What is your greatest failure, and What did you learn from it?

Tell me about a Time you Experienced Failure and what you Learned from it.

Interviewers ask questions like “What is your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?” in HR interviews. In this page we have provided examples as to how you can answer this question.

Page Highlights:

  • Why: “What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?” asked
  • How to answer: “Tell me about a time you experienced failure and what you learned from it.”
  • Best Answers: “Tell me about a time you experienced failure and what you learned from it”
what has been your greatest failure interview question

Why: “What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?” asked

Another way of asking this is – What is your greatest failure in life? How did you overcome it?

Interviewers ask questions like what is your greatest failure or tell me about a time you failed, to see how the candidate faces tough situations, and what they learned from the outcome. The interviewer is not interested in the actual failure itself, rather how you took it and implemented the lessons learned from it.

How to answer: “Tell me about a time you experienced failure and what you learned from it.”

This is a behavioral type question, where the interviewer will check how: what exactly do you consider as a failure, why it is considered a failure, what actions of yours led to the failure and most importantly what you learned from it and implemented the lessons later in your life.

Use the following points to frame a suitable answer
  • Tell the interviewer what exactly was the task or objective that you were supposed to achieve
  • Clearly give them the picture of the end result that you were supposed to get.
  • Tell the interviewer how your outcome deviated from the supposed expectations.
  • Explain what the failure was and the consequences which followed
  • Take responsibility for the failure, and detail your steps that led to it
  • Talk about your actions which resulted or helped result in the task being a failure
  • Conclude your lesson by talking about the lessons you learned from it
  • Also include how you tried to rectify the situation and achieved a better result

Important Points to Remember:

Best Answers: “Tell me about a time you experienced failure and what you learned from it”

Refer the sample answers given below.

Answer 1: "What has been your greatest failure?"

Throughout my career, I’ve faced a variety of obstacles. I’ve done everything I can to stand up to them. I believe I failed to achieve the desired result in one of these tasks. It happened in the early stages of my career. I worked in a group of other seasoned coworkers. At the end of three months, we were assigned the task of increasing the goal by 20%. Each of us dedicated ourselves with great passion to a common goal. We only managed to reach 16 percent at the end of the year. About the fact that we were thanked for our collaborative effort, I was dissatisfied with my team’s collective effort. I acquired skills necessary for working in a corporate atmosphere over the process of the challenge, but I believe I should have done a better job at the end. It served as a motivator for me to produce better results in the coming years. And when the next goal was set for us, we were able to easily meet the requirements. At the end, the team praised my commitment and progress. Despite the fact that it was not a complete disaster, it served as a roadmap for me in trying times.”

  • Throughout my career, I’ve faced a variety of obstacles. I’ve done everything I can to stand up to them. I believe I failed to achieve the desired result in one of these tasks. It happened in the early stages of my career. I worked in a group of other seasoned coworkers. At the end of three months, we were assigned the task of increasing the goal by 20%. Each of us dedicated ourselves with great passion to a common goal. We only managed to reach 16 percent at the end of the year. About the fact that we were thanked for our collaborative effort, I was dissatisfied with my team’s collective effort. I acquired skills necessary for working in a corporate atmosphere over the process of the challenge, but I believe I should have done a better job at the end. It served as a motivator for me to produce better results in the coming years. And when the next goal was set for us, we were able to easily meet the requirements. At the end, the team praised my commitment and progress. Despite the fact that it was not a complete disaster, it served as a roadmap for me in trying times.”

Answer 2: "What did you learn from your biggest failure?"

“I was once assigned the task of entering client data into the system. I had previously completed data entry work of a related kind. I was given plenty of time to complete the mission. I divided the job into sections based on my deadline. I shut down the machine without saving my job because there were just two days left. I soon noticed my error and restarted the job in order to complete it on schedule. The majority of the missing data was restored, and I completed the mission successfully despite a few errors. As a result, I’ve been careful to save my job before turning off my computer. Although I am not proud of my callousness, it has helped me both professionally and emotionally.

  • “I was once assigned the task of entering client data into the system. I had previously completed data entry work of a related kind. I was given plenty of time to complete the mission. I divided the job into sections based on my deadline. I shut down the machine without saving my job because there were just two days left. I soon noticed my error and restarted the job in order to complete it on schedule. The majority of the missing data was restored, and I completed the mission successfully despite a few errors. As a result, I’ve been careful to save my job before turning off my computer. Although I am not proud of my callousness, it has helped me both professionally and emotionally.

Answer 3: "Tell me what you consider as your greatest failure?"

