A woman standing up and saying 'I'll show them

"Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?"

Your answer to this question is your chance to show job interviewers:

  • how you respond to stressful situations

  • whether you can take suggestions and corrections with the right attitude

Show Them You're Open To Different Opinions

A person doing a trick on a bike under the text,

Showcase your positive attitude and openness toward different opinions.

  • Share a moment when you embraced a different opinion.

  • Emphasize that you're a team player and can grow from collective widsom.

Quiz

What's the best answer for, "How do you handle criticism?"

I never get criticism.

I tell people to mind their business.

I listen, reflect, and improve.

I defend my work politely and calmly.

Show Them You Can Turn Criticism Into Growth

A woman saying 'nailed it'

Show that you're capable of making positive changes out of the criticism!

  • Talk about how you listened and made changes when a boss, a client, or a colleague critiqued your work.

  • Demonstrate how you made a significant and successful change based on the criticism received.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Jennifer Lawrence Oops GIF

  • Don't say that you've never been criticized at work. It might sound insincere, or come off as bragging.

  • Don't give excessive detail about why you received the criticism. Focus on your positive reaction to criticism.

  • Don't belittle anyone with your response, including yourself.

  • If you don't have a real example to give, don't make up stories! Think of a hypothetical example and explain how you'd prefer to respond to criticism.

Example Answer

Flaticon IconTaryn is a graphic designer interviewing for a job at a web design firm. The interviewer asks her about a time she was criticized by a client, and this is her response:

"I once made what I thought was a brilliant design for a client's website, but the client wasn't satisfied. I asked the client about specific changes I could make. We both agreed that the images needed to better reflect the audience's tastes, so I found some replacement images that worked better. Once the site went live, a user survey showed that the audience really related to the replacement images."

Take Action

A woman at a desk saying,

Now, ask yourself the big question and try to answer it!

"Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?"

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This Byte has been authored by

FH

Fay Hsueh

Instructional Designer