Learn how to answer this one question effectively and why failing can be an important lesson.

Everyone makes mistakes, they occur in all aspects of our lives - some are smaller and some are bigger. But admittedly, society treats mistakes and failure as a weakness when in fact it is an opportunity to adapt and learn.

Failure often means you have taken a risk, done something differently or pushed yourself out of your comfort zone while trying to reach new heights. All professionals experience failure at one point or another in their career, whether it is by missing targets, deadlines, handling rejection or not scoring a business deal - but this doesn’t mean you give up, instead adapt and try again.


A change in attitude can go a long way

It doesn't help to cling onto your past mistakes. Instead, you should concentrate on what you have learnt from your shortcomings and focus on how you can move forward. It is about being honest with yourself to understand where you went wrong and proactively seek solutions to overcome them.

By changing your professional attitude and embracing the outcomes you achieve you can push yourself to new heights. Mistakes drive us forward to do things better in the future and often result in professionals evaluating the systems and current practices in place to achieve these new goals.

Instead of getting pushed down, reflect on the actions taken and correct yourself. Work with those around you to collectively aim to achieve success - you might be just a short way away from reaching your goals. Learn from your mistakes and embrace what you have learned!


Interview preparation

Most candidates dread the question - “What is your biggest weakness/ professional mistake made”?

Arguably there is no perfect answer, recruiters have different opinions and expectations. It is vital for recruiters to hear a constructive self-criticism from the candidate, as it shows personal self-awareness that is necessary for professional growth.

  • Explain a memorable professional mistake made or what you think your key weaknesses might be.
  • Discuss the proactive efforts taken to improve professionally and overcome those shortcomings.
  • Show that you are constantly seeking to become better and persistent enough to tackle your weak points.

Be careful when revealing detailed information about past work relationships or culture clashes. Recruiters will not look favourably on candidates who have a record of poor working relationship within previous employment. It could also raise some red flags and lead to questioning as to whether you will fit into the client’s business culture.


Maximise your chance by doing a practice run

To maximise your chance in landing the job practice your answers by writing them down and saying them aloud to yourself or running through a practice interview process with a friend or family member. Consider your perceived professional weaknesses, but be sure to focus on your behavioural traits rather than personal traits.

Remember, preparations for an interview is key, especially if you don’t like particular questions!

Speech Inspired are passionate about career development and are committed to finding the right job fit for candidates and clients. We pride ourselves on ensuring all candidates get the best possible chance to land the available job. Check out our latest roles.