“I took a position where I was in charge of developing a sales force that would solve the company’s biggest revenue issues.
I was overconfident in my ability and assured that I will complete the task. However, after I arrived, I found the issues weren’t just with sales, but with the way the business was run. Within a month, I realized I wouldn’t be able to have the effect I had hoped for. When I realized I wouldn’t meet my revenue targets, I considered leaving, but instead chose to concentrate on the aspects I could manage. I spoke with the company’s management and changed our annual revenue targets. We have agreed to reduce the size of my staff and hire a director to help with some of the company’s more serious issues. Being in this position taught me of the value of concentrating on what you can handle and working together to solve difficult issues. I also learned a valuable lesson in modesty, as well as the importance of not rushing in and making promises while thoroughly comprehending the complexity of the problem. ”

  • “I took a position where I was in charge of developing a sales force that would solve the company’s biggest revenue issues.
    I was overconfident in my ability and assured that I will complete the task. However, after I arrived, I found the issues weren’t just with sales, but with the way the business was run. Within a month, I realized I wouldn’t be able to have the effect I had hoped for. When I realized I wouldn’t meet my revenue targets, I considered leaving, but instead chose to concentrate on the aspects I could manage. I spoke with the company’s management and changed our annual revenue targets. We have agreed to reduce the size of my staff and hire a director to help with some of the company’s more serious issues. Being in this position taught me of the value of concentrating on what you can handle and working together to solve difficult issues. I also learned a valuable lesson in modesty, as well as the importance of not rushing in and making promises while thoroughly comprehending the complexity of the problem. ”

Answer 4: "What is your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?"

My former job entailed working as a consumer executive profile, with the aim of marketing goods. And I used my persuasion skills, and based on negotiation, I was able to sell the product to the consumer without any problems, but somewhere in the way, I failed to notify the customer the full terms and conditions of the product services. However, we are all aware that every industry strives to improve its customer service. However, after selling the device, I was afraid, or it was the loss of a case in my life in the customer service profile, and it could be escalated from the customer’s side. In an immediate basis.

  • My former job entailed working as a consumer executive profile, with the aim of marketing goods. And I used my persuasion skills, and based on negotiation, I was able to sell the product to the consumer without any problems, but somewhere in the way, I failed to notify the customer the full terms and conditions of the product services. However, we are all aware that every industry strives to improve its customer service. However, after selling the device, I was afraid, or it was the loss of a case in my life in the customer service profile, and it could be escalated from the customer’s side. In an immediate basis.

Answer 5: "Tell me about a Time when you Experienced Failure and what you Learned from it.

I was meticulous in setting deadlines and trying to reach them on schedule while serving in my former career. Last year, my department struggled to reach the quota for a fifth, and I accept blame for that loss. I think I pressed my team too hard to reach deadlines, rather than having time to congratulate them for their achievements. In retrospect, I believe that in order to be as fruitful as possible, workers must be nurtured in a technical capacity. I learnt to split targets down into smaller chunks and to provide bonuses and benefits to the most dedicated employees.

  • I was meticulous in setting deadlines and trying to reach them on schedule while serving in my former career. Last year, my department struggled to reach the quota for a fifth, and I accept blame for that loss. I think I pressed my team too hard to reach deadlines, rather than having time to congratulate them for their achievements. In retrospect, I believe that in order to be as fruitful as possible, workers must be nurtured in a technical capacity. I learnt to split targets down into smaller chunks and to provide bonuses and benefits to the most dedicated employees.

Answer 6: "What do you consider your greatest failure?"

“You will make an error that will cause you shame at any stage in your career. It happened to me once. Our group was assigned the task of preparing a presentation on revenue-generating concepts. Each of us was instructed to use a certain font style and scale. By the end of the day, I had completely forgotten about this minor but crucial detail. I put a lot of effort into the presentation, but I didn’t pay attention to the formatting. I went ahead and presented my slides on the day of the presentation. The font was not legible when I actually opened the show. Since my viewers couldn’t read it, it was a humiliating moment for me. In any case, it was a day of enlightenment for me, as I realized the importance of paying attention to detail. ”

  • “You will make an error that will cause you shame at any stage in your career. It happened to me once. Our group was assigned the task of preparing a presentation on revenue-generating concepts. Each of us was instructed to use a certain font style and scale. By the end of the day, I had completely forgotten about this minor but crucial detail. I put a lot of effort into the presentation, but I didn’t pay attention to the formatting. I went ahead and presented my slides on the day of the presentation. The font was not legible when I actually opened the show. Since my viewers couldn’t read it, it was a humiliating moment for me. In any case, it was a day of enlightenment for me, as I realized the importance of paying attention to detail. ”

Answer 7: "How did you overcome your greatest failure?"

