There’s a reason failure stories are popular: They’re relatable. We all fall on our faces at some point, and stories of redemption are encouraging. However, it can be tricky to find a balance between discussing your failure and just self-deprecating.
Photo by University of Exeter
You’re often asked to discuss your failures at a job interview, for example, and it’s easy to slip into pity mode and talk about yourself in an overly critical way. The key to discussing failure, as writer Kat Boogaard points out, is focusing on what you learned, rather than the failure itself:
While you definitely want to answer the question head-on and provide a logical explanation of a time when you missed the mark, you should plan to follow up that description with the lesson that you learned.
Flipping the script this way accomplishes two things. First, it demonstrates to your interviewer that — while you have experienced those times that made you feel like a less-than-exemplary employee — you’re able to use those to continuously improve.
Secondly, it forces you to talk about those experiences in a way that’s inherently more affirmative and constructive
As Boogaard mentions, this doesn’t mean skipping over your failure altogether. It just means you’re focusing on the solution rather than beating yourself up. For more insight, head to the full post at the link below.