Job Interview Question
If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?Hmmm….what would I do differently?
I wouldn’t speed when I was going to get a ticket…
I wouldn’t have invested money in those stocks…
I wouldn’t have bought those shoes…
Maybe those kinds of things are what come to your mind when you’re asked about what you would do differently, but when they ask you that question in a job interview, that’s not quite what they mean.
This is another way to ask the ‘weakness’ question. They’re looking for your flaws.
If there is an actual problem or issue in your work history that’s obvious (or going to be obvious soon), this is an ideal time to address that situation.
Let’s say you took a job and you got laid off…maybe that’s why they’re asking that question because they see that short-lived role on your resume and this is a way they ask about it without asking directly.
You can say, “Well, I regret quitting X job to take Y one. It didn’t turn out to be a great move for me. Even though I learned a lot from it and I can see the positives in what I learned from that situation, that would be one that I would change if I could turn back the clock. It wasn’t the best decision…but it was the best decision I could have made with the information I had at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?“
You can’t hide all your issues, but you can frame them in a way that seems more positive. You can tell your story as you like. (As long as you don’t lie…if they find out, you’re done.)
If there’s no problem and your career’s been smooth sailing, then you can be a little more philosophical about this question.
You could try making a deflecting joke: “Gosh, that’s a tough one. I know we need to talk about a lot of other things in this interview, so I’m not sure that we have time to go through ALL the things I would do differently…”
If you want to answer it more seriously, say something like:
“If I look at it from a personal perspective, certainly I think we all have moments that we would do differently. But overall, I’m pleased with the direction I’ve taken, the decisions I’ve made, and the things that have happened in my career and in my personal life. ”
That’s a good, non-personal, neutral answer that should serve you just fine.
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