This is not a fluff question meant to trip you up by surreptitiously getting at some weakness of yours. Instead it's used to find out if you really do learn from your mistakes and, if so, how you learn from them, as well as how you might be able to grow as an employee and thus help the company to which you're applying. The question might also gauge how self aware you are, how honest and trustworthy you are, and how adventurous, bold, and risky you are.
In order to prepare for this question, it's a good idea to give your answer some serious thought. You need to reflect on those times when you failed, whether they are at work, in a sport, in an academic setting, or in a relationship. And you should ask yourself several questions and then answer them truthfully: What did this failure feel like? What happened as a result of this failure? Where did it lead me? How did it change my thinking and my actions? What did it teach me about myself? What did I do differently afterward? What did I have to do to change? How did I go about changing? And what do I now do differently and/or hope to do differently?
When you answer the "failure" question make sure to 1) answer it (some interviewees will do the worst possible thing and not answer it, saying they have not failed); 2) answer it honestly (be sincere and make it a true failure, not something like "I received an A-, my only A- in my college career, in Econ 407 and thus I learned … "); and 3) concentrate your answer on the second part of the question (focus not on the failure itself but on the things you've learned, how you've grown and how, now, you do something differently as a result of your failure).
The truth is, which experienced employers and employees know well, you will fail at some point on the job, and so interviewers want to know how you will deal with that failure and if you will truly learn and grow from it, or if you will shut down and shrivel up. Ideally, if you're asked this question, you will want to get across that you are resilient, that you will not let failure stop you, and that you use failure as a way to progress, grow, develop, change, and learn.
One way to begin this is answer is by saying that you’ve gained a lot of experience leading teams and groups in college and in your past jobs, and have encountered this situation a few times. Then you could say that you’ve found the key first step to dealing with an underperforming colleague was honest communication.
First, it's important to understand why interviewers often pose this question to job candidates. Here are three possible reasons: 1) To get to know you better and see what you really care about, which might tell them if they'd like to work with you and if others at their company would like to work with you.
For those who are invested in such things, be they prospective students assessing which school to attend or alumni wondering how the prestige of their alma mater is faring, the new US News law rankings released on March 28. There was one extremely significant event in the ranking shifts this year, as some predicted given the changes in US News' methodology over last year.
You’ve just received word that your job is going to switch to the fully remote paradigm. That means no more travel expenses or traffic, no more rushing frenetically from place to place, and no more of the crushing outfit dilemma you’ve faced with each new day.
On Friday, May 20, 2022, Vault Law will host an OCI Readiness Summit for law students looking to prepare for and find summer and other associate positions through OCI. You can register for this free informational summit here, and learn more about it below.