I had an opportunity to study under one of the top personal trainers in the country, but I was so busy with my clients that I didn't take the chance. Looking back, I know I could have learned so much from them. Now I pay much closer attention to educational or training opportunities that come my way."

Admin
Answer example

"I do not believe in living life with regrets; however, if there is one thing I could change about my career path, I would have completed my business administration degree before entering the workforce. It's ten times as tough to complete my education now that I am taking online courses on the weekends! I do look forward to finishing what I started, though! My estimated completion date is this April."

Manager
Answer example

"I am of the belief that it live is meant to be lived without regrets. Does that mean you don't fail or learn from mistakes? Not at all. We all make choices in life, and we should embrace them, and adapt when we want to change course. JK Rowling has a great quote that comes to mind when asked about regrets. She says, 'Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.' That sums out how I feel about failure and regrets."

Marketing
Answer example

"I feel pretty fortunate that I don't have many regrets, but I'd say the one that would nag at me most would be that I didn't leap into marketing sooner. I think my career would be on an even better trajectory if I'd jumped about six months earlier. However, I am where I am today because of the decisions I made, and I feel great about where I am today and the prospect of working here!"

Retail
Answer example

"The most significant regret I have would be not advocating for myself early on in my career. I believe I was passed up for two promotions that I deserved because I was too concerned with being friendly and likable. I missed out on opportunities to advocate how I was the best for the position because I didn't want to ruffle any feathers or be unlikable. Luckily, I've learned quite a bit since, and I've earned plenty of promotions since, however, I sometimes wonder where my career might be if I would have received those promotions early on. Nevertheless, I know I've learned plenty from those experiences of being passed over."

Sales
Answer example

"The most prominent regret I have is with my most recent career move. Despite doing my due diligence, and working with an experienced headhunter, the role was not what it was supposed to be, and the company was in complete disarray. Despite this misstep, I did learn a lot over the past year. I stuck it out, adapted to the changes, and have made the best of it, despite the bait-and-switch and multiple leadership changes. I honestly don't know what I could have done differently, besides not taking the position. Because of that, I feel that it was put in my path as a learning moment and to test my resilience. I feel as though I've passed the test and it is time for the next opportunity."

Teacher
Answer example

"My biggest career-related regret is my choice to enter the private school sector before entering the public school sector. I found a home, and a new passion for teaching, once I began working in the public school system. I wish I had chosen this path all along!"

Addiction Nurse
Answer example

"I believe acting calmly and speaking rationally is a great way to calm someone who is angry and I try to be the voice of reason without making someone feel that I am belittling them."

Medical Transcriptionist
Answer example

"I do have experience working with electronic health records. While different facilities may use different types of EHRs, overall programs are very similar. I have to say that I do like the fact that we can now use EHRs to store patient information. It makes it much easier to retrieve information and transmit it, when needed."

Substance Abuse Counselor
Answer example

"One of my psychology 201 exams didn't go as planned. It forced me to re-evaluate my study habits which improved my test scores."

Corporate Copywriter
Answer example

"I have regretted taking a low level position when I knew I deserved a better position in a company. However, I have learned to value myself higher and shoot higher so I do not have that feeling again."

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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.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 01/22/2019

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