Traditional interview questions can be no-brainers to answer. Of course you know what your last job involved on a daily basis and what your college GPA was. But answering behavioral interview questions such as 'Everyone makes mistakes. Tell me about a situation that youd wished youd dealt with differently-' is a whole other talent.
The complexity of these questions is due to the fact that what they are really trying to get at is your true nature as a professional- which will inevitably reflect your potential job performance. Answering a question about a challenge in your life gives your interviewer an idea of your real character beyond just your resume and qualifications.
If an interviewer poses this question- he or she could just as easily be saying- 'How do you admit wrongdoing? Are you too proud to own up to your mistakes?' He or she is asking whether or not you are the type to admit to doing anything wrong- and if you are- how you might do it differently if given the chance.
Although multi-layered queries such as this can be hard to answer- if you come prepared with scenarios in mind- you will be well-equipped to ace this aspect of the interview. The STAR method can be extremely useful in keeping you on track when answering behavioral questions in an illustrative and true manner.
How to Answer the 'Everyone Makes Mistakes. Tell Me About a Situation That Youd Wished Youd Dealt With Differently' Behavioral Interview Question
Exercise Your Humility. While confidence during a job interview is no doubt a major plus- any amount of self-confidence must also be balanced out by humility. Showing your interviewer that you are humble enough to admit when you are wrong does not show weakness but strength- maturity and integrity. Not everyone makes the right decisions all the time- and by telling your interviewer about a specific situation in which you may have made the wrong decision- you are showing that you are human. By going into detail about what you would do if you were placed in the same situation again- you are showing insight and adaptability. The ability to learn from mistakes is one character trait that every potential employee should have- no matter the field or profession.
Emphasize Your Willingness to Change. It is one thing to be able to recognize a mistake- but it is another to be able to take that mistake- acknowledge it for what it is- learn from it and integrate that new knowledge and experience into your life. Tell your interviewer about a mistake that you have made in order to arrive at the part of the situation in which you were changed by the experience of making the mistake. Play up your ability to be dynamic- constantly learning- growing and shifting your paradigms about the world according to the wrong and the right things that you do.
Use the STAR Method. STAR stands for situation or task- action and result. It is a successful strategy for structuring your answer to behavioral interview questions. Keeping STAR in mind will help you to communicate your story to your interviewer by focusing first on a specific scenario- next on whatever action took place within that situation and finally on what resulted. Applying STAR to the question of 'Everyone makes mistakes. Tell me about a situation that you'd wished youd dealt with differently-' you will want to make sure that you draw upon the facts of a detailed scenario. You could choose to pick a situation from either your personal or professional life- although a professional example would likely be more relevant in an interview setting. If you have several scenarios that come to mind- aim to tailor your answer to your potential employer as much as possible.
Sample 'Everyone Makes Mistakes. Tell Me About a Situation That Youd Wished Youd Dealt With Differently' STAR Interview Answer
I always strive to learn from my mistakes so that my experiences- in life and on the job- count towards my self-improvement. Once- I made the mistake of letting a personal conflict get in the way of a professional responsibility. I was working on a project with a co-worker whom I didn't get along with- and I let my rocky relationship with them influence my success on the project. I ended up losing the client who had hired me to do that work- and as a result- I learned that my professional life should never get tangled up in any personal relationship struggles that I am having. Looking back- I should have never agreed to work on that project with that person unless our professional bond were stronger. I should have handed the project over to someone else immediately or else solidified my professionalism so as not to let personal conflict trump project success.
By practicing in detail the answers to behavioral interview questions such as the above- you will do yourself a big favor when it comes time for the interview. Make sure that you aim to communicate to your interviewer at all times with honesty- integrity and enthusiasm.