How to Discuss Failure in an Interview

You managed to pass the screening process and get an interview at the company you want to work at. That's great, but now the next step is preparing for the interview. How are you going to talk about your past product that failed? How are you going to explain that you managed a failed product and how can they trust that you won't fail on your next one, either? It’s a tough question since failure has a negative connotation. But, there is an opportunity to turn this negative experience into something positive, depending on how you approach the subject.

First, DO NOT push the blame away. Read our past blog on how to deal with failure here. You have to be clear with the interviewer when you reveal your past failure(s). You have to show that you understand your failure and the lesson learned from it for the future.

Next, summarize the important details on how you went about planning the product. Decisions you’ve made and how you dealt with complications. Emphasize that you understood where you failed and why the product resulted in a failure. Overall, show the interviewer that you fully understood the situation and know where the flaws lie. Through this, the interviewer can see the scope of your abilities and judge how your skills would fit in their company.

Finally, it isn’t the end of your career once they’ve seen you failed. Everybody has moments where they failed and didn’t fulfill expectations. The interviewer won’t just look at one piece of your work history. So always show your confidence and don’t be afraid to mention your mistakes as long as you’ve learned from them. 

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