Question: How do you cope with failure?
Response: Hmm. Someone said that ‘only people who do not fail are those who never try’, I have come to accept that whenever I take up a task, there is an inherent chance of failure but there is also an inherent chance of success. I am sure you had to go through lots of ups and downs to be where you are and what you are Today. Football taught me a great deal about failure. As a captain, I know that we enter every game with chance of losing but that it is important for us to concentrate on the chance of winning it. But when we do lose a game, what matters the most is how quickly we bounce back. All that matters when we lose is to learn the reasons and rectify our weaknesses both as a team and as an individual member and bounce back.
Notes: Everyone fails, even the person interviewing you. If you are interviewing with the top dog him/herself then chances are that he/she may have failed many times than you can imagine. They want to hear that you acknowledge the fact that
Variations of this question:
- What is the place for ‘failure’ in your life?
- Have you ever failed? How did you feel about it?
- Do you accept failure as a part of life?
Trap alert: Do NOT talk about your previous project failures (work or academics). Always bring up a sports example when faced with a ‘failure’ question. If interviewer insists that you give an example of ‘work failure’, tell them about someone else’s mistake (even if it was YOU, speak of it as somebody else’s) and what you and your team have learned from it. If you HAVE to give your personal story, relate some administrative failure with little repercussion and the BIG lesson you learned from it.