How to Answer The Terrifying Interview Question- Have You Worked on a Failed Project

Job interviews are stressful enough, especially when you are hoping for a position in the competitive IT industry. In addition to spending time researching the company in question, it is also important to go over your own work history so you are able to respond to questions in detail. But when the interviewer begins to probe into the negative parts of your career, terrifying thoughts begin to cloud your mind.

Answering these kinds of queries shouldn’t strike fear into your heart. Here are some ideas for how to successfully handle the dreaded “Have you worked on a failed project” job interview question.

Successfully Handling Failure Is as Important as Professional Accomplishments

Many hiring managers feel successfully handling failure is as important as any accomplishments in a candidate’s work history. In many cases, success in the technology world is due to picking yourself up each and every time you get knocked down. The interviewer is merely taking this angle of questioning hoping to find a similar path to triumph in your career.

Successfully handling failure speaks to your passion for the IT field, as well as your fortitude when dealing with adversity. They may also be checking if you have what it takes to ultimately move into a leadership role with their firm. In short, you have nothing to worry about when asked about failures in your work history.

Strategies for Answering Questions About Professional Failure

In any interview for a technical position, you need to be prepared to discuss both project successes and failures. When going over your background while preparing your resume, make it a point to document every project failure; noting how you handled each situation. It is a smart idea to save this information in a word processing document, so you can refer to it whenever you begin a new job search.

During the interview itself, focus on the causes of each failure while being careful not to blame others – take your own share of the responsibility when necessary. Most importantly, explain what you learned from each situation and describe how that led to success on a later project. The interviewer likely wants to know how adversity helped you grow as a technology professional.

Ultimately, treat a question about a failed project as an opportunity to state your case as someone who can make a difference for the interviewer’s company.

When you need additional advice on the job search process and how to handle every interview question, talk to the experts at Strategic IT Staffing. As one of the top technology employment agencies in the country, we can take your career to its highest level. Meet with us soon!


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