Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interview Questions on Failure

Ever faced that tricky interview question asking for "an example of when you've failed at something"?

Do you say you can't think of one or give a pretty lame example because you're obviously a perfect employee? Or do you desperately try throw in that time old cliché of "I wouldn't call it a failure because I learnt something from it".

In most cases the later is exactly what your interviewer is looking for - it's not a test of your intelligence, it's a test of your attitude. Really, they're looking to see if you have the potential as of one of these people...

Thomas Edison invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked. He once said "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration"
Steven Spielberg was rejected from his dream school, USC, three times.Only after dropping out from another uni did he try his hand at directing
Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC "Colonel", saw over 1,000 rejections for his chicken recipe before his big break... aged 65
J. K. Rowling's manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone got rejected by 12 publishing houses
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team.
Marilyn Monroe's first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn't pretty or talented enough to be an actress
Soichiro Honda's was let go at his engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas"
Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire life, to a friend.
Albert Einstein didn't speak until age four and didn't read until age seven. His teachers actually described him as "mentally handicapped"

My advice to you is to always have a good example of failure in mind (would definitely avoid any alcohol related stories though) and the key is to be confident when getting it across to your interviewer. You tried it, you failed and maybe the only thing you learnt from it was to never do it again but... you learnt something and it's not put you off life!