What’s The Biggest Mistake You’ve Made In Your Career? (With 10 Sample Interview Answers)

We all make mistakes in our life. It is only the nature and level of mistake that separates us from others. Interviewers want to evaluate you and want to make sure that you are perfect for the organization and won’t be a misfit in the work culture of the organization. For this purpose, they are usually interested in exploring the mistakes you have made in your career, the failures you have experienced, and some worst situations that you have faced.

Why Interviewers Are Interested In Your Mistakes?

By knowing the mistakes that a person makes is probably the best way to understand and evaluate a person. They help an interviewer to understand several things, prominent notings are listed below:

  1. What is your approach after making a mistake?
  2. Are you a cry baby, who just passes on the blame to others for the mistakes made by you?
  3. Do you have the ability to admit your mistake and assume responsibility?
  4. Do you criticize others for your failures?

The answers to all these questions can be obtained just by knowing and understanding the mistakes made by you. Hence, one must prepare for this question sincerely and thoroughly.

Ten Sample Answers To This Question

Sample No. One

No human is perfect and we all make mistakes. During my previous stint with ABC Accounting Services, I made a big mistake by punching the wrong data into the system which pertained to a blue-chip client of ours. As a result, the financial statements and reports were all manipulated and unauthenticated. This was put to my notice by a fellow accountant and I immediately realized the blunder. Then, I stayed back the entire night in the office and neutralized the effect of wrong entries.

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Sample No. Two

Mistakes help you to learn quickly, yet no one wants to make them. I made a grave mistake when I was working with my previous employer, a consultancy group giving advice on finance-related matters. There was a new financial product in the market from a leading house. I assumed it to be good and suggested it to some of our prestigious clients. The product turned out to be a big failure and all our clients yelled at us and made us responsible for the loss.

Sample No. Three

Mistakes are always made unintentionally. I too made a big mistake, that was purely unintentional when I was undergoing my industrial training with a factory manufacturing construction equipment. By mistake, I switched off the main generator of the factory, which caused the entire operation of the factory to stand still. The factory incurred huge losses for such disruption and it took almost an hour to start the work with the same rhythm.

Sample No. Four

Sometimes we have to bear the burden of someone else’s mistake and the pressure built upon us due to this pushes us to make a mistake. There was a colleague of mine, who unintentionally deleted my audit files from the system, necessary to refer to while performing an audit. I preferred not to make new ones due to time constraints and conducted an audit in absence of it. The audit failed miserably and I was forced to resign.

Sample No. Five

I am a person who is detail-oriented and like to pay attention to minute things and details. Yet, I committed a blunder during my previous job with ABC Products Corporation. I was told to forecast the sales of the company for the next 6 months, instead, I read it wrong and made the forecast for the next 6 years. To make it worse, I sent it to our stakeholders without double-checking it. I was mocked and even got suspended for such an act.

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Sample No. Six

Employees always want to improve their performances, but mistakes are something that is just bound to happen, no matter how meticulous you are. While working with ABC Software INC, I made a mistake by not referring to one of the client’s requirements, which turned out to be the most important one. As a result, I developed software, lacking that need and utterly rejected by our client, leading me into a precarious position.

Sample No. Seven

I believe if one is not lazy or lethargic, then, the chances of making mistakes reduce considerably. I during my previous employment made a mistake due to my lethargy. One of my juniors tried to con me by inflating the reimbursement bill. I became lazy and careless in that moment of time and just signed at the vouchers without due diligence. Post this, I was given a warning and the entire reimbursement was deducted from my salary.

Sample No. Eight

I was given the option to move to XYZ city with promotion and increased salary. But, I was guided and influenced wrongly by one of my colleagues not to accept such an offer. I being a gullible person, just meekly believed him and rejected the offer. Now, I realize the importance of it, but I just can’t move back in time and reverse the clock.

Sample No. Nine (For Freshers)

I think the biggest mistake I made was to choose CCY Science College instead of XXY College of Technology, despite having high grades and aptitude to join it. Last year only, one of my relatives got passed out from CCY Science College and got a placement with a very high annual package. In fact, the annual offerings are much higher there as compared to XXY College, giving your career a desirable start. I really regret this decision of mine.

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Sample No. Ten (For Freshers)

Initially, I started it out by joining a Law college instead of accounting. But, the legal terminology and complex sections, never enticed me and I was unable to understand most of them. I struggled for an entire year, before making a move to my preferred career option of accounting. I regret wasting my one entire year into pursuing something that I really never liked.

Conclusion

Each and every question in an interview process is carefully designed and cleverly asked. A question asking about the mistakes that you have made in life will help an interviewer to judge and assess your approach, attitude, and viewpoint towards situations that are tough and events, difficult to manage. Hence, prepare sincerely. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/bdbd5830ddf82db80fbae710e1d6b61e/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=25066
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=eqrFTyReiOwC&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=What%27s+The+Biggest+Mistake+You%27ve+Made+In+Your+Career%3F&ots=Is5ZNomViy&sig=6OXfmNtH2IAMOf1xYfQngz8XDpI