1. Interviewing
    2. Interview Question: "Are You Willing To Fail?"

    By Indeed Editorial Team

    Published December 14, 2021

    Related: What to Do When You Can’t Answer an Interview Question

    In this video, we offer 4 key strategies to answering tough questions. These strategies come with examples, explanations and more on leaving a last impression.

    Being prepared to answer challenging questions in an interview can help you represent yourself well and show prospective employers your values, personality and commitment to professionalism. One question you might hear in an interview is "Are you willing to fail?" Learning to frame your answer positively can show interviewers you're a mature candidate who wants to grow and develop in a role. In this article, we explain why an interviewer might ask if you're willing to fail, list steps you can use to deliver a successful answer and provide several example answers you can use for reference.

    Why employers ask "Are you willing to fail?"

    There are a few reasons a prospective employer might ask you this question in an interview. Learning how you respond to setbacks and obstacles can tell them a lot about your personality and work style. Here are some insights employers might be looking for when asking this question:

    To assess your response to failure

    When something doesn't go according to plan like if an idea doesn't produce the desired results or you aren't able to complete something in the time frame you thought you could, you can respond in two ways. The first way is to feel embarrassed or to accept the defeat as a personal failure. The second way is to learn from your mistakes and use your newfound experience as motivation for your future efforts.

    Those who can persevere in the face of obstacles, who can learn from failures and who see those failures as opportunities rather than setbacks can often find more success and satisfaction in their work.

    Related: How To Deal With Failure: 15 Steps to Success

    To learn what role failure plays in your work

    Failure is a normal occurrence. While it's important to reduce failures and keep from making repeat mistakes, it's also important to acknowledge that not everything can go according to plan all the time. When employers ask if you're willing to fail, they're also asking you to acknowledge that you have failed previously and learned from those experiences.

    Risk accompanies most great ideas and failure is always a possibility when trying something new. The ability to remain innovative, tenacious and focused despite these risks can make you a more valuable team member and employee.

    To understand if you can move past failure

    When something goes wrong or if you make a mistake, it's important to take responsibility. Those who are willing to fail are typically more able to admit their missteps without fear of embarrassment or repercussions. Often, this confidence comes from a workplace's culture but it can also derive from the accountability and integrity of an individual. Employers might ask this question because they want to learn if you can accept when plans go awry and respond appropriately.

    Related: 8 Steps To Overcome Failure (With Resilience-Building Tips)

    How to answer "Are you willing to fail?"

    Here are some steps you can follow if you hear this question in an interview:

    1. Reflect on what failure has meant to you

    Before you start preparing your answer to the question, take a moment to think about times in your life when you've experienced setbacks. Think about how you responded and what you learned. By recognizing the important role failure has played in your life, you can start to embrace failure as a learning experience rather than as a reflection of your worth. What's more important than never failing is reacting maturely to failure when it occurs.

    2. Consider if you think failure is important

    With your reflections in mind, think about how past failures have affected you. Consider if you think those experiences were valuable to your development. If you think of good examples, you can even mention them in your interview.

    3. Put a positive spin on your answer

    With potentially negative questions, it's important to build your interviewer's faith in your attitude and ability to overcome setbacks. In your answer, try to keep your answer positive and focused on overcoming failure. Talk about the benefits of failing like how it helps you learn, how it creates opportunities for even better ideas and how it challenges you to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions. Speaking this way lets interviewers know you're positive and motivated and that you see obstacles as opportunities to improve and succeed.

    Related: Interview Question: "What Is Your Biggest Failure?"

    Example answers

    Here are some example answers to "Are you willing to fail?" that can help you design effective answers of your own:

    Example 1: Marketing coordinator

    "Yes, I am willing to fail, though I certainly hope to avoid it wherever I can. I think failure is an important aspect of professional development. If an idea or execution is going to fail, I try to ensure it fails early so there are smaller consequences. That way, I can adapt my plans or campaigns and learn from past iterations. I try to incorporate lots of opportunities for feedback, surveys and beta tests into my campaigns to learn how they might fare on a large scale. Successful marketing can mean taking risks and I embrace those risks as part of the process."

