Tell Me About a Time You Failed? 5 Example Answers

Many interviewers ask this interview, “Tell me about a time you failed” to job aspirants. This question provides an opportunity to share a story of resilience and how you handled a difficult situation. Here are some tips on answering this question to impress your potential employer.

Why do interviewers ask this question?

Most interviewers ask this question to understand how you deal with failure and adversity. They want to know if you can learn from your mistakes and move on or if you dwell on your failures and let them bring you down. This question also allows the interviewer to see how you handle criticism and whether or not you can take constructive feedback.

If asked this question in an interview, it is important, to be honest about a time when you failed. However, it would help if you also focused on what you learned from the experience and how you were able to use that knowledge to improve in the future. Doing this will show the interviewer that you are resilient and capable of overcoming challenges.

How to Answer “Tell Me About a Time You Failed”

Talk about a specific instance.

When you’re asked about a time you failed, your first instinct might be to give a general answer like “I’ve failed many times. I don’t know where to start!” However, interviewers are looking for a specific example of a time when things didn’t go as planned. This will give them a better sense of how you handle adversity and what kind of problem-solving skills you have.

Talk about what you learned.

When asked about a time you failed, it is important to focus on the lessons you learned from the experience. Framed this way, your answer will show that you are resilient and can learn from your mistakes.

Don’t dwell on the past.

Your interviewers don’t want to hear about every time you have failed. Pick one specific example and focus on that. Do not spend too much time dwelling on what went wrong – instead, focus on what you did to fix the situation and what you learned from it.

Keep it positive

It’s important to remember that your interviewer is not looking for horror stories about everything going wrong – they want to hear about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you coped with the situation. Be sure to end your story positively, emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how it made you a better professional.

Practice ahead of time

If you know that this question is likely to come up in your interview, take some time to practice your answer beforehand so that you can deliver it confidently on the day of the interview. Role-play with a friend or family member, or practice in front of a mirror if nobody else is available. The more comfortable you are with your answer, the easier it will be to deliver it confidently under pressure.

Checkout-> Common Interview Questions with Answers

5 Example Answers to “Tell Me About a Time You Failed”

Example Answer 1

I was working on a project where I was the lead designer. I had designed everything, and it looked great on paper, but when we came to do a test run of the project, it became clear that my designs wouldn’t work in practice. I had to go back to the drawing board and completely redesign everything from scratch. It was a lot of extra work, but in the end, the project was a success, and I learned that it’s important to always test your designs before moving forward.

Example Answer 2

In my previous job, I was in charge of ordering office supplies. One time, I ordered too much of one item and not enough of another. It threw off the whole system and caused a lot of inconvenience for my colleagues. I felt terrible about it and swore I would never make that mistake again. I learned that it’s important to double-check your work and to be careful when ordering items in bulk.

Example Answer 3

I managed a team of salespeople, and our target was to increase sales by 10% each quarter. We achieved that for the first two quarters but missed it in the third quarter. I was so upset that we missed the target that I took it out on my team, which caused morale to drop. As a result, sales also suffered in the fourth quarter. I learned from that experience that it’s important to maintain a positive attitude, even when things are tough, because it can greatly impact your team’s performance.

Example Answer 4

I was assigned to lead a project to redesign our company website. I had never designed a website before, so I relied heavily on team members with more experience. As a result, the project took longer than expected and exceeded the budget. I learned from that experience that it’s important to be proactive and not just rely on others when working on a project.

Example Answer 5

I was working on a presentation for an important client when I realized I had left out a key piece of information. Instead of admitting my mistake, I tried to cover it up by making an excuse. Unfortunately, the client saw through my lie and was not happy. I learned from that experience that it’s always better to be honest and upfront, even if it means admitting that you made a mistake.


No matter how perfect we are, we all fail – even in our professional lives. But it’s not our mistakes that define us; it’s how we handle them and learn from them along the way. When answering the interview question “Tell me about a time you failed,” remember to keep these tips in mind to give an impressive answer that will demonstrate your resilience and professionalism to potential employers.”

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