What's your worst mistake

What was your biggest mistake? And what did you learn from it?

What to learn from mistakes ✓ Self-reflection in the interview ✓ Tactically selecting examples ✓ Responding credibly ✓

A dramatic Question that in job interviews (100 questions for free) is definitely for surprise on the part of the applicant is: "What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?"

  • What can you replyto get here too to convince?

  • Which error you'd better Not speak to?

  • And which tactics helps here basically further?

Mistake: big, bigger, biggest

The question “What was the biggest mistake?” Is deliberately kept very open in order to confuse you.

Some applicants ask then inside for example:

  • “Is it possibly about them divorcewhich can be found on my résumé? "

  • “Is the one at that time Dropout meant?"

  • "Should I now do something about the longer one unemployment tell?"

  • “Or is it about them termination in the Probationary periodthat I received a few years ago? "

You learn that from mistakes

There are hardly any people who have not made mistakes in a private or professional context.

And you have certainly already reflected on one or the other action or decision in retrospect and may have regretted it very much.


Use the openness of the question to deal with your answer exclusively to one Job-related situation to restrict. And this mistake in your job is also welcome several years ago.

Describe that as well Knowledge gainthat you pulled afterwards.

Examples of professional mistakes

Situations like this are conceivable here:

- A project that turns into a time delay advised because you have relied unchecked on the commitments of other colleagues.

- The complaint of one Key customers after a delivery because there was no outgoing goods inspection.

- The dispute with a colleague because you criticized a disruptive human trait very directly.

More and more companies are looking for authentic employees. The ability to self-reflect on one's own personality is just as important as an awareness of one's own strengths, but also weaknesses and limits.

Make it clear in job interviews that you work in a constructive, result-oriented and reliable manner. But also reaching limits and making mistakes.

Tactically select errors: answer cleverly

Think of at least two professional situations from which you have really learned something.

Let it be seen that you have an “error culture in your own right”.

So on the one hand you are a real person with rough edges. On the other hand, they are also able to reflect on their own behavior (limits and "weaknesses") and learn from mistakes, mistakes and mishaps.

You will find numerous formulations for convincing and credible answers in our e-learning “job interview”, which we have developed for both specialists and managers.

More surprising questions

Certainly not every job interview is asked so directly about professional mistakes, crises, conflicts and defeats.

On the other hand, HR employees, recruiters and future supervisors have an interest in hiring employees who have a realistic self-assessment of their own personality.

You should therefore always expect questions of this kind and prepare your answers well.

  1. Why did you apply to us?

  2. Tell us a little about yourself!

  3. Why do you want to work for us so badly?

  4. Why did you choose this particular job?

  5. Why should we hire you?

  6. Where do you see your strengths?

  7. And where are your weaknesses?

  8. What is the difference between you and other applicants?

  9. Why do you want to work in sales?

  10. Why do you want to work in logistics?

  11. Why do you want to become a manager?

  12. What are your strengths and competencies as a manager?

  13. What was your biggest failure?

Use the opportunity to prepare effectively online with our e-learning interview. Then you can use the right tactics in an emergency and still give credible answers.

Christian Püttjer & Uwe Schnierda twitter: career coaches

photo: © sepy / fotolia.com