The question is "Tell me about a project that did not go well or failed."

As the interviewer I typically look for a similar answer as the "weakness" question.  That is: BLUF with an explanation as well as what they would have done to correct it or what they would do differently next time to avoid a poor result.

Does anyone have any good examples of responses to this question?


suedavis's picture

Junior candidate:

  • Candid about having screwed up, doesn't shift blame
  • Specific, not vague
  • Insight into root cause
  • Reasonable solution
  • Awareness of need to prevent recurrence, and at least a good start on that

Senior candidate:

  • Vocally self-critical about own mistakes
  • Embraces learning opportunity without excusing failure
  • Publicized results and lessons learned to wider audience so organization can learn
  • Created robust mechanism to prevent recurrence of this class of failure
  • Found a hidden gem in the wreckage that led organization somewhere new
timrutter's picture

 Thank you both for the question and the response. I'm in the middle of this issue personally at the moment and this really helps to focus my answers for upcoming interviews