In my previous job the company’s boss assigned a mission that other team leaders were unable to complete. They assigned me to lead a group of people and asked me to meet a deadline in one day. It was our company’s most important customer. We began working on it, but after half a day, I realized that this way of working was ineffective, and that if I were to act in this manner, I would lose that crucial project, and I realized that the situation in my life had failed. Then I devised a technique and began operating in accordance with it. I divided the mission into two groups of two and began operating while simultaneously monitoring the entire task. And, by the end of the day, we meet our goal and prepare a backup. I’ve acknowledged the teamwork, as well as the effort and progress that was made in the end. And if it wasn’t a complete disaster, it turned out to be a valuable lesson for me in dealing with unforgiving situations.

  • In my previous job the company’s boss assigned a mission that other team leaders were unable to complete. They assigned me to lead a group of people and asked me to meet a deadline in one day. It was our company’s most important customer. We began working on it, but after half a day, I realized that this way of working was ineffective, and that if I were to act in this manner, I would lose that crucial project, and I realized that the situation in my life had failed. Then I devised a technique and began operating in accordance with it. I divided the mission into two groups of two and began operating while simultaneously monitoring the entire task. And, by the end of the day, we meet our goal and prepare a backup. I’ve acknowledged the teamwork, as well as the effort and progress that was made in the end. And if it wasn’t a complete disaster, it turned out to be a valuable lesson for me in dealing with unforgiving situations.

Answer 8: "What is your greatest failure?"

When I under-communicated with a customer early in my career, I learnt a valuable lesson. The agency eventually suffered a financial deficit as a result of this. I quickly accepted blame as I learned what I had done wrong. I went to the customer and explained the missing information as well as why I hadn’t communicated them. The customer appreciated my candor, and after a long period of time, we were able to re-engage the client. I discovered the importance of communicating, even though it’s difficult or unpleasant material, in order to build trust and keep clients. Though it was a difficult way to learn, I only had to make this mistake once to learn from it.

  • When I under-communicated with a customer early in my career, I learnt a valuable lesson. The agency eventually suffered a financial deficit as a result of this. I quickly accepted blame as I learned what I had done wrong. I went to the customer and explained the missing information as well as why I hadn’t communicated them. The customer appreciated my candor, and after a long period of time, we were able to re-engage the client. I discovered the importance of communicating, even though it’s difficult or unpleasant material, in order to build trust and keep clients. Though it was a difficult way to learn, I only had to make this mistake once to learn from it.

Answer 9: "Tell about your biggest failure and the lesson you learned from it."

“In a corporate work environment, the basic foundation is built on trust. A client must develop trust with the service provider. And to build that trust, one must clear out each and every detail of the deal in advance. Once, I was dealing with a client for a particular product. To secure the deal, I purposely hid some crucial details. When the pact was in an advanced stage, my client backed out all of a sudden. On inquiring, I came to know that this was a result of hidden costs and terms which I had not explained. The fundamental basis in an organizational work environment is confidence. A client’s relationship with the service provider must be built on faith. And in order to establish the trust, each and every aspect of the transaction must be clarified ahead of time. I was once working with a customer with a certain product. I purposefully withheld some vital information in order to seal the contract. My client abruptly walked out of the agreement as it was nearing completion. Inquiring more, I discovered that this was due to secret expenses and conditions that I had not disclosed. I apologised to the customer to make amends. Despite the fact that the client did not sign the contract, he valued my forthrightness. I was eventually able to get him on board and get him to sign the contract after a year. Despite the fact that it was a triumph, I was aware that I had struggled at some stage. Since that day, I’ve followed the rules of work ethics. You might argue it was unprofessional behavior on my part.

  • “In a corporate work environment, the basic foundation is built on trust. A client must develop trust with the service provider. And to build that trust, one must clear out each and every detail of the deal in advance. Once, I was dealing with a client for a particular product. To secure the deal, I purposely hid some crucial details. When the pact was in an advanced stage, my client backed out all of a sudden. On inquiring, I came to know that this was a result of hidden costs and terms which I had not explained. The fundamental basis in an organizational work environment is confidence. A client’s relationship with the service provider must be built on faith. And in order to establish the trust, each and every aspect of the transaction must be clarified ahead of time. I was once working with a customer with a certain product. I purposefully withheld some vital information in order to seal the contract. My client abruptly walked out of the agreement as it was nearing completion. Inquiring more, I discovered that this was due to secret expenses and conditions that I had not disclosed. I apologised to the customer to make amends. Despite the fact that the client did not sign the contract, he valued my forthrightness. I was eventually able to get him on board and get him to sign the contract after a year. Despite the fact that it was a triumph, I was aware that I had struggled at some stage. Since that day, I’ve followed the rules of work ethics. You might argue it was unprofessional behavior on my part.

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FAQs on What is your greatest failure?

Question: What should I say if I don't have any such experience?

Answer:-

Do not tell the interviewer that you have no failures in life. Try to think of a time where you experienced failures or setback and talk about it.