MockQuestions MockQuestions
Job interview preparation
Sign in
Career Interviews
Interview Topics
Company Interviews

What is your biggest regret?

20 Answer Examples | Learn how to answer this question from professional recruiters

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.

Addiction Counselor
"One of my patients was struggling with a drug addiction that caused him to take his own life. It was really difficult for me to hear the news because it felt like we were making such great progress. In the end I had to accept that I can only do my best. There are some problems that are deeper than you or I can understand."
Addiction Nurse
"One of my patients was struggling with a drug addiction that caused him to take his own life. It was challenging for me to hear the news because it felt like we were making such great progress. In the end, I had to accept that I can only do my best. Some problems are deeper than you or I can understand."
Alcohol and Drug Counselor
" “My biggest disappointment in my career has been spending so much time helping others get healthy and they relapse. “ "
"My biggest disappointment comes when I am unable to alleviate someone's symptoms as much as I want to. I truly wish that it was always a happy ending for everyone that sees me. I am able to focus on the positive, however; realizing that I am able to help the majority of people I come across."
Art Director
"In my last role, I was working on a Parisian magazine and had to manage two local and two international graphic designers. Due to the difference in culture and work styles, there were a lot of communication gaps. As an art director, I had to step in and hold regular meetings so that each designer could discuss daily progress and deadlines so that we could resolve issues even before things got heated. This project was disappointing to me because I had to micromanage my team and that is not my managerial style - however, I did learn that once people get to know each other and start working together, it is smooth sailing!"
Audio Engineer
"My biggest disappointment is when speakers or anchors speak out of turn and I clip the beginning part of their speaking. However, this is something that I will over time have to be better at anticipating."
Bacteriology Technician
"I have had many disappointments, like most people, but I believe that we learn from all the experiences we have in life and that the disappointments, as well as the accomplishments, make us stronger and better able to deal with many different situations."
"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."
Corporate Copywriter
"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."
"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."
"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!"
Medical Transcriptionist
"My biggest disappointment as a Medical Transcriptionist has been not doing as well as I hoped on my finals for school."
News Researcher
"I once took a job as a cook in a restaurant but realized I did not like the late hours at night. I find that I work best in the morning, and I hope this makes me a good fit as a morning side researcher or a day side one."
Production Director
"I regret taking a position in college as an on-air talent. I find that I am best behind the scenes, instead of directly in the production. While I am glad I learned what it is like to be talent in the production, which helps me to relate to them, I probably embarrassed myself on stage and I much prefer being behind the curtain."
"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."
"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 in 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."
Sous Chef
"The biggest disappointment that I faced as a sous chef was when the fine dining restaurant that I worked at a few years ago, closed down. I really loved that job and the cuisine was incredible. Unfortunately, the economy wasn't strong enough to generate enough clientele for a fine dining establishment."
Substance Abuse Counselor
"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."
"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!"
"I have always worked hard in my whole career for ensuring that we get the best clients for our organization but this one time I was really disappointed when we lost one of our big accounts to a competitor because they got a better deal with them. This took me by surprise as this was a really old account and they always used to renew with us only. Although this deeply saddened me but I decided that instead of being sad about losing this one, I would rather focus on bringing changes in our strategy and focusing on getting some new clients. As a result of our efforts we were able to acquire some big accounts and since then we have always ensured to review our strategy on a regular basis to see if there is any scope for improvement."

