The mistake and time

Next article Although no one likes talking about their mistakes, being able to discuss your past mistakes in a job interview can actually be a great way of impressing the interviewer.

The mistake and time

Being open about a specific example of when you dropped the ball will actually score you points, even with the toughest interviewer.

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Given the choice between a potential teammate who is willing to take tough feedback, and another who does everything possible to cover his or her you-know-what after a mistake, most people would choose the former. But, when you know something was your fault, do yourself a favor and own up to it.

The mistake and time

This was a huge bummer, especially when I had grown to like the candidate a lot. When in doubt, choose a blunder you can articulate the details of, and open up as much as possible. Early in my career, I missed a deadline that ended up costing us a really big account.

There were a lot of factors that contributed to this, but ultimately, I was the one who dropped the ball. It turns out that I was not nearly as organized as I thought I was.

I sat down with my boss, asked for suggestions on how to improve my organizational skills, and a few months later I was able to score an even bigger account for the department. This kind of response covers a lot of bases. But most importantly, it addresses the mistake, the lessons learned, and the actions taken to grow from the experience.

It also ends things on a really positive note. In fact, your honesty will be appreciated so much that most interviewers will have follow-up questions. Whenever I heard a candidate respond openly about a previous blunder, I started rooting for him or her to really win us over—even as I started digging deeper.

And too many times, it was hard for people to stay candid. It usually went something like this: Tell me about something you wish you had done something differently. I dropped the ball on a report that made my boss look really bad in front of a potential client. So, what do you think you learned from that example?

I learned those reports are really hard to write.

The mistake and time

If you have some unique circumstances, an answer like the one below will score you some extra brownie points. My boss is great, the company is awesome, and I work on a really close team. But, I took a job in sales because I wanted to make sure I had enough money to pay my bills and eventually, I got really good at it.

But, even though my sales job has been good to me financially, I went to school to be a journalist and ultimately feel like this is the right time to finally pursue my dream of writing for a leading news outlet like yours.

The best part about this answer?

Ken Davidoff

Some people land their dream jobs right out of college, but for the majority of us, it takes a little bit of work. Nobody will ever like talking about things they wish had gone differently, especially when a job is on the line.Uber trains its vehicle operators to always watch the road and be ready to take control.

Too bad humans are just terrible at that kind of work. Avoid sharing the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as your example — use one that is slightly more innocent and didn’t have big repercussions.


Of course, too much honesty can come back to haunt you and it is always safer to give a more innocent mistake versus the biggest one you’ve ever made. These tips will help you describe a time you made a mistake in a way that will make it clear you’re the right person for the job.

Be honest. It’s important to be able to admit that you’re capable of making mistakes (as we all are), and that you’re willing and able to . In response to a stressful scenario, like making a mistake at work, it’s natural to feel frustrated, embarrassed, or even distressed for, say, seconds.

But . Maybe, based on the last time he partook in a Yankees-Red Sox playoff series, Aaron Boone figured he’d save his best for last? Aaron Boone made the same mistake, and it cost the Yankees. And that's a mistake that could really come back to bite those who feel they can do without it.

In her somewhat limited spare time, she enjoys playing in nature, watching hockey, and curling.

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