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How to make one's failure as a plus point in the interviews?

How to make one's failure as a plus point in the interviews?

1 Answers
Chirag Shukla, MBA Aspirant
answered 3 months ago

I think the main point that needs to be highlighted is that you tried.

You made a plan to achieve something, you got up, did it, but failed.

What did you learn? If you had to do it all over again, how would you do it? Always explain your efforts and then corroborate your experience with learnings.

I don’t know how relevant these examples will be to you, but the underlying point remains the same:

Case 1: Let us say you had a start-up (just a simple e-commerce website) that you had invested Rs. 5 lakhs in. It worked for 3 months, started fizzling away in the next 3 months and finally after 8 months, you decided you didn’t want to invest any further in this side-project. You failed to grow this into something big.

Case 2: You applied for a job with a top company, and they didn’t take you because of your profile, or because you failed to communicate your own value and how you would fit in. Ultimately, only you and a handful of other people managed to not get campus placements, while everyone else got a job. You failed to get a job on-campus.

Case 3: When you got into a job, you realized it was absolutely horrible and you quit after 3 months and didn’t even receive an experience letter because you were under probation. You failed to stick to your job/industry for even 3 months.

Now, this is how I would present my case in each of these 3 examples:

Case 1: “Actually, having observed entrepreneurs such as Deepinder Goyal, Ritesh Agarwal, Kunal Shah, Kunal Bahl, Sachin Bansal and others, I got an inclination to have my own venture. While things didn’t work out due to my inability to scale my projects and long hours at work, the process of watching my startup grow and fail allowed me to learn, experiment and deal with failure. I learnt many aspects of digital marketing which I could not have if I didn’t go out of my comfort zone in the first place. I will try to start something in the future as well.”

Case 2: “I applied for a job to an FMCG company that had come for recruitment to our campus. However, 2 rounds into the interview process, I was rejected. I was dejected, but I made it a point to ask the panel why I had been rejected, and took their feedback. Based on their feedback regarding my communication skills and relative lack of general awareness, I spent 1 year improving myself while working with another FMCG company and simultaneously preparing for CAT. It was a great learning experience for me, and I am certain that if I were to apply again, I would be selected.”

Case 3: “I did quit my job, but with good reason. I would not consider it a failure, but I would rather call it a good judgement on my part since I did not waste my and my employer’s time and energy in a job that I wasn’t happy in. I quit my job, and with my skill set, pivoted into another role at XYZ organisation. It wasn’t easy, but I was aware of my abilities and limitations and knew that this transition would be the right decision. It was a calculated risk. I have only learnings to take away from this and no regrets.”

Yes, these sound corny but with a bit of tweaking, you can make it a perfect answer. However, be genuine about things. The moment you try and cook up a rosy story, the panel will dissect your story, counter question, and come to the conclusion that what you’re saying is pure fluff.

Hope this was of some help!

vrast1, MBA Aspirant

replied 3 months ago

If I say that I was laid off from my job but it gave me some of the most important lessons in my life, would that go in a negative tone?

Chirag Shukla, MBA Aspirant

replied 3 months ago

No, not if you present it in an appealing way.

First of all, you need to evaluate the reason for being laid-off:

1. Was it your fault? If yes, understand exactly what went wrong and be honest about it in the interview. You have to ensure that they understand that your mistake is not a true reflection of your professional abilities. Talk about an MBA as a fresh opportunity to prove to future recruiters your true professional worth.
2. Was the company slashing heads to cut costs? This is out of your control, and very common; especially with startups. The panel may ask why the company didn’t think it suitable to retain you, and you can present your answer to them to the best of your understanding.

Also, did you get another job afterwards? How did you deal with the entire situation as a whole? These are questions that may also be asked to you.

vrast1, MBA Aspirant

replied 3 months ago

This answer of yours made the picture much clearer…:)…..Thank you so much for the guidance

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