More Interview Questions

View user-submitted Answers

What is your biggest regret?
Working on a piece of work only for the client to cancel the order at the last minute.
My biggest disappointment as an engineer is that one time that I was unable to get the job I really wanted.
My biggest disappointment is that I fail some of my college subject but after the term I reflect on it at do my best the next term in order to pass.
That is effect human body.
Rejection happened in previous company wile testing in customers company.
People not having enough undertanding for quality, and constantly pursuing productivity over quality.
Finding out that a welding process that I thought would work did, but it was unable to yield the production times and that was a little disappointing, however a much learned lesson learned and will continue to.
Nothing its just for my own satifaction.
Eye balling something and was wrong.
Eye balling something and was wrong.
In few areas we weren't able to troubleshoot the problem, we have re-booted the server instead. so we lost an opportunity to learn and grow.
My biggest disappointment was losing a very profitable renewal account. We have a broker that markets their renewals every year. We hadn't lost any of our renewals but had to change our approach when we lost a profitable professional account that took us by surprise. To date, we have not lost any of our other renewals with this agency.
The feeling of getting my first deal through.
I have yet to have any true disappointments as I am still growing with the world of railroad underwriting.
During pulling out of barge mooring rope was cut off due to current and sea swell.
Helping others and not helping my youngest brother who was addicted.
I can not say that I have had a disappointing moment in this field, just situations to learn and grow from in the future.
Not being able to help everyone.
Knowing the statistics for recovery was the most disappointing thing in my counseling career.
I can not say that I have had a disappointing moment in this field, just situations to learn and grow from in the future.
Things that could be more therapeutic.
Working hard to help a patient change their behavior and watching them continually face barriers.
Working with a DUI client who refuse to comply with the judges order and was sent to jail. I could have pushed him harder.
Seeing a client leave before they were ready.
When my patient lest against clinical advise.
The biggest disappointment as an counselor is not being to provide the correct treatment to clients due to management.
Following up with clients who had relapsed after treatment.
Watching people not even try.
My biggest disappointment was the first time I saw one of my clients relapse. Due to never experiencing this, I felt very disheartened for my client.
I have no experience in this field.
When I have tried every intervention I can think appropriate with a person and they are just not ready for change.
When a client died from an overdose after graduating drug court started asking if there was something else I could have done in group regarding education on relapse presentation but realized addiction is a disease that needs continous insight and desire to want to stay clean and sober.
My biggest disappointment was when a client relapsed. A part of me felt as though I was not doing my job. I had to remember that it was the client who made the choice. I then practiced relapse prevention with the client and provided encouragement through motivational interviewing.
Watching someone go back into an addiction, after working so very hard.
It would be when one of student’s left group, because she had to attend a mental institution. I wished she was able to experience some of the group cohesion, and I was able to see her personal growth.
Not really sure I have one yet.
Problem would be to not be able to help a client.
My biggest disappointment as a counselor was assisting a client struggling with alcohol addiction constantly having to get hospitalized.
When I found myself telling a client what to do instead of letting them make their own decision.
Difficulty of watching those you helped relapse.
Failure is challenging to watch. When you see a person with great tools to over come obstacles and watch them not use those tools, or not use them effectively, is difficult. When working with others, its important recognize that this will be frustrating, use "failures" as opportunities to learn, and not take them personally. We are only responsible for ourselves, and this is also true for our clients as well.
Watching persons get so in their recovery and slip back I to addiction.
I suppose the biggest disappointment was seeing an individual give up.
Not landing a job after receiving my degree.
I could not help a client that kept on relapsing.
My biggest disappointment as an addiction counselor is when individuals relapse, but as a counselor I do not blame myself or shame myself I just find ways to try to figure out what happened or what part of an individuals treatment plan went wrong and where I can step in to help the individual along the way to get better again.
Not being able to get through some clients who only spouse the AA model.
Having to allow another counsellor work with a client when I didn't want to.
Seeing the pain families have when their loved one had an unsuccessful attempt to getting sober.
When a person decides to give up.
I have not yet counseled anyone.
I have had any disappointments as an addiction counselor because I have not yet held a position as an addiction counselor.
Not being able to do enough.
