"Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?"

You moped about it. You thought it was safely hidden in the past. But now it has come back to haunt you!

A boy jumping back in fright

All is not lost. There are ways to confidently revisit a mistake during a job interview.


The interviewer wants to understand your approach to correcting and recovering from mistakes.

Ross from Friends saying,

To answer this question:

  1. Quickly go over a mistake that you made at work without elaborating too much.

  2. Move on to explain the steps you took to fix it.

  3. Conclude by saying how you ensured the mistake did not happen again.

  4. Show how the mistake helped you improve on a weakness.


While truthfully answering the question, do not:

  • Pick a mistake that shows a major drawback

  • Accuse any individual of being responsible for the mistake

  • Be too critical or apologetic

  • Say that you have never made a mistake

    A woman saying, Nope.

Sample Answers

Flaticon Icon Example 1: An old mistake has now turned into a strength

"When I first took on the role of leading a team, I tried to do everything on my own. I quickly learned that delegating tasks is an essential skill. I have since then won awards for project management and I feel that trusting my team and delegating played a part in this."

Flaticon Icon Example 2: Speaking about a team mistake

"I was once part of a documentation team that had problems with consistency in our documentation. I explored different ways to standardize documentation and created templates that the organization still uses."

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