    Related: Why Failing at Success Can Be Good for Your Career

    Example 2: Financial analyst

    "I define failure as giving up so in that sense, no, I'm not willing to fail. But I am willing to learn and grow as a professional in this position. I pride myself on being a positive person who can find the good in any situation. I'm ready to take on a role that challenges me. From what I've read about the company and from what I've learned about your processes, I think this is a supportive community where individuals can learn from their mistakes and use them to develop professionally."

    Example 3: Real estate agent

    "I try my very best to provide my clients with support, useful advice and be someone in the industry they can trust. While it may take some time to connect families and individuals to their dream homes, I'm willing to fail along the way if it means we can ultimately achieve something powerful together. I don't take setbacks personally. Instead, I review what happened and work to ensure I don't make the same missteps in the future.

    To me, failure would mean behaving in a way that didn't represent me or this company. I always take responsibility for my actions if I act in a way that doesn't make me proud."

    How do you answer are you willing to fail?
    The best way to answer this question is to provide an example of a time you failed in the past, and then explain what you learned from it. Ideally, it will be a time you learned, in fact, to be a better employee. When providing an example, explain what the situation was, and what you tried (and failed) to achieve. more
    What is your biggest failure answer?
    Choose a specific failure Pick a real failure that happened in the workplace, specifically a failure related to the work you're doing now. Look for a story where something didn't go as planned. Choosing the right story is important, as you want to explain a situation where only one thing went wrong. more
    Will I fail if I fail in term 2?
    You will be declared failed that is if you fail two or more subjects, and you will have to repeat 12th grade. You have a chance of passing your academic if you pass the improvement test/exam. more
    How do you answer the question Tell me about a time you failed?
    Answering “Tell Me About a Time You Failed” – Quick Instructions. Talk about a real failure you've had, starting by describing the situation. Explain what happened clearly and quickly. Take responsibility and don't make excuses for the failure. more
    How do you answer tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline?
    Admit that you missed a deadline, and explain why. But do not blame others for it, even if they are to blame. Ensure the hiring managers that you did your best, stayed overtime, set your priorities clear, and did everything you could. It didn't work out on that occasion, but did on many others. more
    How do you answer Tell me about a time you failed?
    Answering “Tell Me About a Time You Failed” – Quick Instructions
    1. Talk about a real failure you've had, starting by describing the situation.
    2. Explain what happened clearly and quickly.
    3. Take responsibility and don't make excuses for the failure.
    4. Show what you learned from the experience.
    What is your biggest failure interview answer?
    Acceptable Responses Answer the question “What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?” with a clear and concise story. Mention a time when you made a mistake at work, in school, or in your personal life. Explain where you went wrong and the results of your errors. more
    How do you answer Tell me about a time you failed example?
    Example Answers to “Tell Me a Time When You Failed” “I was managing a project for one of our biggest clients in my previous company, and I was so eager to please them that I told them we could finish the project within 2 weeks. I thought this was doable, but it ended up taking three weeks and they were not happy. more
    What is your biggest failure sample answer?
    Example 2. “I took a job where I was responsible for building a sales team that would fix the major revenue problems the company was having. I was overly confident in my abilities and certain I would be able to accomplish the goal. more
    How do you answer what was your biggest failure?
    Choose a specific failure Pick a real failure that happened in the workplace, specifically a failure related to the work you're doing now. Look for a story where something didn't go as planned. Choosing the right story is important, as you want to explain a situation where only one thing went wrong. more
    What happens if you fail Step 1 pass fail?
    Dr. Marzano believes a failing score on Step 1 is likely to make residency programs take a closer look at an applicant's Step 2 score. If you fail Step 1, “the Step 2 becomes a more important number because it shows where your medical knowledge is,” he said. “It will show the baseline for your performance level.” more

    Source: www.indeed.com

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