The way our legal system and society criminalize and stigmatize addiction. I hope one day a more compassionate approach will be used and it will be seen as a health issue to be addressed through treatment, like any other health condition.
Having young clients who have died of overdose. Nothing has bothered me more than that as a worker. It has strengthened my conviction in harm reduction approaches and in the need for people to be well educated and informed about the substances they use and ways to mitigate risk.
Seeing a client relapse and make unhealthy decisions upon discharge.
My biggest disappointment was when a client of mine at my internship was performing well in outpatient treatment but his urine analysis came positive. I had to report this to my supervisor who in turn reported it to his lawyer and the judge. His future could have been more promising.
Feeling as if I wasn't the right fit for the person I was counseling. Knowing that I did not do as well as I could have done.
The revolving door that is addiciton.
My biggest disappointment would have to be when I saw a client relapse. Part of me felt as though I could have done more to prevent this. However with this relapse, I practiced motivational interviewing and relapse prevention with my client.
I haven't held that position yet, but as support staff, it was hard to see clients give up on their treatment goals and leave.
I wouldnt say its a disappontment but maybe knowing that at the time I am unable to assit the clt due to clt being in a different place at time of recovery.
Exceeding my expectation of others.
Seeing lack of knowledge and understanding in addiction issues.
My biggest disappointment was not going out of my comfort zone more during my practicum experience and talking with the narcissistic male high school students.
When there was lack of support from supervisor.
Losing a client to the disease.
Not being able to help every client that I come in contact with.
Watching the career be outsourced and taken over by advanced technology.
I haven't had a disappointment as a medical transcriptionist.
I didn't have any disappointments.
Not being treated as well as others in the medical field.
I currently don't have a disappointment as a medical transcriptionist.
I do not have any disappointment as medical transcriptionist.
There are many people and organizations even some hospital that do not understand what exactly medical transcription is. They treat a medical transcription as a typist and they don't understand the demands and professional requirements of this noble profession.
I dount like non camarsiyal sujetion.
Till now cant find the solution for flyingsauser aerodynamics effect.
To not getting placed in job that is related to aerodynamics.
I've never worked as therapeutic recreation specialist before.
Career opportunities are very scarce in aviation sector also most Indian companies still prefer mechanical engineers over aeronautical to reduce costs.
Never making it to a bigger market.
When I saw clients doing well for a period of time and due to circumstances in their lives they relapse.
Working with a very weak fish and the government not approving the improvement of the stock like introducing GIFT. Sometimes you practice the basic aquaculture and still get bad results.
Teaching itself is a matter of challenge . But how you deal with things is so important . The most important part is disrespect from the whole class .
Building something wrong.
Having accident while working.
I have no disappointment as a ironworker. I am sure that I will not like everything that comes with being an ironworker if I get a chance to part of this union.
Being laid off because they over hired.
Not currently art director but I do know they are responsible for decisions, good or bad.
Have not been in this role yet. I would assume a project not meeting it's required level of production would be disappointing but also a learning experience for the next project ahead.
My biggest disappointed as an art director would be a few arrogant co-workers. Although I am an art director I do not see myself in a position higher than the others as that would be called a glorified manager. So it disappoints me when a few people see art as a black and white area and that one needs to be better or right.
Hen I fel went wrong with out knowin me.
Never had a disappointing moment as a sous chef from to date.
When I went on vacation, and my main cook quit on me.
A bad service is a disappointment to me. I have been told that I don't take failure well. Being let go from Winsport was disappointing.
I train my staff about the standars of organisation . Eye for detail.
You have to do the best with what you have in a situation, so few regrets, but always look at lessons learned.
My only professional regret would be turning down a job offer at Scripture INC. I could have advanced but they were relocating and I didn't have all my ducks in a row to do so.
Pursuing a sales career as a early in my profession early in my career.
I regret not actively working in different types of industries such as sales but I am looking forward to include more skills to my repetoire.
No, I have been content on my past few jobs.

Practice More Interviews

We all have some behaviors that are typical of us and which sometimes results in ...
There are some questions that employers ask at almost every interview. The questions ...
Communication skills are essential for any workplace to function efficiently. However, ...
If you are interviewing for any type of leadership role; prepare with our leadership ...
Our management questions are designed for any interview for a position that has authority ...
This set of questions aims to ascertain what your idea of teamwork is and whether ...