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Behavioral Interview Question: Tell Me About a Time When You Failed!

Join career and leadership expert and award-winning author Andrew LaCivita for today’s video on one of the most dreadful behavioral interview questions “Tell me about a time when you failed!”

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What’s your biggest failure?

If I was asked this question in an interview, my response would be…

“Applying for this job because undoubtedly your company doesn’t know how to effectively interview us awesome job candidates!”

Mic drop. Ha.

Okay. Back to our regularly-scheduled reality of dealing with this ridiculous job interview question, which, sorta, kinda, does have a redeeming quality or two in there somewhere.

(Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.)

You know if you interview often enough someone will ask you this.

Now, if you watch my super-compact video this week, Behavioral Interview Question: Tell Me About a Time When You Failed, you will be praying the interviewers ask you this question!


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Andrew LaCivita is an internationally recognized executive recruiter, award-winning author, trainer, and founder and chief executive officer of milewalk and the milewalk Academy. He’s dedicated his career to helping people and companies realize their potential, consulting to more than two hundred organizations and counseling more than 12,000 individuals. He often serves as a trusted media resource and is the award-winning author of Interview Intervention, Out of Reach but in Sight, and The Hiring Prophecies.


Tips for Work and Life® is a weekly careers and motivational show full of helpful job search strategies, career management tactics, and self-help aids with award-winning author, career coach, and trainer Andrew LaCivita. Tips for Work and Life® has been cited by several sources as a Top 5 Careers and HR Blog. Andrew includes these 5-30 minute multicast shows as part of his blog and podcast.



16 Bình luận

  1. Tell those employers your biggest failure is the fact that you applied for this silly job where they ask you about your failures! HA! Just kidding! This question does have some redeeming qualities, so I hope you check out the video for my four key points (3 plus a bonus) and enjoy. Let me know what you need and I hope you decide to subscribe to the channel so you don't miss my new weekly videos plus my live shows including #careersandcoffee in Tuesdays and Live Office Hours on Thursdays! Hope to see you there too!

  2. Failures should always make us wiser, own the failure and show that you improved! Love it.

  3. Super good you keep simple and short videos full of info

  4. eat

  5. Thanks for the video Andy, if they ask this question does it have to be a professional failure? Or is something outside of work ok too?

  6. For whatever reason, I find it very difficult to come up with "failure" stories at work, but very easy to come up with "failure" stories on side projects because every incomplete side-project could be considered a "failure" story. It's not so much that the project failed but rather that better opportunities come up and the project gets relegated to the indefinite holding bin.

  7. Excellent advice… Once, I was chosen out of 1000 applicants on the basis of my response to this question. My previous mistake had such consequences that it shut down the operations of a multinational oil and gas company in a major OECD country for a couple of days which turned their return from a healthy profit to negative in a single stroke and was actually mentioned in the annual share holders report. Even so, my new employer recognized that I was honest, owned the mistake and grew from the experience.

  8. I like how Andy explains that mistakes are bound to happen and are part of the learning curve in a new position. As long as you own up and resolve them, you are actually learning from them.

  9. Appreciate Video clip! Sorry for the intrusion, I would appreciate your thoughts. Have you heard about – Dinanlinson Face Blossoming Approach (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a good exclusive guide for revealing the secret to master interviews and get the job without the normal expense. Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my close friend Aubrey at last got excellent success with it.

  10. Excellent Video clip! Sorry for chiming in, I would love your initial thoughts. Have you researched – Dinanlinson Face Blossoming Approach (do a google search)? It is an awesome exclusive product for revealing the secret to master interviews and get the job minus the hard work. Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my friend at last got cool success with it.

  11. Tips for non native English speakers: Use his $50 words and sentences to take your conversation to a whole new level.

  12. can you please go with me to my interview and hold my hand and tell me what to say during my interview pls!! i wish i had your wisdom and smartness for these things!

  13. Employers who ask that question show a severe lack of judgement and condescension towards potential employees. Dont take a job if they ask that question, they clearly dont care about you, but they care about how much you'll prostrate yourself for them. You dont get to be an employee in America if you have dignity and self respect. Top down systems of management are inherently authoritarian and immoral.

  14. Hi Andy,

    What is the ballpark amount of time you should spend on answering the failure question to make sure you cover the 3 + 1 bonus tips without going into storytelling mode? Would reading the room play a factor? I imagine that the employer, just like glancing through résumés, would appreciate having their time respected by us focusing on the 'context' rather than the 'content'.

    Thank you for your time, and for your guides on résumés on your channel! Just found it an hour ago 🙂


  15. When talking about your failure, is it ok to talk about an 18 year old failure if you have nothing else more recent and do you mention how long ago it happened? How can one answer the ques if they really didnt experience significant failures? I think it also depends on your role and responsibilities.

  16. This video came 4 days later for me.

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